There's no special prize for agonising over your writing
👉 easy is usually best
Hi - Ian here.
I hope you found my recent emails with prompts and ideas useful.
I certainly got a lot of feedback from people saying they’d been able to use the topic prompts to get writing quickly. And surprisingly, a lot of folks said that even though they’d started with the topic I’d given, they’d ended writing something completely different.
That’s natural, I think. I often get the same myself.
I once started writing an email about how I had been a pretty awful student at university - that then triggered memories of some of the music I was into at the time (which was one of the reasons I was a pretty awful student) - that then triggered a memory about one of the first dates I went on with Kathy - and the email ended up being about something completely different from where it started.
It’s all good.
When you’re blocked, you can’t come up with a single idea. But when you’re in flow writing you suddenly get lots of ideas popping into your head.
Sometimes it’s best to just jot them down and come back to them later. But sometimes you end up with a much better idea than the one you were working on and it’s smarter to switch and go with that one.
The key is just to get your brain moving and things will work themselves out from there.
And I think it’s the specificity of the topic prompts that makes them so good at getting that initial momentum.
Most people work better with concrete examples rather than abstract ideas. If you try to think of an interesting story your mind goes blank. But try to think of an interesting story about a time you got told off at school when you were a teenager and it becomes an awful lot easier.
That’s all the prompts do really: give you little concrete ideas to trigger your brain into remembering (or creating) something interesting to write about. And once you have that germ of an idea you’re off.
Once your brain is then in flow, other ideas come to you much easier.
You can create your own topic prompts to give your brain that kick-start using the techniques in my Email Topic Toolkit (free here).
Or, of course, jump straight to practical topics you can use along with detailed guides on writing the emails with my Email Template Packs.
Most importantly, there’s really no reason why you should have to stare at a blank screen agonising over what to write.
Using prompts and templates isn’t cheating. There’s nothing especially worthy about sweating blood to come up with your ideas on your own.
What’s important is how useful and interesting the emails you come up with are to your audience.