As anyone who faces a blank screen knows, that big nothingness lacking words can be very daunting. There it is, waiting for your brilliant pitch; research tables translated into an audience-engaging format; or perhaps the best leadership speech that will capture how much you believe in your team’s work and serve as inspiration. (A great practice for everyone: tell your team you appreciate them).
If the blank screen is screaming, talk to it.
When I support people who are struggling with writing, I’ve suggested a trick that works for me: start with voice to text. Voice-to-text is a freedom from form on the screen. It allows you to get your thoughts, however scrambled and disorganized, into a block of material on the page. It allows you to capture your key points without the pressure of setting it down perfectly from the start.
Get out your phone, set up an email to yourself, and start recording. Imagine you’re telling your audience instead of writing to them. What do you really want them to know and take away? Tell them that.
It doesn’t matter if you say something and then double back to a point you made earlier; this is how conversations can go. Just speak. If you are working on a presentation, even better, for you actually hear yourself aloud. Get the words into the email, whether they emerge as sentences or in point form. Say all you have at the moment.
Now you have a mass to shape into the best message for your mission. There it is, relieving your blank screen of its lack. This isn’t to say these are all the words you’ll need; it’s probably not. But it’s a beginning. This shape can show you where to fill out, add, and edit away. It gives you something to work with.
If you’re feeling stuck and silent, start talking.
Image: Day 119 of the 365 Day Photo Challenge