writing

A (Draft) System for Writing

I've taken a few days off to think through how this blog is going.

It has been over a month since I started my daily habit of writing and publishing on this blog. There have been nearly 40 posts in that time. Not all of them are amazing, but I'm proud of my work so far.

Practice makes perfect.

I try to write things that are helpful for you and tend to shy away from writing too much about myself and what I'm doing. However, I think a discussion of how this has gone might be helpful.

  • I successfully posted nearly every single day, bar one.
  • I have developed a habit of posting.
  • I have work to do on my writing habit.

Adding the habit of posting a blog post to my evening wind down has been successful. Adding it to something I'm already doing has helped me to stick to the habit.

However, some evenings that time to post rolls around and I have nothing to post. Not to mention that even when I do have ideas, the 'daily' format leads me to skip writing any long form research pieces. I'm okay with not writing those very often, but the habit of posting to my blog is NOT the habit of writing.

So those pieces are not being worked on.

Therefore, I have decided I need to work on developing a habit of writing each day.

Here's my plan.

  • Set aside an hour each day.
  • For the first 30 minutes, write. The writing will be on a pre-determined topic(s) and my aim is to be free form. Less editing, more getting ideas onto a page.
  • For 20 minutes, edit. Editing is a different process to writing.
  • Spend 5 minutes posting. This may be the result of the writing that day, or previously written material.
  • Spend 5 minutes deciding on the writing topic for tomorrow.

Throughout the day, I will continue to collect ideas through my observations of the world. All of this is collected in the Drafts app on my iPhone. Once I'm ready to write about an idea, I transfer it over to my writing app, Ulysses. Both writing and editing happens in that app. Then I move back to Drafts to look through the list of ideas for tomorrow.

I thought this system through to make sure it's as straightforward as possible to give myself the highest possible chance of doing it. There are still some gaps here that need to be worked out with practice, but the attention I've given so far to the system should yield some results I'm happy with.