There are two distinct stages in the writing process.
The problem is we get the timing of the two confused.
I’ve been a writer for a long time. As a kid, I never censored myself. I just got on the creativity bus and let it take me wherever I wanted. I was carefree, happy, and adventurous.
Then came the school writing assignment.
Trying to Keep the Rules
There were rules. Lots of rules. You had to get the grammar right. You had to write about everything the assignment called for. And of course, there was a deadline to keep you motivated.
If you waited until the night before to start, the result could be disastrous.
You could write something incredibly boring.
Or if you let the time pressure force you to dig deep, you might produce something not only worth reading, but worth sharing.
The fatal flaw school assignments introduced into my writing was being critical of my work from the first word.
If you want to reduce your output to a trickle, there’s no better method.
A Better Way
Writing that is any good at all goes through two stages.
First is the free flow of words, directed by a word, a topic, or even a sentence.
Then only after you say everything you can think of on the subject, do you get out your magnifying glass.
Don’t employ your editor too soon, in other words.
If you pour and pour and pour out a ton of words, you increase the likelihood that something good got into the page in the process.
And you’ll decrease the likelihood that you’ll have to rewrite the whole thing.
This method works for school papers, short stories, and emails. If you keep the two steps separate, you’ll enjoy writing a whole lot more.
And chances are, those who read it will thank you.
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