Writing Tools: Approaches

Use these procedures for addressing or accomplishing your creative work.
Click below on "taxonomies" to learn types of mindsets, or scroll and search all 116 tools!

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  • Blueprint
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  • Frame
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  • Gauge
  • Lever
  • Model
  • Process
  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • System
  • Technique
  • Tension
  • Trick
  • Trigger
# 311

I am overwhelmed by all the information, opinions and content clogging up my mind

Selective Indifference
Being discerning enough not to dwell on meaningless matters, conserving your best energies for your creative efforts
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# 302

I write great work and want to grow it and build an empire

Systemizing your creative work in such a way that it could be replicated and productized
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# 308

I am only using a fraction of my talent and want to do more

Reversing the target marketing process where customers aim at you
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# 292

I want new writing opportunities, but people and companies want my time for free

Labor Limit
Setting boundaries on your generosity of providing unpaid service
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# 294

I have information overload and get stressed and overwhelmed

Conscious Consumption
Applying a level discernment to the intellectual nourishment you ingest
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# 300

I want to make a lasting contribution and tap into my writing strengths at work

An integrative approach to identifying, understanding, exploiting and managing your own talent
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# 291

I want to build a culture of innovation, retain clients through great work and make waves throughout the organization

Innovation Audit
Building a complete value ecosystem, including content, context, circumstance, consumer and circulation
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# 297

I work at a company that moves too fast, and people are tired and don’t have time to write

Creating the necessary whitespace to take a breath and decide what the next right action is
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# 295

I am in between writing projects, but I can’t decide what the next thing is

Project Junkie
A brainstorming framework to decide which venture to tackle next
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# 290

I have many writing projects on my plate, but I’m not sure which one to focus on next

Opportunity Junkie
A filter that evaluates the asset value of a potential new project or endeavor
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# 287

I have writing talent, but nowhere or no way to use it

The larger equation of everything needed to buttress creative opportunity, including knowledge, resources and courage.
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# 281

I want some process on our team, but don’t want to overdo it

Process Calibration
Finding the middle ground that balances your team’s need for predictability with its freedom to be creative
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# 261

I write great stuff, but I’m not sure how, and I want to improve my skills

Deconstructive Learning
Attaching introspection to action to understand the full extent of your capabilities so you can replicate your success
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# 279

I don’t know how fast or slow my creative project should be progressing

Micro Pacing
An elegantly balanced production effort between heating and cooling
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# 267

I want people to pay for my writing and believe in my brand

Illustrating the historical context to feather people’s intellectual nests so your product has a smooth landing
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# 264

I get frustrated and discouraged by people’s feedback about my writing

Feedback Filter
A binary grounding question we ask ourselves to recalibrate and put criticism in perspective
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# 270

I want to get a job, or thrive in a new role, but nobody here knows what I do yet

Creating your own language to capture the nuance you’re seeing that makes you good at what you do
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# 268

I am a new writer on the team, I want to learn quickly and create value right away

Teasing out the historical context of an organization to give your work more leverage
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# 252

I am tired of looking at my writing project and I need a break to get new energy

Creating a healthy sense of distance from your work by damming up the creative flow, compressing the circulation and applying pressure
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# 255

I have too many writing opportunities coming my way, and not sure which to pursue

Defining your creative journey by the work you decline
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# 257

I have a team that takes forever to finish writing projects

Declaring something done so your team can reap the benefits of their hard work
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# 246

I am not good at dealing with sudden changes, they throw me off my writing game

Associative Trigger
Personal patterns and physical objects that echo the habits of action and allow you to enter into your creative zone.
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# 248

I can’t start from scratch and stare at a blank page or screen all day

Well Digging
Accumulating an ongoing reference file for your brain to work on through a passive, unconscious process
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# 250

I am not getting anywhere with this stupid writing project and it’s annoying

Go Perpendicular
Intentionally walking away from your current work to engage in something unrelated to the flow of activity
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# 258

I want to connect with people more through my writing, but it’s hard to get noticed

Blood Gauge
A personal filter for your own work that reinforces the importance of risk.
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# 259

I have been staring at the screen for too long, not sure what to do

Artist Allotment
A personal policy for managing compositional paralysis
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# 254

I’m bored and stuck need an outlet for my energy

A conceptual destination where you can unite all of her interesting elements, intermingling your interests and themes into a meaningful, cohesive whole
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# 242

I want to do something completely different in my creative life, and it’s scary

The reinvention process of peeling off your old identity and creating a new one that sticks
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# 224

I have this cool idea, but I don’t know if I should share it with people yet

Paranoia Snowball
Working quietly and quickly to keep your idea contained until it’s strong enough to roll on its own
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# 221

I have a big meeting, presentation or performance coming up and I want to nail it

Over Preparation
Creating twenty percent more content than necessary so it’s easier to adjust on the fly
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# 229

I have some clients, but they’re not worth the effort, and I want to grow

Filtering projects based on labor intensity and the economy of effort
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# 231

I don’t know where to get ideas, and I wish there was something unique about my writing

Units Up
Exponentially increasing your activity level to create a stronger baseline for yourself
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# 237

I am doing the same old creative work without elevating, just executing

Motivating your creativity by forcing yourself to overcome unpleasant but unavoidable challenges
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# 213

I have to pay bills otherwise I will have to move back in with my parents

Making a list of everyone you ever served in the past and asking them to buy this new thing you just made
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# 203

I do great writing, fans love me, and I need to build my brand

Treating your creative work as a property that can be exploited into numerous mediums
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# 206

I want my work to have a bigger audience, but without killing myself

Filtering potential creative opportunities by their ability to multiply revenue without increasing labor
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# 202

I’m afraid of messing up on this task and getting discouraged from taking action

Short Circuiting
Doing things before the fear has time to reach your mind
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# 204

I am putting constant time pressure on myself with heavy workloads, and it’s too demanding

Deliberately choosing not to do something to see it simply goes away and nobody notices
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# 216

I want to publish this new piece of writing, but I’m afraid of how it’s going to be received

Reality Waterfall
A chain of logic that reduces the probability of something negative happening to such a degree that it seems ridiculous
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# 201

I don’t have money, or I’m depressed and can’t write

Existential Machinery
Taking control of the means of production, but also the production of meaning
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# 205

I am working on this gigantic, overwhelming piece of writing, and I need to organize my thoughts and gain perspective

Contextualizing your problems in the larger ecosystem to see the structures that underlie complete situations
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# 218

I am a new, young team member and want to get noticed for writing welll

Value Continuum
An employee contribution framework for tracking ideas, tools, connections and opportunities
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# 207

I wish I could go viral and have fortunate things happen to me like they do for others

Lucking Up
A specific set of strategic moves that have to happen after a fortunate incident in order to carry the momentum forward
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# 217

I am bored, there is nothing to do, and I’m going crazy

Crop Rotation
Regularly changing and invigorating your creative ground in order to stay fertile over the long arc of your career
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# 192

I want to spread the word about my writing, but it’s expensive and people are busy

Constantly thinking about potential collaborations that can reduce your financial burden and reduce labor intensity
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# 194

I work with a new team and people are trying to shoot down my confidence

Figuring out where you're already been trusted for a history of delivering quality, and use that to your advantage.
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# 199

I want to have job security by becoming a writer everyone needs, and increase demand for my work

Relative Time Value
Using a burst of generosity to save your team hours of work and tons of stress
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# 200

I don’t have time to write all these things on my list, and I’m overwhelmed

Intention Framing
Put boring but necessary tasks into the wider context of your cherished, personal priorities
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# 182

I am frustrated and dissatisfied with where I’ve ended up in my career, I think I can do more

Continuum Of Potential
A visual breakdown of the relationship between raw talent versus learned skills
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# 197

I am only reaching a small fraction of my potential audience with my current strategy

Doubling down on what’s working to create new revenue opportunities in the future
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