Let’s face it. Writing an introduction can be super frustrating. It needs to be just right to get your readers’ attention and draw them into the word world you’re creating. Thankfully, there are strategies to help you move past intro-induced writer’s block:
- Skip the intro (for now).
There’s no rule stating that you must write the intro first. Shocking idea, but it’s totally acceptable to skip steps in the writing process and return when you have a better idea of how to approach them. In fact, you can even create the intro last and stick it in at the beginning. Especially if stressing over it is stopping you from writing your main content. Make the process work for you.
- Clear your throat (so to speak).
Think of the first sentence or two as your “ahem!” moment. As in, “Hey, listen up! Pay attention!” When it comes to the opening sentence(s) you have options, depending on your purpose, topic, and audience. Get readers participating with a thoughtful question or a short, relevant scenario. Or get them thinking with an interesting quote or fact related to your topic.
- Write an invitation (no, really).
Think of the intro as an invitation that helps people decide whether to attend to your writing. Invitations highlight the basic information and benefits of attending a function, and your intro can work that way too. You can clue readers in on what they should expect and what they need to know to get the most out of the main content. Here are some questions to consider answering:
- Topic: What’s it about?
- Timeframe/context: When/Where does it happen?
- Audience: Who’s involved? How are they involved?
- Purpose/main idea: What do you have to say about the topic? Why does it matter?
Now that you have some strategic tools, you can break through the block and build the intro your readers deserve!