13.8 billion years have elapsed since the beginning of the universe, and it still has never dreamt up ideas that you have every day.
If you don't put energy into making your ideas a reality, the universe will forever be deprived of your creativity.
No matter what ideas or doubts you have about your skills as a creator, that detail about depriving the universe should be sufficient to get you moving in the right direction.
Whether you want to create a podcast, a book, an article, or some other work it all starts with an idea.
What's the takeaway? Who is your audience? What do you want them to feel, think, or remember at the end of their time with you?
That is the core idea that will shape the work, and why you should start at the end.
Now, put everything you can think of onto the page.
This can be a literal page with a pen or pencil. It can be a digital page where you type things out. You could also use 3x5 index cards for each idea, and build a stack. There are plenty of ways to get your ideas out; the important part is to get them from your mind into reality where you can work on them.
One of the best tools for this stage of the process is to use Mind Mapping software. There are a lot to choose from, and the one I used to write my book "[think] Like A Mind Reader" is Mind Mup. It's free, connects with Google Drive, and is easy to use.
Don't be surprised if it takes you a couple days or weeks to "export" all the ideas you have about the topic. The obvious ones come quickly, but that is not going to be everything you need to talk about.
You'll be walking through the grocery store and an idea will pop into your head. Write it down right then. When you get home, add it to your mind map.
As you're adding things to your mind map, you'll start to notice that some topics are obviously connected to others. The mind mapping tool will allow you to create connections and hierarchies out of the information.
There might be stragglers who don't have obvious connections, and that's ok. You can connect them where they need to go as you continue working on the project.
What order should you present the information to the reader?
Now that your ideas are grouped together by topic, now you have to figure out which comes first, what comes after that, and what you're going to end with.
"I want to talk about X but first I need to explain Y which also needs the reader to understand Z, so I should start with Z."
With a mind mapping tool you can easily move and sort each topic into an arrangement that makes the most sense.
SIDENOTE: Organization is the most difficult part of the process for me. Every idea connects with eleven other ideas in a never-ending web of associations without any kind of linear structure. Since writing is an A -> B -> C process, I need to be able to "see" my ideas and be able to move them around before I commit words to the page.
Once your connections are now arranged in a sequence that makes sense, you're basically looking at the outline for your piece.
Now the only thing that's left to do is move through your mind map!
Use the map as your starting point, and use sentences to explain each idea as it comes up. Done with an idea? Move on to the next one in the map!
This helps you keep track of where you are, where you're going, and prevents having to do major rewrites due to introducing ideas too early or late.
Before you know it you'll hit the end of your outline, and the piece is written!
There can be a lot more to cover when it comes to writing, but this is the main process I've used in my own journey.
Video content, podcasts, and other forms of idea-delivery-systems are great, but I've not found one that's more powerful than the written word.
I'm convinced that writing helps you become a better thinker, communicator, and creator regardless of your mission in life.
Let me know what you think! Agree? Disagree? Have a question? Hit me up in the comments below, so others who might be thinking the same thing can benefit from your comment.