Surefire ways to get writing

I learned this from Jeff Goins who recently posted about a strategy to write well and consistently, without getting overwhelmed. This post is a shorter version of his methodology. Something that both you and I can use. (And shorter is better anyway, don’t you know? ;-))

Writing is a destination and reaching there can be an arduous journey. It’s important that you plan it well. This should ideally take place in four stages:

1. Gather ideas — self-evident but seldom practiced. You have to make a conscious effort to jot down any idea or thought that may come your way. Keep a small notebook or use your smart phone’s notebook or voice recorder app.
2. Develop them — once you have a collection of ideas, invest time to elaborate on each of these ideas. You don’t have to do them all in a single sitting. One idea at a time or perhaps three. Focus on elaborating the ideas. Try to put some flesh on the structure.
3. Editing — this is the transformation stage, where your rough draft becomes a polished article or a blog post or an ebook. Be ruthless, eliminate the unessential and polish the message.
4. Publish — bonus! Yeah, it’s dumb to have it as one of the stages, but how many drafts do you have in your account that haven’t seen the light of the day? Got the idea? So, publish. Get feedback and get writing, once again.

Let me give you an example, if you plan to write a blog post:
1. Sunday and Monday: Gather ideas, this will mostly be on-the-fly.
2. Tuesday and Wednesday: Elaborate or develop these ideas.
3. Thursday: Take a day off.
4. Friday and Saturday: Edit
5. Saturday: Publish!

One of my favorite hacks is to sit for just 30 minutes each session — except for Sunday and Monday (but then you can choose to schedule a brainstorming session lasting 30 minutes as well. Try it! You never know!). That’s total of 3.5 hours for one epic post! The best part is that you won’t even notice and in fact, will enjoy the writing process more!

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