For me, the most difficult part of writing is coming up with an idea on what to write about. This may be because I don't have a good amount of knowledge to draw from. My education is in journalism and information technology but I didn't have the opportunity to practice them both. The jobs that I stumbled upon required good writing skills but not the skills of a professional writer. But I do know how to write and have written a lot of articles on my own initiative and posted them in the Internet.
For me, an article starts with an idea on my head of something that I can write on and that I am knowledgeable about. Since this is just an article, I really don't have to write an outline of the article; I just keep the big thoughts that I want to expound on in my head.
Once the idea of what to write about concretized in my head, the title just comes naturally and so the title is the first few words that I type on my word processor. Once the idea of something to write about firms up in my mind, even the sequence of how I am to go about writing the article is already established.
And so I start with the first paragraph which basically states why this topic is important and how it can help the reader. This may take more explanation that is needed so I might spill additional ideas into another paragraph.
Then I go on the first major idea and expound on it basically telling the reader what it is and how one goes about doing it. I will have to give the reader the steps that he needs to take to be able to do the thing I am talking about. Then I will have to add things that he needed to avoid and the other important considerations that must be taken into account if the reader is to undertake this task successfully.
I then basically repeat that model for the other ideas that I want to expound on. I might point out how different this topic from the earlier topics. Again I will explain what this is and how one goes about doing it. I basically follow the model I used for the first idea and do the same thing for the rest of the ideas I wanted to write about.
After writing all of those, I basically end the article with a summary of the important points I have covered. And since I am writing for the World Wide Web, I might end with a link to something that will complete the whole story. This link may lead the reader to a book or a web page where more information can be found, or a web site where the ideas I talked about can be finally executed.
The last thing that I would do is to take a second look at the title and improve on it based on maybe new realizations that have come to light while in the process of writing the article.
But this article did not really follow that model. I really had no idea what I was to write about and just started typing what came to my head. After typing one screen full of crap, one line which could be the title of the article finally hit me. And so this article was born.
Now, I am going to delete all the craps that I have typed before I hit on this topic to write about. What will remain is just this article with the title that I have already changed. What a silly article this is!
Read my other article on writing articles for your personal web sites at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-and-how-to-write-article-for-your.html.
Read an article on how to create office documents without using Microsoft or open source software at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-create-office-documents-without.html.
Read an article on good ideas about writing as a mental process at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-ideas-about-writing-as-mental.html.
Read an article on how to write a search engine optimized article at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-write-search-engine-optimized.html.
Read my article on a generalized article writing template for something you want to write about at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/03/generalized-article-writing-template.html.
Read an article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html.
Read an article on a technique for launching a writing activity at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2009/12/technique-for-launching-writing.html.
Read my other article on how one becomes a writer at: http://sites.google.com/site/themightypenproject/how-one-becomes-a-writer.