How To Write More, Worry Less, And Create Great Content

A girl typing on a laptop

Do you keep worrying about how much you suck at writing?

Are you convinced that you can never write well no matter what?

And most importantly, do you spend hours writing a medium sized article and still end up being dissatisfied?

Now, what if I told you there is a way to write more, in less time, and be satisfied with what you write?

I’ve had the same problem of writing less and worrying more, and trust me, after discovering and correcting the mistake I was making, I am one helluva happy guy during and after writing my posts.

So what was the problem and how I overcame it?

I recognized writing and editing to be two different processes, but always succumbed to the old habit of editing-cum-writing against my better judgment.

Writing is a creative process, and considering the fleeting nature of creative ideas, it needs to be put out of your head as soon as it occurs to you, or else it will be lost in the noise of gazillions of other thoughts.

Editing, on the other hand, requires a more logical and analytical approach. It is a process of analyzing your writing rationally and eliminating any errors that may have (they always do!) come through from the creative process of writing.

If you write and edit at the same time, the two sides of your brain clash, and as a result you lose focus; once you lose focus, the creative flow of ideas peter out.

Now tell me if you can relate to this habit:

  • You can’t start to write. You stare at screen for 15 or so minutes, get bored, and end up procrastinating. None of the ideas seem to make enough sense (In a sense, you edit yourself even before putting a single word down).
  • You come back after an hour, same thing happens.
  • You are frustrated but determined and manage to put something down.
  • You start writing, and after completing only a few lines, you start finding fault with your writing.
  • You start editing and improving upon what you have already written. You correct spelling mistakes, detect and replace words that occurred too many times, and you rearrange the sentences.

So, finally you end up taking more than an hour writing and editing a few paragraphs while constantly fretting over how you could have done better.

What ought to happen is:

  • You take off your perfectionist hat and start writing, and write until you empty out your brain.
  • You edit the draft, and post it.

Ah! That was remarkably simple!

I have separated writing from editing completely, and boy, there is some positive difference I’ve experienced.

Things not to do while writing

  • Don’t spell check
  • Don’t find proper words in dictionary or thesaurus
  • Don’t readjust sentence structure
  • Don’t look up facts on Wikipedia or search on Google amidst writing
  • Don’t look back at what you have written so far

Things to do after writing

Do everything listed above, as appropriate.

Separating editing from writing will save you time, make you a better writer, and keep you a satisfied person. What else does a write want?

Next time you sit down to write, remember not to interrupt the creative flow of thoughts until you are finished. You, too, will feel the difference.

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