Sunday, September 12, 2010

Writing a Year's Worth of Content in Just Two Months

During a two-month period last year, I wrote an entire year's worth of content for this blog. It was one of the most productive periods of my career as a writer, and it was based on a simple daily routine that anyone can copy.

1) For two months, I got up every day at 5:00 AM and wrote for 30-60 minutes. My goal was to turn off my internal editor and write freely, so I used the essay test technique: I wrote in short sprints, allocating no more than 10 minutes to write a complete draft of a post.

2) Using this process, I generated 3-5 usable first draft posts per day, or about 20-30 drafts per week.

That was my daily morning schedule. After six weeks, I'd completed more than 150 first drafts with a minimal daily time commitment.

3) After one week of the above, I added a similar 30-60 minute routine in the afternoon, except it was dedicated to editing printouts of my first drafts. I moved quickly and mercilessly through my pile of drafts: if one gave me even the slightest hint of trouble, I put it on the bottom of the pile and moved on. This was an excellent idea filter--my poorest drafts would be repeatedly sent to the bottom of the pile, while the better drafts would quickly find themselves edited and ready for publication.

4) My goal was to generate a minimum of 3 publishable posts per day, and after seven weeks, I'd completed nearly 150 finished posts. I then applied the 120% Solution and kept the best 100 or so. Since Quick Writing Tips publishes twice a week, this worked out to a full year's worth of content.

As you can see, this process was nothing more than a simple habit. A routine. I didn't judge myself or get frustrated with the quality of my work. I simply trusted the habit and let the numbers take care of themselves.

As a result, it was weirdly easy to generate a large collection of high-quality posts on writing. And judging by the steadily growing number of RSS subscribers here at QWT, plenty of readers are finding these posts useful too.

The daily time commitment I spent on this blog was laughably modest--an average of 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon. An hour and a half per day. Yet in two months I wrote a year's worth of content.

You can do the same. Don't tell me you don't have time to write.