How an Idea Becomes an Article

How an idea becomes an article

How an idea becomes an article

My first published piece was not a thing of beauty. But I didn’t know it at the time.

Sure, my prof told me I’d look at it later and laugh but I didn’t believe him. Because my heart and soul was in my first published article.

I read that thing over and over again. In awe. Because I was a published writer.

Now? Well I find I still read my articles over and over after they publish. It’s annoying actually. And don’t worry I’m no longer in awe. Now I nitpick.

It’s interesting how things change as you grow. What’s the next progression? Denial? Acceptance? Apathy?

finish-what-you-start-outline

Anyway, I’m glad I still care but I could do without the self-loathing.

There is one trick I’ve learned and it seems to keep me happier with my work. Outlines. Now I’m not talking anything crazy, just a sketch really. Like in my planning of Finish What You Start for example.

I knew I wanted to write about follow through and why it’s a benefit but where to go from there? As it usually goes I stewed on the idea for a while and then started writing. On my notepad.

For some reason the pen-on-paper action gets my write brain going (see what I did there?) and by the end of the page I usually have something. Or at least the start of something.

Idea…becoming a morning person.

  • TRYING everything
  • discipline…not working

Because yes. I knew I would fail. And yet, an article was born.

The Research

To keep me honest I announced my intentions and I really did try to do my research right. It was awful.

But I did, sometimes, manage to get up in the morning and not want to spit at my reflection staring back at me with judging eyes.

finish-what-you-start-final

So I had my outline, my research, and my article more or less wrote itself. Love it when that happens.

And no, I still struggle to get up in the morning. But my attitude is much better.


I’ve written out my process for writing an outline if you want to know more. How to Write an Outline for Anything will work for short pieces and full-length manuscripts!

If you're a writer then perhaps you know the term "pantser." It was new to me. Pantser is a type of writer; one who writes by the seat of his pants. Right? The other type of writer is an outliner. Now that one's a bit more familiar to me. In my heart I'm an outliner. I like having a plan and making it come alive. I like knowing where I'm going rather than discovering it along the way. And I don't believe outlines cut off creativity, which is why I'm advocating for outlines and am showing you how to write an outline for anything.