Writing is harder than I thought (and I already thought it was hard)

I’m really strug­gling. I’ve been hack­ing away at the text for my blog for quite a while now and I’m find­ing it incred­ibly hard. I think one of my prob­lems is the pro­cess I go through to assemble my thoughts, then write them. When I simply write straight onto the page like this, my thoughts flow eas­ily. But when I’m try­ing to draft some­thing really care­fully, I enter what I can only describe as “Thes­is Mode”.

First, I spend ages review­ing everything I’ve ever col­lec­ted or writ­ten on a top­ic. Then I assemble per­tin­ent notes from the review into a file. No par­tic­u­lar order. Once I’ve done that I start hack­ing and slash­ing and try­ing to assemble it into a struc­ture. But, without an out­line, I struggle to see the wood for the trees and find it incred­ibly hard to form an argu­ment. Why don’t I just write an out­line? I love out­lines for oth­er types of writ­ing and thinking…

Some­thing about blog­ging stops me.

I think it’s the review stage. It fills my head with so many ideas that I’m unable to focus on a simple train of thought. There must be a way of focus­ing while also keep­ing the bene­fits of all the rich source mater­i­al I find in the review.

I sus­pect what I should prob­ably try next is to chuck all the review source mater­i­al into one research doc then step away from that and start writ­ing a sep­ar­ate out­line to guide the pro­gress of the blog post. That way, I can drip feed the research into the piece without it try­ing to become the piece.

The research is not the art­icle – the research informs the article.