Project Management

Helping Project Managers to Help Themselves

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I'm all about Building Thriving Leaders™ This blog is based on over 35 years of project management and leadership successes and failures. Get practical, concise nuggets on both hard and soft skills to help you deliver projects successfully with minimal friction.

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Write Great Project Management Articles in Four Easy Steps

When I wrote my first book in 2004 my publicist told me, "you've got to write articles to get your message out and sell books!"  Being a good soldier I saluted and contemplated how I was going to get it done.   My publicist turned me on to a ghost writer who wrote an article under my guidance.  After paying way too much for the article and seeing the finished product, I vowed never again to have someone else write for me.  I decided that if I had crappy articles it was going to be because I was the one who wrote them, not because I paid someone to write crappy articles for me. 

Fast forward to today.  I've written hundreds of articles and locked down on a methodology to writing articles which stay on topic, aren't disjointed, and are easy to create.  Here's what I do:

Every article I write has four sections, as follows:

  1. Opening story
  2. Core message, or "meat" of the article
  3. Take-aways
  4. Close

 

If you look at my articles you'll be able to pick up on this structure.  The secret sauce comes in not the sections themselves, but the order in which the sections are written.  I write the article in the following sequence:

  1. Take-aways
  2. Core message, or "meat" of the article
  3. Close
  4. Opening story

 

Here's why I do it in this sequence.  I start first with take-aways because that is what I want my readers to get out of my article.  By starting with the take-aways, I ensure that I am putting the reader first and writing for the reader's benefit.  Next I construct the core message, or "meat" of the article.  The core message has to support the take-aways; if I've constructed the take-aways first then I better ensure the core message aligns to the take-aways.  Next I decide how I want to close the article, which is typically a one to two-sentence statement that underscores my core message.  The close leaves the last impression which needs to align to the core message.  Last, I write the opening story.  By writing the opening story last, I ensure that there is a relevant and seamless transition into the core message and that the opening story grabs the attention of the reader. 

When I use this structure, I not only get a better quality article, but can produce an article much faster than using the old method of "start at the beginning."  If you want to see an example go here. See if you can pick up on the article flow.  Happy writing!

Posted on: August 02, 2020 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)
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"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."

- Pablo Picasso

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