Prep The Page: 1 Simple Exercise To Defeat Writer’s Block Forever

Nicolas Cole

All the writing advice in the world doesn’t matter if you can’t get the words to come out.

Which is why so many writers struggle with “Writer’s Block.”

Writer’s Block is this feeling where you sit and stare at a blank page, unsure of how to get started. It’s an uncertainty as to where you should begin, how you should structure your thoughts, and how you can assemble this piece of writing in a way that grabs the attention of your readers.

Well, here is the ultimate cure to Writer’s Block.

“Prep The Page” 101

The easiest way to ensure you never have to suffer from Writer’s Block again is to organize your writing visually, first.

Some people call this “outlining.” Others call it “creating a skeleton” before you start writing. I like to call it Prepping The Page. And all “Prep The Page” means is giving yourself a roadmap for where things are going to go.

A simple “Prep The Page” example would look something like this:

  • Headline: What is this piece about? Who is it for? What will the reader get in exchange for reading through to the end? AND, why should they trust you (what’s your credibility)?
  • Introduction: (Repeat the information from the headline with slightly more detail.) What is this piece about? Who is it for? What will the reader get in exchange for reading through to the end? AND, why should they trust you (what’s your credibility)?
  • Main Points: What “proven approach” are you using to organize this piece? (Is this piece organized by Steps, Lessons, Mistakes, Tips, etc.?) How many do you plan on including? 3 Steps? 4 Lessons? 5 Mistakes?
  • Conclusion: What’s the final takeaway? What do you want readers to walk away with after reading this piece? What’s the morale of the story?

By “Prepping The Page,” first, it becomes significantly easier to know where to start.

Because nobody likes staring at a blank page.

The 2 Most Important Uses For Subheads: Wheels & Spokes

When organizing your content, there are then two different types of headings you should use.

  • Wheels: Big headings (H1) that signify the beginning of a new overarching section.
  • Spokes: Small headings/subheads (H2 or H3) that separate important sections within the overarching section.

Since most essays and articles online fall between the 300–800 word range, you usually don’t need to use both Headings & smaller subheads (because there’s only so much room). For example, in the “Prep The Page” example above, each “reason” in the article is listed out using a heading. In this case, it really doesn’t matter if your headings are big (H1) or smaller (H2 or H3) because they are all fulfilling the same purpose: separating ideas.

However, in longer-form blog posts and ultimate guides, it makes sense to use both to make sure readers are following your train of thought. Each major section would open with a big heading (H1), signifying the purpose of this overarching section. And then each sub-section within would be separated by subheads (H2 or H3), signifying where one idea stops and the next idea begins.

Using headings are an easy way to make your writing more “skimmable,” and to also make it easy for readers to scroll and find a section that hooks their attention. If they find a section that speaks to their wants, needs, desires, or questions, that’s where they are going to start reading. And if, when they start reading, they find your content valuable, insightful, memorable, etc., that’s when they are going to scroll back to the beginning and start reading.

So, if you want to make your reading more readable, Prep The Page before you begin.

Give yourself some direction.

Then, just fill in the sections with content.

Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.

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