3 Questions to Ask Before You Start to Write

Posted December 20th @ 6:30 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Ask yourself the following 3 questions before you start to write your next article, blog post, or content marketing project.

Before you start your next writing project–whether it’s an article, blog post, book proposal, marketing plan, or speech–download my 3-step writing planner and ask yourself the following questions.

Answering questions focuses your thinking and forces you to be specific. This helps you quickly create a structure for your writing.

Asking questions also force you to examine your assumptions, opening the door to new possibilities.

Questions lead to other questions

More important, each of the 3 questions leads to additional questions, which take you further along the path of fleshing out your ideas and contents, creating a structure for your writing.

The sooner you identify your goals and the main ideas, the easier it will be to start to write–and finish–your project.

Question 1: Why are you writing this?

Start by analyzing your motives for writing your article, blog post, or report. The best way to do this is to answer these “clarification” questions:

  • What’s the big idea you want readers to remember?
  • How will readers benefit from reading what you’ve written?
  • Are your readers likely to agree or disagree with you?

Each question has a role to play. For example, asking whether your readers are likely to agree or disagree with you will help you determine how much information, or the number of details, you’ll likely need to accomplish your objective.

Question 2. How can you best support your big idea?

This question encourages you to identify the ideas, examples, or features that best support the goals you identified in the first question:

  • Idea, feature, or proof 1
  • Idea, feature, or proof 2
  • Idea, feature, or proof 3

Progress usually comes quickly once you identify the three most important supporting ideas and briefly describe their relevance.

Question 3. Why should readers take the next step?

Finally, provide additional information information to encourage readers to take the desired next step, reemphasizing the benefits they will enjoy. Use these questions as a guide to concluding your project:

  • What do you want readers to do next?
  • How can you summarize how they will benefit?
  • Why should readers trust your advice?

When answering the third question, explain your qualifications for writing, or provide examples and/or testimonials from others who have taken your advice.

The importance of starting to write as quickly as possible

The hardest part of any writing project is getting started!

Procrastination–putting off getting started–makes even simple projects harder than they need to be. By using the 3-questions above to identify your main ideas as quickly as possible, you’ll find all types of writing and content writing projects easier to start…and easier to complete. Download a free PDF copy of my 3-question writing planner. Hang it next to your computer monitor. Review the questions each time you start to write. Then, share your experiences below, as comments.

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