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December 30, 2009

How To Write Articles Faster with an Article Skeleton

Have you heard of “blank page syndrome”?

That’s when you sit down to write and the absolute blankness of the page becomes overwhelming to the point where you just can’t think of anything to write.

For a writer, there is nothing worse than starting out writing with a blank page.

I’ve heard that professional writers will purposefully end their writing day in the middle of expressing an idea, so that when they start writing the next morning they just pick up with the thought they left off on, rather than starting a new idea from scratch.

That is a writing trick that allows you to keep your momentum flowing so that you don’t have to go through “blank page syndrome”.

When you’re doing article marketing, you need to produce a steady stream of articles every month. That means that you will be writing pretty regularly, and you’ll have to find a way to contend with “blank page syndrome”.

I’ve got some good news for you–in the same way that professional writers create a cycle of writing momentum by arranging their writing so that they never (or rarely) have to look at a blank page, so you can use what I call an “article skeleton” to rid yourself of the dreaded blank page syndrome.

An article skeleton is the bare bones of a future article. It can be a title, an intro paragraph, or just a few points to more fully elaborate at a later date.

If you can get in the habit of creating article skeletons, your will relieve much stress from the writing process, make it easier to write articles faster, and even have some fun with the whole process!

Here’s how to create an article skeleton:

  1. Set aside some time to spend on brainstorming. The purpose of this session is not to write a complete article, but rather come up with several ideas for future articles.
  2. You may already have some ideas–quickly start writing down makeshift titles and major points to cover. I find that sometimes the intro paragraph writes itself. The power behind coming up with article skeletons is that the pressure is off–you do not need to do anything final. You are just coming up with ideas, possible intros, and points to cover. The ironic thing is that once there is no pressure to produce a great piece of writing, your writing will often improve along with your creativity. Many times when I look back at an article skeleton I find that I’m very happy with what I’ve written and don’t need to change a thing. Then the little bit that I have already written just propels me to finish out the article.
  3. Come up with as many article skeletons as you can–don’t spend too much time on it though. You should not be thinking too much about this or laboring over wording or crafting sentences. A good time limit for each article skeleton is about 5 minutes.
  4. Get the skeleton in place and then set it aside for a rainy day.
  5. When you sit down to write and are drawing a blank, look through your collection of article skeletons. Look at the titles and see what topic catches your attention. When you open the draft and see that you already have a head start, it’s a huge relief! It’s much easier to write the article once it’s already started.

I’ve got several dozen of these ‘article skeletons’, and it’s always a joy to open one up to find that the article is already started for me. Articles get written so much faster when you don’t have to deal with the “How should I start writing this article?” feeling.

Are you ready to kiss “blank page syndrome” goodbye? Will you try this technique of creating a reserve of article skeletons?


Steve Shaw is an article marketing expert, and founder of the popular articles submitter, SubmitYOURArticle.com, used by thousands of business owners. Discover how to use the power of article marketing to reach thousands of potential prospects for your website – download a powerful free report on successful article marketing from http://www.submityourarticle.com/report

3 Responses to “How To Write Articles Faster with an Article Skeleton

    avatar Markk says:

    You’re dead right that we should create article skeletons to get things going without confronting writer’s block. Usually when some ideas hit me, I’ll jot them down in a text document, maybe add in a few more paragraphs because ideas can propel you on. Also label the text document with an appropriate name so you can remember what it’s all about. Good approach for writers to follow.

    Personally, I feel an article skeleton takes as much time to create as a full-fledged article. Hence, skeletons are best completed and published there and then, instead of storing them for a rainy day. The main reason why I feel this is because
    1. Flow can be affected when one is writing or completing an article after a gap
    2. If you don’t have a good article skeleton management system, you may not be able to find the skeleton you had created
    3. The world around is constantly changing. The skeleton may be outdated by the time one returns to it
    However, having said that, I would add that the idea of a skeleton would work, if one is planning to return to it within a week to ten days.

    avatar Elena says:

    There’s two method for writing down every things. Up-Down and Down-Up.
    In up-down method, you write and design first the skeleton, titles, subtitles and then fill the gap between titles.

    In down-up, otherwise will be done. The writer first writes what are in his/her mind and then he/she will categorized the text into titles and subtitles.

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