Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How I Wrote 12 Quality Posts in One Amazing Day

I'm not a particularly fast or efficient writer. But on April 18, 2009--one of the most productive writing days of my life--I completed twelve blog posts, as well as additional notes and ideas for a several other articles I was working on.

This day was orders of magnitude more productive than my typical day. But what was it about this particular day that enabled me to produce so much output?

To be honest, not all that much. Just two things:

1) I started early, and

2) When it was clear that I was going to have a seriously productive day, I cancelled the rest of the day's activities and kept writing. All day.

The key is recognizing that days where writing is effortless don't come around often. When you get one, you've got to take advantage.

I'll give an example: Let's say you've set a daily writing goal of writing for two hours, and you've set a content goal of completing one post and starting a rough draft of another during each daily session. But suppose one day your writing flows so easily and effortlessly that you meet your goal far ahead of schedule--say in one hour rather than your typical two.

You now have two options: You can knock off early, feeling proud that you achieved your minimum goal, or you can power on, writing as much as you can for as long as you can.

There's nothing wrong with finishing your minimum goal and knocking off for the day. However, if you consistently choose this option, you will never have an outlier day of massive productivity. If you keep writing, you just might.

What happens if you have a packed schedule for the rest of that day and you don't have time to write any more? Well, you still have a choice to make: write, or give in to your schedule.

If you have a steady job, go in late. Better still, why not call in sick and write all day long?

If you have no choice but to go to work, write still more during lunchtime and at other times during your work day. Leave the office early and write more in the evening. Stay up late that night and keep writing.

On those rare, wonderful days where the words come as if by magic, you must take advantage. Exploit it for all you can.