February 6, 2016

Become a Know It All: Write What You Know and Know All About It

Every writer suffers with writer's block at some point, even Hemingway.

So, you think you want to write…then, why are you so tongue-tied?  Don’t let a momentary lack of inspiration discourage you.  If you do, you may as well hang up your writer’s hat now and move on to your next non-starter.  Call it writer’s block, brain fog, or something more poetic like awaiting a visit from your muse.   Lapses in productivity happen to all writers, the key is to learn how to leverage your lapse…to take that block and turn it into a blog.  Just because you suddenly can’t string a sensible sentence together does not mean you can’t write.  Success in writing is directly correlated to effectively planning what you intend to write.

Very few writers—almost zero—are capable of sitting down at their computers and crafting seemingly effortless prose.   Good writers plan.  Hemingway planned.  You think the “economy of language” for which “Papa” Hemingway is so admired was achieved in one inspired draft?  Not once.  Never.  Nada.  If you’ve read his short short story A Clean Well-Lighted Place, you get the reference.  If you haven’t, you should.  Hemingway is said to have rewritten the first paragraph over three hundred times, delighting in the elimination of a single comma.  A journalist by training, the father of American Modernism used language sparsely.  Still, he always managed to deliver more than just the facts.  How?  It’s simple, really—preliminary planning. 

3 Things Writers Need to Know All About Before Writing

  • Know your Product, Service, or Idea—What will your product, idea or service do for the receiver?  Remember, your blog operates as a product, a service as well as an idea.  How will it do so better than any other?  How will it be used?  Who’s the competition?  Why your product over any other?  What will it cost?  Plan to know ALL there is to know. 
  • Know your Audience—Who is your target reader?  Individuals or Groups?  What are their common goals, educational, status or occupational levels?  Their wants, needs, fantasies?  Plan to know it ALL about all of them. 
  • Know how to Anticipate—What potential arguments or resistance may come from your audience?  In the case of bloggers, this means your readers.  What sort of objections might arise?  Plan in advance to have rational, logical responses, or answers, to ALL possible questions geared to your specific audience,

Preliminary planning helps ensure that you know all that there is to know about what you are writing….this will help you establish your authority about your product/service/idea.  However, more than that, solid preparation will help solidify your authority as a writer.  Being a Know-it-All is a good thing when you know what you’re talking about.  Would you take advice from someone who didn’t?

Photo Credit: Ernest Hemingway image courtesy of pbs dot org

About Amy Shoultz, Phd

Amy, a.k.a. The Prof, joined the Dream Team in August 2011. With a Ph.D. in American Studies and years as a writing coach to university students and fledgling writers, she adds an amazing amount of knowledge and energy to the team. As a co-editor of FWD and our medical site, Medtopicwriter, she handles all queries regarding guest submissions, website issues -- just about anything. She ROCKS!


  1. This article was extremely informative and is an encouragement to writers, new and experienced. I’m looking forward to more articles and to learning the writing insights that Amy Shoultz is offering to her readers. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with us, Amy.

    • I appreciate the feedback Ronnie–Thank you for your thoughtful words & for sharing our virgin launch-) Especially valued coming from such a seasoned writer, Ms. Dauber! Could learn quite a bit from your knowledge & experience as well…We are very excited about the future of FWD & thank you for subscribing–please check in with us often to speak your mind.

  2. way to go dr. shoultz!

  3. I never knew that about Hemingway and writers’ block! Very interesting article and picture of “Papa” H.

    • Thanks for your comment, Martha. Writer’s block is a real thing-and very common-even among seasoned writers. Good writing can still emerge even when you’re feeling the most uninspired. Being well prepared always helps. Sometimes, though, you just have to close your laptop and walk it off!

  4. I always recommend people go to school and take some classes for web development/writing, etc…when they really want to dive deep into becoming a better blogger. It will just help in making everything that much easier in the end.

    Love this post.

    • Samantha Gluck says:


      I’ve seriously thought about taking some sort of beginner course in web development even though I’ll never really “develop a website” in any sophisticated way that doesn’t involve a highly paid pro. Thanks for your kind words, Christian, and for stopping by. I value your opinion immensely.


  5. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Overcoming Writer Block .

  6. Well thank you very much…We appreciate your notice about our quality content as well as the package it comes in. If you count the blogging experience of the entire Dream Team here at FWD, we’ve probably been at it since before blogging was born! Thanks so much for your thoughts–hope to see you here again.
    Amy Shoultz, PhD recently posted..How to Write Tweets that Get Read and RetweetedMy Profile

  7. My fave Hemingway quote was uttered by the salty genius after someone asked him if it was difficult to write such great fiction. His reply (paraphrased): “There’s nothing to writing. You just sit at the typewriter and bleed.”

    Ain’t that the truth?


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