Writing While Blind

March 26, 2009

Recently someone mentioned to me she was having trouble finishing a sales page because she was continually editing, thereby not getting all the information on the page. My suggestion – writing while blind (to the tune of ZZ Top’s Driving While Blind). Seriously, if you find you continually edit when trying to get your ideas on the page, then close your eyes.

Now, if you have been typing since before PCs (like I have) you may have a tendency to edit anyway, since the muscle memory in your fingers knows when you are making a mistake. Do your best to keep that to a minimum and just allow the ideas to flow. Don’t worry that they are out of order, or that your grammar is not perfect, just keep the momentum going. Write as much as your want, even if you think it might be more than one idea on the page. Keep going, and going, and going until you have everything out of your head and on the paper.

Once it’s done, walk away. Go for a walk, have some lunch, sleep on it – whatever the amount of time you need to let it percolate and make sure you have completed the idea process. Now, come back and edit. Read the entire piece, then start chunking down. Reorder it if necessary, divide into more than one piece if that makes sense, put in all your punctuation, correct your grammar, then read it out loud.

After several tweaks, again let it sit. If you are in a hurry or under a tight deadline, this process is tough.  You will only have short periods to allow the ideas to meld and the edits to sit. However, do push away from the piece for a period of time (even if it is to tackle another project). You will find you have a stronger, more fluid piece of you can get all your ideas down first, then edit later.

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