How to break out of the listicle rut and start writing again

Awash in a sea of goldfish-level attention spans biting at click-bait, many saw the only way of staying afloat was to produce list stories. Here’s how to get your writing back on terra firma.

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Confession time: I write listicles—a lot of listicles—and it’s ruining me as a writer.

In a fervent attempt to become a “real writer,” I’ve recently made an effort to stop pitching listicles.

No more will I churn out numbered posts detailing the lies you tell yourself when you’re procrastinating, nor the best ways you can fake your way through a carefree summer, nor X thoughts you have when you’re marinating in a lukewarm bath.

I took the plunge a few months back and plugged my brain in to come up with some real ideas. Much to my surprise, I had some success.

“Sure,” replied Ms. Editor, “If you can get it to me next Monday—at least 2,000 words.”

Oh, what have I done?

I can’t write anymore. The thought of producing 2,000 well-structured words, with flowing narrative and continuity, makes me sweat.

I used to be able to write—really write. Words gushed out, unstoppable.

Related: Free guide: 10 ways to improve your writing today. Download now.

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