To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.

– Dali Lama

We all have those moments of inspiration that need to be released. We grab the laptop or a mobile device and start to write…. then we stop. How am I going to do this? Will it be good enough? Planning your writing, is the first step to sharing your insights with the world.

Read Similar Authors

Before you start outlining, it is important to do some research. Read authors who have written about your topic. You need options to approach the topic from a different angle. Takes notes as you read. Note your sources (e.g. URLs, magazines, bibliographies, etc.). Keep your research organized in one place.

Develop Your Objective

Once you decide on the angle for your writing, write down the objective.  What do you want readers to understand by the end? Write the objective in one sentence. Everything in the body of your written work should support the objective. The objective will help you focus and not wander off topic.

Do a Brain Dump

Once you have your topic and objective, do a “brain dump.” Jot down all main points that come to mind. Do not worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Write until you cannot write anymore. Save the information in one place with your earlier research.

Revise and Refine

After the brain dump, you need to decide the structure of your writing project. Will the content work well as a narrative? Expository writing? Persuasive? Or something else?

Review the points you’ve jotted down and cut everything that does not fit the topic. You may also find points that don’t exactly fit but may be used as a sidebar. Put your ideas into a standard format. Don’t be too formal. You may organize everything into bullets or a numbered list. All you need is enough information to remember where you are going, stay on track, and be organized.

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