You know writing is important to building your therapy practice. You need to write and rewrite your website copy so that it speaks directly to your ideal clients and helps them understand how you can help. Writing articles can help establish your expert status, improve your search engine optimization, and most importantly let your potential clients understand how you think and how you are different from other therapists.
It’s hard to get motivated to write, even if you like writing. As I sit here right now, I’m aware of how much I felt pulled to procrastinate a few minutes ago. I wanted to take out the recycling, check my email, look at the blogs I like to read, maybe even start my taxes. One of the hardest things about writing is getting started. In fact I’m feeling better already now that I’ve started.
I’m going to share what has worked for a lot of therapists I’ve worked with. As you look through these tips, notice that some of them are mutually exclusive. That’s because different tactics work for different writers. Many of these tips pretty much work for every therapist.
Create a deadline.
Many of us need to create somewhat arbitrary deadlines. Maybe this comes from our school training. When your writing will be “due,” you do what it takes to get it done. I have a weekly deadline. With few exceptions, I publish a blog post (one for each business actually) every week.
Write at a particular time every week.
When you have a routine, there’s less planning to do. You get into a habit or writing at that particular time and you don’t schedule anything else that could tempt you away from the task. You also don’t have to worry about writing at any other time
Keep a list of possible topics or titles.
If you have to come up with things to write about, start storing them up. Keep a list somewhere handy, probably on your phone, so that you can write down topics as they occur to you. I recently pulled over my car and parked for a minute because an idea had struck me.
Write nonsense to warm up.
If you’re ready to start but nothing is coming out, get your mind and fingers working by free-associating for a few minutes. You can toss that writing later.
Have an accountability group or partner or coach.
You’re not alone in your struggle to write. When you are accountable to someone, you know you’re going to have to report what you’ve done or haven’t done. You can also lean on the support of that group or person. When you think your ideas are stupid or that no one cares what you have to say, your accountability person or people can remind you of the value of your writing.
Have a writing spot.
I’ve got a spot. Right here in my kitchen. One of my colleagues has a beautiful spot where she lights a candle before she starts writing. I rarely sit in my spot when I’m not writing, so I transition into writing as I set up there. If you choose to have a dedicated writing spot, make sure there are fewer distractions there, such as bills to pay or piles of paper to sort.
Write at a café.
Maybe you need to get out of your house to write. Perhaps treating yourself to a cup of something is motivation to write. If you choose this option, I suggest not leaving until you’ve done a significant chunk of writing.
Write to the right people.
You might get self-conscious and find it’s difficult to get the words out because your inner critic is too harsh. You’re writing as a therapist, so you’re only writing to your ideal potential clients, the people who need your help the most. Think about those people and the pain they are in or the hope they have to feel better. Block out everyone else
Remember that it’s really no big deal.
Do you fear that your writing is not clever enough, or that you’re going to say something that’s been said before? It really is no big deal. You do not need to create new or earth shattering ideas every time you write. You only have to be honest, share your voice, your message, and some information you think will be helpful.
Don’t try to perfect your writing.
If you’re writing copy for your website, you can go in and edit any time. If you’re writing blog articles, don’t spend too much time making them perfect. Once your post is good enough, your time will be better spent on the other marketing activities in your marketing plan.
Writing is just one part of a good practice building strategy. Is it time to create a great strategy that fits your strengths? Is it time to build your practice in a big way? Apply for a free consultation now. I’ve got group and individual programs to help you meet and perhaps surpass your goals.