55: How to beat writer’s block

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned as a product manager.

For a variety of reasons, in the last few months I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing regularly. And just as I fool myself that having a gym membership is the same as exercising regularly, so also I need to remind myself that blogs don’t write themselves.

Over the last few months I’ve been working with another set of great, challenging and occasionally misguided clients. They’ve been pleased with the results I’d helped them to achieve, and I’ve been able to learn a huge amount from working with them.

In turn, this has given me plenty to write about on the topics of product management, user research and changing the way organisations work and behave, so I’ll be sharing this with you bit by bit over the next few articles.

But as a writing warm-up – I don’t want my writing muscle to cramp – here are a few of my procrastination-beating tips for beating writer’s block.

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Blast from the past

Three years ago today I published my first article on I Manage Products.  While a fair amount’s changed since then, I’d like to think that some things remain the same.

My writing style, for one, hasn’t really improved in three years.  I don’t think my sense of humour has matured either.  Still, we can’t expect miracles, can we?

If you fancy a laugh at my expense, cast an eye over my first article, “By way of an introduction”.

Don’t look back in anger – 2012 round-up

2012 was a real roller-coaster ride for me, both personally and professionally.  Surprisingly (to me), it was only my first full year of blogging – I only started I Manage Products back in February 2011[*] June 2010.  But 2012 was the year I decided to step things up a little: yes, I procured a domain name.  That made it official.

Oh yes, I also started a company and wrote some articles on product management…

* Lies, damn lies and statistics. The more observant among you will have noted that my first blog post was actually in June 2010, so my first full year of blogging was therefore 2011. <Sigh>.

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I’m in the middle of a chain reaction

Hello all, hope you’re having a lovely, restful Sunday.  I’ve finally got around to sharing with you the useful Product Management and Usability / User Experience bookmarks I’ve been accumulating.

I’ve found them particularly useful, I hope you will too.  I’ve also thrown in a few of my friends’ sites and blogs and urge you to read the beautiful, insightful and occasionally disturbing things they say.

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By way of an introduction

Why write a blog?

Up until recently if someone had suggested that I start writing a blog (or twittering, but that’s a story for another time) I would most likely have unfurled my ‘To Do’ list with a flourish, watched the unrolling end bounce off the floor and gestured vaguely into the distance.

So what’s changed?

blogging is ridiculous because the word to me sounds faintly unsanitary

Before I became a product manager, I used to write a great deal more, not only relatively serious essays and papers, but also creative nonsense and frivolous, fictional articles mainly for the amusement of friends who shared the same daft sense of humour.

As a product manager, the most creatively I’ve written recently has been to use an adjective in a use case once, though I had to remove it in a subsequent draft of my requirements document following a complaint Development escalated to my line manager.

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