If you’re struggling to write, then you probably need help organizing your writing thoughts. There are many solutions available. Each solution is different for various people and some may work better than others depending on who you are. A lot of the ideas presented here may seem elementary, perhaps because you probably learned them in elementary school. They are so basic but also necessary to writing an organized essay, novel, or even a blog post. If you have a million and ten ideas floating around in your head, then take a look at my list of organizing methods.
First, I like to clear my mind of all that has to be done that day. I write a comprehensive to-do list either for that day or for that week and keep it nearby just in case I forgot something and it pops up during my writing session. Being able to get out all of the other important information before I write helps me to stay focused on my task. If I don’t write out important things first, then it subconsciously bothers me and forces its way to the front of my mind. That then forces me to stop what I’m doing, cutting off the flow of my work and I lose time trying to get back on track. I also end up trying to accomplish that important task meaning I completely stop writing and I may not even get back to writing that day.
Once I have all of my important things off of my mind and onto another piece of paper, I can then start organizing my writing thoughts. This means I will either mind map, three point outline, or create idea categories. Writing thoughts on paper is much more effective and fluid, than writing on a laptop or computer. Once you get the hang of things, then a laptop or computer will become your best friend.
Mind maps are just pictures and words of your thoughts. I like to use them when I’m experiencing a bout of writer’s block. I like to doodle when I can’t think, so creating a mind map is the next best thing and it keeps me focused on my task. I start with a central bubble or circle of what I want to write about. Then I draw short branches from the center circle of topics that are relevant. Then on each of the second circles, I draw another three to five circles with points that either need to be researched and validated or I just know to be true. These points must have enough information to write a paragraph or two for my blog. If I don’t have much to say about it, I don’t use it.
A three point outline is similar to the mind map except I don’t have a bunch of ideas floating around my head and I don’t have to draw. I use this method when I know what I want to write about. If I already know what I want to write, you may think that I don’t need an outline, but I believe I shouldn’t just write anything that comes to mind. I need to make sure it’s valuable information and has lots of credible sources. Once I have my three points, I find sources that could contribute to the information. When all my writing thoughts are written into paragraphs, then it’s much easier to write the intro and conclusion of my blog post.
Creating idea categories are probably my favorite way to organize writing thoughts. It also gives me many ideas for other blog posts I could write. When I have a lot of ideas then my blog will always have a published blog post. Idea categories are lists of ideas and topics to write about. For example, I can start with the category of low wage jobs. I’ll then list one reason it is important to me. My reason is that I have firsthand experience with low wage jobs. Simply because I have firsthand experience with it, then I can create more categories from it. I know how hard it was finding a place to live – that becomes a blog post. I know how hard it was trying to get a raise – that becomes a blog post. I also know that I’m not alone and people are fighting to increase minimum wage. That becomes a blog post too, in fact, each of these examples aren’t just blog posts, but categories. I can research stories about people who have had hard times finding a place of residence or increasing their pay. I can come up with other topics that are related to finding a residence, like what the national poverty line, or how most Americans believe twenty-five to thirty-three percent of your income should go towards rent. There is so much to write about when your writing thought into idea categories.
As I mentioned before, there isn’t a right or wrong way to organize writing thoughts for blog posts. All of these methods may not work for you, but hopefully one will. Keep in mind that one may work for a period of time and then another may begin to work better for you as you mature in your writing skills. It’s also true that one method may work better when you’re busy and another may work better when you have ample time. Either way, figure out what works best for you and you’ll always have something to write about.