My next 10 posts -- A Review (19/30)
I'm writing 30 posts in 30 days. This is number 19.
My last review was in post 10. This time, I’m doing it earlier in post 19 because I have a few larger posts which need more time to gestate, and finish. Here are some changes I noticed since my last review.
Write on Impulse Helps
After the first 10 posts, I now found it much easier to generate posts. And ideas come more easily than in the past. Though I still notice that they come in clumps.
What works for me is similar to Disney brainstorming method with the three stages. But, what works for daily writing and publishing is more of a spiral version of that brainstorming method.
Each piece has a small hurdle to cross in terms of costs and quality compared to a typical Disney movie. So I don’t have distinctive three stages per published piece. Other than the Dreamer part which I compare it to writing a draft on impulse, the other two Disney stages of Realist and Spoiler kind of meld together at the polishing part of each post.
So right now, this is how it goes with most posts at the start: once I have an impulse for an idea, I immediately write as a draft. Sometimes it’s just a link. Sometimes, it’s longer with a link and a paragraph of my feelings about the linked article. Or I’ll quote whatever lines I liked from the linked piece. There’s a lot of indulgence to my emotions. Occasionally, I feel so inspired I write out nearly the entire piece in one sitting. Other times, it’s a case of simply dump some notes, and move on.
This is like the Disney’s first stage with the Dreamer. No filter, complete giving into the passions of the moment.
Rely on Momentum to Finish
Writing on impulse to start is great. But pieces need to be done before I can publish. And I cannot add to my daily published stats if I don’t reach done and published.
Energy is key here. Which is why other than writing almost all drafts on impulse to exploit emotional energy, another trick I use is to rely on momentum to get as many pieces to done mode as possible.
Whenever I am done polishing one piece ready for publication, that’s when I am at my highest morale. I take that extra energy to edit another piece. I never let myself get stuck too long. Not more than 15 mins. If I do, I choose a different piece to polish. I keep repeating this until I feel I’m done. At my peak of using this, I had as many as four done pieces at one point in time ready to be published.
Comparing my editing steps against the Disney method, the various actions getting a draft to done involves the Realist and Spoiler stages combined.
Because (I know I’m repeating here but it’s important) the hurdle to send out a published post is much lower than an actual Disney movie. The frequency is also way higher. Any regrets of a poor post is solely mine compared to a team effort from any Disney production. I can quickly just concentrate on the next piece as a way to make up for a previous subpar post.
All these contribute to me applying some elements of being a Realist and Spoiler in the Disney sense. The right abstraction level at my current stage that’s the equivalent of a Disney movie is establishing a writing habit. Rather any particular piece per se being like a Disney movie.
Adopting a spiral approach towards building this habit, each published piece acts like a single coil of the spiral, this builds up my confidence overall that I can write regularly. As I add more experience via more published pieces, each piece will take lessons learned from the previous pieces. Just like a spiral.
Furthermore, seeing that number before /30 grow day by day just makes me smile :)
Scheduled Posting Helps
I had a near miss earlier in this 30 posts exercise. That motivated me to write and polish a couple more posts and scheduled them to increase my margin of safety. I never looked back since. Almost every post after that was a scheduled post. It increased my psychological safety. Once I built up a reserve of posts (about 2-4 scheduled) to make, it got easier for me to take time with some of the trickier topics.
Also easier for me to have some off days from writing. Yes, I want to have 1 post published every day. That doesn’t mean I have to write exactly 1 post per day, right? I can have good inspired days when I can write multiple near-perfect pieces and bad days when I cannot even type a comma. I think the creative side of us needs to be treated with some latitude. However, a post has to be released on time every day. Hence, scheduled posting really smoothes out the lumpy-ness that is writing and editing.
In summary, if I could, I would go back to give this lesson in the following three parts to the earlier me before post 10.
Just write some kind of draft when you have even the flimsiest idea for a post.
Finishing a post ready for publishing gives you energy. Ride that energy to finish as many as you can to build up a margin of safety.
Use scheduled posting. It works well with point 2. You will have days not writing or you need more days to finish up the bigger pieces.