Have you ever needed to write something, but you didn’t know how to get started?
As a professional writer, I face that problem daily.
Luckily, I’ve discovered a super-simple way to organize any writing project.
And I’m about to share it with you.
(By the way, this trick was invented by master copywriter Steve Slaunwhite, and he explains it in his excellent book, Start and Run a Copywriting Business.)
This is the CODE method:
C = Collect
O = Organize
D = Draft
E = Edit
Here’s how it works.
First, collect everything.
That means gathering up all of the material you can. Brainstorm your thoughts down on paper. Print out your source materials. Whatever you need to do.
Next, organize it.
Take the most essential ideas and put them into some kind of sequence. In some cases, it may help to write each idea of a separate index card, and then lay out the cards in a sequence that makes sense.
You can even list the ideas on a notepad.
If this is starting to look like an outline, you’re on the right track.
Then, draft it.
Take a good look at the first idea on your list, and write down anything you want to say about it.
Don’t spend too much time analyzing what you’re writing. Just get the words down as quickly as possible.
Then, move on to the next idea. Keep going until you’ve written something about each of the ideas. Before you know it, you’ll be done with the first draft.
Finally, edit it.
Set your project aside for a while. Overnight if you can. Then, come back to it with a clear head and polish it up to make it better.
You can use this method to write anything: emails, blog posts, even a novel. (Believe it or not, I’ve done that.)