5 rules for designers to start writing which I’m testing on myself

If you have a little experience in writing — here how I’m starting.

My experience of writing articles with hundreds and thousands of reads and comments, as a designer, is very close to zero.

It’s close to zero because I share very little amount of public content. Instead, I have a habit of journaling every day for about 4 years in a row. But I’m an introvert, so all of my writings have their places in my Evernote, Google Docs, Apple Notes, or even Asana.

Sometimes, when I have the inspiration, or in another words — I’m in the flow state, I can write a post on various topics, but in just 10–15 minutes it becomes hard for me to expand the idea and I just let this idea to stay in the flow of other notes.

I have started a blog multiple times but always failed. One of my strong values is a generation of ideas, so most of my posts are only headlines that I’m planning to expand into 1000 words articles. But due to high bandwidth with other projects (freelance & my personal) those headline stays headlines for months.

Here is how my typical blog articles schedule looks like:

On the other hand, I often help my clients to write content for their products when creating a design. I do so because I believe that design couldn’t survive without the content. The main goal of the design is to show the content in the best way possible.

“Design helps to show the right content, for right people, at the right time at right places.”
— Some Smart Ass

It always encourages me to try new things, but when I’m talking about writing it’s hard for me to expand the right topic and fir the audience needs. If you ask me any questions related to design, marketing or entrepreneurship — I can talk about those for hours and hours. But when it starts to share my own thoughts one the public in writing — I’m struggling what to write. Because when you are talking you can make pauses, think about what to say a bit, repeat some topics to cover more details, etc.

A few days ago when I watched a video of Benedict Cumberbatch, reading a letter by Sol LeWitt and saying not to think about failure but DO something. I decided to try again and start writing. I’m using all of my tools and knowledge, applying all of the possible rules that I use when launching a new business or working on a freelance project with the client. And this time I’m doing this with my writings.

You probably skipped the text above looking for the “bullets”, am I right, you’re cunning lazy ass?

I also the one because I look for bullets every time I read the article called “X way to do Y”. Alright, here you go:

1. Start small

I always try to write a long and engaging post so everyone would read and appreciate it. But here is a deal — I can’t fit everyone’s interests. There always will be haters and lovers, no matter what I will do.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and a highly valuable blog posts aren’t either.

2. Start immediately

If you have the idea — let it spread immediately on the paper (or in Notes, in my case). Don’t wait until morning, if you have the idea to share in the midnight. You will forget it or even worth — you’ll lose the passion to write the post about it.

3. Start with headers first

Do you know that people don’t read consistently? Our eyes always jump between lines of the text trying to catch the idea behind them.

As for me, when reading articles, I always search for headers first, to find out if this article is really what I was looking for. If the headers put me in the right condition I scroll to the top and start reading from the beginning. Often, I often skip the first sentences and start reading the part from the first header in the article.

Headers will also help to keep the structure of the content.

4. Start with what you love

Write about your hobby or work. Describe your work process or some details of the project you are working on (remember to ask your clients/employer for rights to disclose this details).

My first article on medium was about running. I have started running in mornings about a year from now. I’m still not a cool runner just because I’m trying new things in sport as well as in other parts of my life (now I’m passionate about gymnastics and developing the flexibility and mobility of my body, my first goal for this is a press handstand. I promise I will have an article about this as well).

My latest writing was a case of my concept project (which was recently featured on Behance). I just described the process and the idea behind this project.

5. Fail, but don’t give up

If you don’t have a personal website or blog — start on Medium. It’s a very good point to be heard.

When you have no idea what to write — go outside and get some inspiration. I always have my iPhone with me and capture what’s interesting for me. Try not to think about things, relax and feel free. Nobody judges you for this, just let yourself gather ideas. When you will feel you’re in “flow” — try to make some drafts.

Exercise to have some ideas. I can’t say about everyone, but for me, it always helps when I have done some aerobic exercises. Such exercises fill your brain with oxygen and you can start seeing things from the new point of view.

I think that’s for today, as I said — I start small. Last one advice — try new things, experience new experiences and be yourself. Every product has its own customers, so you will find yours. Just give yourself a try.

See you in next articles.


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