When I checked my emails recently, I was very pleased to find an invitation to write for a brand-new criminal justice magazine. The target audience is police administrators and academy instructors – one of the target audiences for my book about writing police reports.
I immediately went to work on my first article for the magazine. I wrote drafts in my head while driving back and forth to dance lessons. I scribbled outlines and introductory paragraphs. I read some notes and research I’d stashed away.
Nothing clicked. Rats! I had many good ideas, but they didn’t flow. I couldn’t find a way to organize them in a logical progression.
Suddenly I had an idea. Instead of trying to write the article, I wrote an encouraging letter to myself describing (in glowing terms) the kind of article I wanted to write:
Now I had something concrete to work with. I started drafting the article right away, and finished it the next morning.
The next day the editor sent me an acceptance letter and – as a bonus – a .pdf of the finished article to show me how it would look in the magazine. What a happy ending!