Howard feels fed up with writing.
He started working on his blog post yesterday afternoon, and wrestled with his first draft until almost midnight.
Today, he’s revising his post. He wants to create something less woolly and more interesting. He wants his content to flow with a pleasant rhythm. He wants to write content his readers will truly enjoy.
But man, creating that post seems to take ages.
Why can’t he speed up?
Howard wonders whether he’s missing a trick. He tries to write faster. But the harder he tries, the slower he seems to go. And that’s when he gets so frustrated with himself he hardly can write anymore. His inner critic has a field day, telling him he’s too slow; he lacks talent and he’ll never get good enough.
What should Howard do?
Good writing takes time. That’s true. But that doesn’t mean you can’t speed up. When you adopt the right habits and mindset, you can write surprisingly fast.
In the past years, I’ve read many books about productivity and writing, and I’ve learned a few crazy and counter-intuitive tricks to massively shorten the time it takes me to write good content.
1. Write while groggy
I used to think I had to be bright and breezy to be able to write.
Or failing that, I’d write late at night when time was finally running out to meet a deadline. ⠀
But I’ve discovered, I’m better at writing first drafts when still half-asleep. First thing in the morning. (I think it’s because my inner critic likes a lie in.) ⠀
Research suggests we’re more creative when we’re at our groggiest. So if you’re a nightowl, try writing as soon as you get up. And if you’re an early bird, you might want to try a late writing session.
There’s also some indication that a modest amount of alcohol unlocks our creativity because we’re more likely to break out of thought patterns. So, “Write drunk, edit sober” might be good advice. And if you don’t like to drink, being slightly sleep-drunk might work, too.