The biggest question people ask about sending regular emails is:
“What the hell do I write about?”
Having plenty of things to write about is a function of:
- Sufficient and varied input
- Time to process that input
- Capturing ideas when they occur to you. Even if that’s in the shower, during the night, out for a run, or whatever else…
(“Sorry dear!” you might hear me say… “I know it’s date night… but I gotta make a note of this before I forget…”)
Sufficient and varied input means the things you read, watch and listen to.
I know, I know. You’re too busy to read. You don’t have much time for videos. But facts are facts: if you want to show up in an interesting way, you have to make time. Even if means scanning a book you’ve been meaning to read while you wait for the kettle to boil.
You then need time to process that input – it’s difficult to write about something straight away without letting your mind chew over it for a while. You automatically do this when you’re asleep, but making time to walk helps too.
I regularly walk into the centre of Sheffield. The walk takes just over an hour. When I’m very busy I worry I don’t have time to walk, but the reality is I usually can’t afford not to walk. I need the walk to get clear on what I want to say.
The third part is to capture ideas as soon as they occur before they evaporate out of your head. I use a combination of Evernote / post-it notes / anything that comes to hand to write things down.
Keep paper by your bed, even if it means writing scrawl in the dark. If your ideas come in the shower, get some shower crayons and write on the wall. (Seriously).
All of this may sound loopy, but you’ll never run out of content ideas by doing this as you go. You have to think like a publisher. Researching and storing ideas ahead of time is the only way to avoid writer’s block.