One of my favorite authors, Blair Warren, wrote a press release for a client. When Blair asked his client how long he wanted the press release to be, he said, “One hour.”
One hour? How can a press release be an hour long?
The client said, “I want you to write the best press release you can in one hour. Don’t spend another minute on it. That’s all the time it’s worth.”
In another post, I shared a five-step method to get you writing faster. In this post, we’ll look at why you should write fast.The longer you spend on your writing, the less intense your effort will be. Click To Tweet
You’ll Have Laser Sharp Focus
When I was 8 years old, I burned a Bible verse onto a block of wood. My tools were the sun, a preliminary sketch, and a magnifying glass.
As I burned the words, I held the glass still, allowing me to harness the sun’s power. This allowed me to burn the design in quickly. With a design already in place, I didn’t waste time wondering it everything would fit.
Set a time limit for your writing. Map it out ahead of time. Your work will be as focused as the sun burning words through a magnifying glass.
Here are three more benefits of focused effort.
You’ll express yourself quickly. Every election season, political debates air on national TV. When a candidate has two minutes to make his point, every word must count. Otherwise, he’ll miss his opportunity to speak his peace.
You’ll leave out the fluff. Imagine seeing a car accident as it happens. When you call 911, you’ve got to get help. You won’t waste time chatting first about the weather, the latest ball game, or your crappy job. You have a singular mission to carry out – and nothing will distract you.
You’ll only make points that support your premise. TV and radio advertisers have as little as 30 seconds to persuade you. If they don’t connect with you in the first two seconds, you won’t listen to the other 28.
There are a million things competing for people’s attention. How will you stand out? By being focused, intentional, and clear.
Photo Credit: D.H. Parks Flickr via Compfight cc
You Won’t Spend More Time Than it’s Worth
Will your blog post be much better if you spend six hours on it instead of three?
Parkinson’s Law says a task will expand in proportion to the time allotted to it.
The longer you spend on your writing, the less intense your effort will be. You’ll be more distracted by social media, email, and TV breaks. You’ll be diluted by leaving your work multiple times. And you might edit your writing into oblivion.
How long should you spend on a blog post? If you time every phase, three hours is reasonable. You might divide it this way:
- 30 minutes for research
- 15 minutes to brainstorm your content
- Three 15 minute freewriting sessions
- 30 minutes to edit
That’s two hours.
If that seems like it’s way too short, I understand. Get as close as you can. Try to improve with each post. You’ll get there.
Read this post for a simple 5-step method to speed up your writing.
Distractions Won’t Overpower You
When you’re tightly focused, you won’t notice the dancing gorilla.
In this selective attention test, you’re given a task. If you do with all your might, you will ignore anything that won’t get the job done.
My family likes the Wii game Wheel of Fortune. Like the TV version, each player has a limited time to guess a letter, spin the wheel, or try to solve. To win, you’ve got to dig deep, act fast, and take risks.
When you time every part of your writing, the pressure will bring out the best in you.
Now Set Your Timer and Write
If you’re not a fast writer now, that’s okay. A marathon runner starts by trying to make it to the end of the street. Each day he adds a little more distance. Eventually, he has the stamina for the big race.
It may take a while, but with focused effort you’ll become a faster writer. I guarantee it.
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