Writing In Bursts

2008-04-05 01:16 ☼ post

One of my biggest downfalls when it comes to blogging and writing in general is my tendency to over think each individual sentence and word. I find that my output quickly grinds to a snail’s pace as I over analyze what I’m writing and search for the perfect turn of phrase. Even Mary, my lovely wife, has commented on how long it seems to take me to write what should be a quick email to a friend.

Becomes of the various projects I have in the works in conjunction with the big axodys reboot/remodel/axodys(heh!) I definitely want to start maximizing my writing efficiency. As such I’ve been looking into different strategies for improving my writing output.

Recently I got an email from Bum Marketing guru, Travis Sago, that included a link to a free ebook that offered various strategies for improving your writing speed. The ebook wasn’t particular long, but the idea that really jumped out at me was the idea of writing in short timed bursts.

There’s something about being up against a clock that has a certain appeal to me so I’m actually giving it a try as I write this. On the one hand I think the quality of my writing could drop, but I don’t think it will drop off that significantly. Mainly I’m curious to see how many words of cogent content I can get down on the screen, before my time is up. Finding a way to compete against myself is usually a pretty effective way for me to find improvement.

To aid me in this task I did a quick search on Google and downloaded the unassuming little widget I found called minutes (runs on MacOS 10.4 or higher). Minutes only takes up about a square inch on your dashboard and can be set for for up to 600 minutes or as few as 1. The downside of using a widget like minutes is that you can’t glance over at it to see a nice to-the-second countdown number unless you specifically pull up the Dashboard. On the other hand, minutes actually calculates what time of day the alarm will go off so you can glance at your menubar clock to see how much time you have before the alarm goes off.

Working against the clock allowed me to write the bulk of this post in a productive 15 minute block of time. I’m excited to further experiment with writing in bursts further because finding 10 to 15 minute chunks of time is very doable even at a place like our house where there are lots of young kids seeking my attention.

Of course writing in bursts is just one strategy and I’m sure that there are a lot of other good ideas for writing quickly and efficiencty. Please leave a note in the comments if you have any good tips or suggestions for increasing writing speeds.