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A Superior Writing Method

This guest post is by Stephen Guise of Deep Existence.

Picture this: you have just finished writing and editing a magnificent piece. The next morning you sit down with your favorite warm beverage to read your masterpiece once more. But as you reread the post, you realize it is about as eloquent and insightful as a concussed football player. Oops. This has happened to all bloggers in some degree—we have off days.

Thankfully, I’ve found the solution to this conundrum. Unfortunately, I forgot to patent this system, so I suppose it is free for everyone to use. You may still send me royalty checks.

Why this solution works

Before I tell you exactly what it is, I will explain why it works. This method is superior to the default one-post-in-one-sitting method because it utilizes the fact that your mindset changes every day in small, yet potentially significant ways. This change occurs because we are constantly being exposed to new information/ideas and a lot of other neurological reasons that I don’t know about.

The great posts that you read on ProBlogger today will have a greater impact on your psyche today than tomorrow. Maybe you’re going to be different and say that the true impact doesn’t hit you until the next day. In either case, the important thing is that your thought patterns change in some way on a daily basis.

When you write, the writing that flows is from a snapshot of your current thoughts and mindset. I’m writing under the same mindset that I started with. If the snapshot happens to be hazy or convoluted, how do you expect your writing to turn out?

It is often recommended to walk away from a problem if you’re struggling with it. Why? Walking away gives you a chance to “reset your mind” and look at the problem from a new angle. Waiting until the next day almost guarantees this effect. Here is how I do it.

The (simple) two-day blogging method

  1. When you decide to write about a blog post idea, furiously write the bulk of the idea or post down. The important part of this step is to fully cover the topic as well as you possibly can. You’re dumping your mind out onto paper or a computer.
  2. (Optional) Once you have written your rough draft, you may edit and revise it a little bit. Now your main idea is on paper and just needs to be edited, revised, and conceptually organized to be completed. Do not try to perfect it at this point.
  3. Finish revising and editing another day. The reason you do not bother to perfect it in step two because you’re probably going to tear it apart in this step.

Final tips, additional benefits, and conclusion

Flexibility bonus: This system will work regardless of how often you write blog posts and how many you write per day.

  • If you write five posts a day, start this process for all five posts. The next day you can finish the five posts and start five new posts that will be finished the following day. If you can’t afford the one day gap needed to get into this routine, do the first two steps and wait a few hours instead of a full day to finish the post(s).
  • If you write one post per week, try breaking up your writing time across two days instead of writing it all in one day.

The benefit? When I start writing a post, I have found it comforting that I don’t have to finish it that same day in the same session. My effectiveness in the following categories fluctuates every day to some extent: content ideas, writing style, humor, editing skill, organizing concepts, and one more than I cannot think of. If my writing style is great the first session and my sense of humor is at full capacity in the second session, I can combine these temporary strengths to make a better article.

Another benefit is that using this method is like having two opinions. Two minds can accomplish much more in tandem if they work together effectively and combine their best ideas. In the same way, two different mindsets are superior to one.

And there’s a third benefit: this is a less stressful way to write because it isn’t all-or-nothing like single writing sessions typically are. When you’re attempting to write a flawless guest post, you don’t have to get it perfect the first time. If you’re having writer’s block and forcefully write a terrible article, you can fix it later and salvage what is worth salvaging. You’ll have that second round of editing and revising to make it sharp.

This method, however, is not the only way you should write. I use this method frequently because of the many benefits mentioned, but there are still times when I complete posts fully in one writing session and they turn out just fine. One post I wrote on multi-tasking took me 15 hours over three sessions! It all depends on the material and length of the post.

Do you always write your articles in one sitting? If so, do you see the problem with that approach now?

Stephen Guise typed this guest post using the THREE day blogging method. He writes at Deep Existence, specializing in changing lives through the power of deep thinking. There was once a small goat that lived in a field. He began to eat grass fiercely. A pilot flying overhead looked down at the field and saw “Subscribe to Deep Existence or you’ll feel empty inside” carved out in the grass. The goat ate the grass because he hadn’t subscribed yet. The pilot was amazed.

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Comments

  1. Great write up. I think there are times you will want to finish a post in one session as you mentioned for reasons such as being behind post, you going away and want to schedule post to pop up while you are away..

    However, Jotting down ideas as they come is great, it works well for me…When I am lost in what to write, I give it a pause and come back to it later…

    • Every blogger should definitely jot down ideas. I have more than 100 in a word document. I need to transfer them to excel, but anyways…

      Thanks for the feedback, Chris!

      • Gregory C. says:

        I had to laugh at this because this is exactly what I do: it goes from a small notebook I carry around to an OpenOffice document where it sits until it is crossed off and deleted.

        Good to know it’s not that weird of a thing to do, ha!

    • Graham Lutz says:

      I tend to take my jotted down ideas and turn them into and outline before I do the furious writing -

    • Barbara Bell says:

      I agree with you! Many times while writing, I have to take a break, do something different, and then come back to the piece. It’s like a ‘reset’ button.

      • I like your term ‘reset button’. When I am tired and not productive already I stop and divert into something else. You will just get a headache if you keep on.

    • Hey Chris,

      I’ve had some of my best posts cranked out in no-time. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen, however.

      When you come back to it later, do you find that you get additional insight? This is the case for me, and sometimes, its leads to the one post becoming two or more posts…all with a lot more detail that would have otherwise appeared.

      @Stephen….great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing for the past year or two. I used to just hammer out a post in a single sitting and it would seem like a day or two after publishing it I’d find stuff in it I wanted to change, add, remove, etc. So, now I typically do the bulk of my writing for a post in the evening and if I’m scheduled to run that post the next day I just wait until morning before opening it back up and make my major edits or add/remove content after seeing it with fresh eyes. This tends to help me get more complete posts with fewer mistakes and revisions.

    • That’s a very good system Jeremy. I’ve often been surprised to see how many mistakes I find on the second viewing.

  3. Hugo Martins says:

    Hey Stephen,

    I usually use this exact method to write. When I am more time-free I tend to use more days than when I’m pressured by the need to write. I rarely write a post on one single session because I found my mind works much better if I write a bunch of ideas and then polish it several hours later. I can’t rarely write something worth reading on one take (of course if it is 300 words it will probably be easier than if it is 1000).

    I also found that if I spend a period of time like a week drawing and painting the post in my head and just scribbling topics on a notebook and then write the ideas come out in a much more fluent way and more organized making it easy to write more in less time.

    • Hey Hugo,

      Nice to see you here. You bring a great point up about taking more prep time prior to writing. I think I’m going to try doing that for my next post – more brainstorming and direction before writing. Thanks!

  4. This was a great article! I am just starting out as a blogger and this method whether it be two or three days is very helpful especially for a busy mother like myself. Dividing up my blogging sessions allows my thoughts to fully develop and gives my mind a rest.

    Also, the brain dump onto paper or pc is a technique I learned long ago. It’s a great way to alleviate mental clutter and I can re-organize my thoughts when I revisit the piece for editing.

    • Thank you! It truly is a helpful technique in a variety of situations. I have a post that has been sitting for a few days that I need to tend to soon – but it’s great to know that my main ideas are already there!

  5. Archan Mehta says:

    Stephen,

    Thank You.

    You are a lean, mean, hungry machine. Oh, and by the way, I also enjoy reading your blog.

    Don’t you just hate people who leave comments like, “Your post resonated with me. It really did?” So, I am going to avoid that here. Otherwise, your ram or billy-goat will knock me down–case closed for me.

    Jokes aside, my response to your guest post here would be–well, it depends.

    I have suffered all my life from frequent bouts of “writer’s block.” I sit down to write, but nothing happens: I feel like a loser. Then, all of a sudden, when I go out for a walk, inspiration strikes me like a bolt from the blue. A light bulb goes off inside my head– and I feel high as a kite– but without the aid of Charlie Sheen’s friendship. At this point, I have to sit down and immediately cater to my muse.

    Else, my muse shall leave me for another jerk/dork/nerd/fill in the blanks. This is the way it works for me.

    Sometimes, I re-visit my past and think: “I can’t believe I actually wrote that. That just cannot be me.
    That stuff is almost as bad as Nicholas Cage’s acting skills. I deserve so much better in life.” So, I use my conscious mind to help improve the craft of writing, but the art still eludes my grasp. Strange?

    Writers have to walk a fine line. It is a delicate balancing act between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The craft of writing is about method, grammar, and technical finesse. By contrast, the art of writing is about aesthetics, flashes of inspiration, grace, being pulled by an unknown force.

    As writers, it is our job to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff and find a solution. The solution tends to be incredibly subjective and a matter of personal choice. No two snowflakes are exactly the same. Similarly, what works for me may not work for you. There is a level of complexity here. Cheerio.

    • Well said Archan! That is why I felt the need to clarify that this method is not the only method writers should use. It is just another arrow in the writer’s quiver! For some it might not even work at all.

  6. Jim Rowe says:

    because i seem to write so slowly I seem to follow your idea of perfecting the writing the following day. All planned that way of course.

  7. Stefan says:

    Interesting. I also like to jot ideas down, I have a mass of ‘Drafts’, some of which 5-20 lines each just so I can get the idea down and come back to it later.

    • That’s smart. I used to write down 3-4 word phrases that represent ideas. But I had to discard many of them later because I had no idea what they meant! Now I try to be more descriptive. :-)

  8. Yes, this method does work. My observation is that it’s the sleep process, or a process of relaxation like walking the dog that does the trick. You’re not actively or directly thinking about what has been written, instead the brain does its own reorganising. It’s usually worth the wait!

    • That’s true. Sleeping is magical. I wrote a blog post about it called “The Currency of Life – 28,726 days” that mentioned how sleep shapes our lives by its “reset” qualities.

  9. It’s a very good point, Stephen! Sometimes I wait a few days until I get back to the initial draft, and there’s always something to add, remove or rephrase. This is especially true for large posts where I cover the subject from different angles.

    I also find it useful to read my text aloud before clicking the Publish button.That way I always catch one or two stylistic errors.

  10. Tom says:

    I think this is a good idea. I’ve changed my writing lately and write my post a day or two before going public. This gives me time to check for errors or add additional content I think of. Some posts I decide the post isn’t even worth posting so it works eve better.

    • Not posting a poor quality post is important. That is a key benefit with this method, because when you’re writing in the moment, you’re typically “in agreement with yourself” if you know what I mean.

  11. Vladimir says:

    Very good article :)
    Thanks for your helpful recommendation.

  12. AstroGremlin says:

    Invaluable advice. The two (or more) mental states, and two opinions are sources of writing quality. So are the “two hats”: writer and editor. The writer is the font of raw ideas, the creative impulse, and the Maker. The editor is the voice of reason, the critic, and the Fixer. Yes, the two sensibilities can be tapped in one sitting, and good writing is good editing. But the truly critical eye of the editor is best applied after the flow of the writer’s thoughts has been tapped in raw form. The Maker is more conversational and wordy, adding asides and stray thoughts that may distract, or may need expansion into full paragraphs. The Fixer tends to create a tighter, more compact narrative, using fewer words. A tension sometimes arises from the tighter version’s potential loss of the spontaneity of the first flush of ideas in prolix style.

    These two roles can fail to see eye-to-eye when they are different people. But even when played by the same person. the Maker tends to be protective of the Golden Word from the Fixer. Often well to keep these two a day apart.

    • Astro,

      Thank you, that was an invaluable comment! It is a perfect addendum to the article, really. I like how you called the two mindsets “the maker” and “the fixer.” Great insights.

  13. Hey Stephen,
    I am always experimenting with new ways to write blog posts including the ones that you mentioned.

    For me the best way is to research and write it very roughly. Then I edit it and save it. The next day I will add or remove anything that doesn’t make sense or work in my post.

    Many times I have written a post and published it right away only to have a ton of new insights that I could add to my post.

    It’s best to leave a little “lag” time before publishing it.

    • Hello Justin – it looks like the two day blogging method works well for you too. It has been my go-to method for writing posts. Thanks for your comment.

  14. Nishant Soni says:

    Well, Thats exactly what I’ve been doing for my blog posts.
    Its good to draft the posts and revise it on the next day because in those 24 hours you mind will innovate a lot more new things and you’d have a lot more creative ideas to make your write-ups better and stronger.

  15. I’ve always used this method, and I can attest to it’s awesome power!

    I’ll start an article without intending to perfect it in one sitting. This frees me from trying to get it right, and I instead focus on getting it done. I then keep going back to it until I’m happy with it. I tend to have about 12-15 posts in various states of completion, which really makes sitting down and writing/editing easy. No matter where I am at the moment, I can probably find something to write.

    • I’ve been surprised at how many people already use this method. For those that don’t, it is an “ah-ha!” moment. Having 12-15 posts to revise and edit is very smart because you can choose the one you’re most inspired about at the time.

  16. Stephen B. says:

    Great advice. I’ve experienced the “Oh no” feeling after reading a post that goes live. It seems to read differently in the WordPress editor than when its published on the blog!

    One of my teachers in grade school told us to let our writing “get cold”. Let the words sit for a day or so and come back with fresh eyes. I use this technique when wanting to send an e-mail when I’m angry. It’s best to save as a draft and often times I just delete what I wrote.

    • Well, you do know about the preview button, right? I always preview my posts (several times) before hitting publish. I need to follow suit and do this with angry emails or comments – I almost always wish I would have reworded them later on.

  17. Stephen,

    Sometimes a great post is like a nice Bolognese spaghetti sauce – it’s so much better the next day!

    I also will write a post and come back to it and find new ways of making it better.

    Now that I’m a video blogger things are a bit different, but I still have to write content to introduce the guests I interview on my online business show and in some cases, I’ve written the show-notes in two sittings and the second time around is quite often way better.

    Thanks for sharing your writing-secret!

    Krizia
    Women Entrepreneurs HQ Show

    • Krizia,

      Even as a pasta connoisseur, I’m not sure I’ve ever had that sauce. Yes, I’m sure things are very different with video blogging. The second time is almost always better because I’ve found that I know quality when I see it (in which case I’d leave it alone). Creating it is more difficult, which is why 2 tries is nice. :-)

  18. Brian Worley says:

    You have put in to words the reason why some of my old draft posts take a real beating when I get round to publishing them. In some cases I draft an article or review sometime when I first get a new product, though it’s definitely missing the conclusion based on use. Later having used the product I have a second view on the product I finish the draft and publish. These kind of articles always read better than others written quickly in order to get a post out.

    One catergory of posts this doesn’t suit is time sensitive news posts. Though if you can get a second writer / blogger to review and edit the final peice it is often as good.

  19. Renée MBM says:

    I find this approach to be far more efficient – definitely a superior method! Similar to what Astrogremlin mentioned about, switching back-and-forth between Writer and Editor roles just doesn’t get the job done as tidily and results in confused content – draft pieces mix up with formatting and “final product” sections, which often results in exceeding any word limits you might have for your blog posts – or essays at university, back in the day! It was definitely a problem for me back then. “Fresh eyes” the next day can fix up a mish-mash of draft notes and pieces much more efficiently and effectively… I was studying writing at university, too. They kept telling us things like this: write THEN revise LATER, but did we listen? Well, eventually. :)

  20. Sarah says:

    Wow…so there are more people like me!!
    I’ve been using this two/three day approach to my blog posts for as long as I can remember. For topics that really excite me – I find it difficult not to press Publish immediately! If I manage to persuade myself not to do that, the next day I polish it up and publish. I always thought I was weird and I’ve been trying to make myself fit into a one-sitting posting method. Thanks to your post – I’m going to stop trying to change and stick to my existing rhythm.
    Thanks again for this valuable post!

    • You are not alone Sarah! You can see that there are several others in the comments who say they do this too. I have noticed that intense passion can substitute for the two day method. There was a recent post I wrote called “Your life is stagnant – get shock treatment” that I wrote in one session pretty quickly (which is 2-3 hours for me). I think I had so much passion in the moment that it turned out well. I found it interesting, but not surprising, that passion affected the quality on the first run through.

  21. I really need to start doing this more. Too often I find myself hurried, through no fault but my own, and hitting the “publish” button with a tinge of anxiety and a hint of regret. It’s when I read the post a couple of days later that I really wish I had looked it over one more time before sending it into the Interwebs.

    Thanks for the advice.

  22. Ann says:

    I find afternoon blogs are better than morning ones!!!

  23. Kathy says:

    I can’t imagine writing this way. I’m a humor writer and I usually write on the fly when some funny idea strikes me. It’s the reason I can’t “write ahead.” When things happen that warrant a post, down it goes. If nothing does, I skip that day. I wish I could “bank” posts for the future, but I’ve never been able to do that. *sigh*

    • I understand. Humor is so timing-based and in the moment that it makes sense to write it as it comes. Maybe you could expand your repertoire to include humor that is not just based on events? Brainstorming about funny aspects of the world? Just an idea.

  24. alls says:

    i think with often writing make your style and need study hard to be good

  25. Great tips, thanks a lot.

  26. As always…. great advice! :)

  27. patrick says:

    I know the feeling. It’s easy to write a post and really admire it in the beginning, but after taking some time off and going back to it you realize it needs a lot of editing. The two day approach has definitely helped me a lot.

    I also like the part about writing as much as you can down. It’s easy to be afraid of writing a bad post, but if you write down everything, give yourself a break and edit it down to the essentials you realize it isn’t nearly as daunting as it seems.

    • I agree Patrick. I can’t believe some of the first drafts I’ve made – but I can usually make them into something good or even great. Also agree about the bad posts not being a bother anymore.

  28. Hiya Stephen,

    This is great advice. I almost always wait a day before posting. If I look at a piece with fresh eyes, I see more typos, mistakes and anything that’s not entirely clear.

    I always have something to write with – ideas can come at any time. But something I’ve noticed, that you so eloquently highlighted in your post, is if I only write down the main idea, I often can’t get excited about it again later. In that moment when the idea hits, it’s crystal clear and I feel such a rush. But if I take just a few minutes to put down the main bullet points or write a few sentences that state the main purpose of the post, I have a much easier time getting back into it later when I’m at my computer. My friends have gotten used to me stopping a conversation at a café, to furiously scribble in my notebook. :) It totally works, though!

    Hugs,
    Melody

    • Thanks for the hug, Melody. Hugs are great. :-)

      Writing with passion makes a tremendous difference. I’ve found it helps with quality in almost every aspect. It’s surprising, actually. I think when you’re passionate about your writing, you naturally try harder to make it sound great.

  29. Thanks for this. I learned to walk away from my work and revise it with fresh eyes in College. However, I have forgotten a lot of what I learned in College, so this was a great reminder. ;-)

    Thanks.

  30. I think Hemingway said it best:

    “Write Drunk, Edit Sober”

    You don’t really need to get your “booze” on to write a good piece, but taking the time to disconnect yourself from the “biased” creative flow and edit in a different mindset is both important and essential for consistent quality.

    Great point!

    Thanks

    • Hey Steve. I love that quote from Hemingway! I want to try having a beer or two before writing to see if it affects anything. By the way, I was just browsing your site a couple days ago. It was very interesting! I forgot how I ended up there, haha.

  31. barbara says:

    I like to start with stream of consciousness and get the idea or concept down. Then go back to re-read and edit. I do find it’s often better to give it a day to percolate before pulling the trigger to publish. Good post with good info. Thanks!

  32. dollimama says:

    I do this. You can tell which posts I wrote over two days and which ones I wrote and posted same day. It makes a difference.

    The other thing I do is write in the morning and edit at night. Or during nap time. It really makes a difference if you write and edit at different times.

  33. Probably should be ashamed to say this: but I actually have a black book in which I first jot down all my thoughts. On a regular base I’d flip through it before writing a post. I’m a ‘slow-writer’; so I generally use the method you describe: I’d first write a (shitty-shitty) draft with the help of my notes and then edit and rewrite the final post the next day. And… I always go to bed with a pen & pad. :-)

    It took me a while to admit to myself that this is the way I write best; now I’m comfortable with it.

    So dear Stephen, I completely relate to your post. :-)

  34. I guess I must be the only one who sees this as a system to guarantee mediocre writing. Fast writing yes, but mediocre writing will be the result in most cases. Jotting down ideas and waiting a day to edit is fine in concept and for spitting out articles that will mean little to its readers, but not a system of writing well.

    Good writing takes work. And yes, more work than what is suggested here. Someone mentioned Hemingway’s, “Write Drunk, Edit Sober.” Great line, but Hemingway took time to write stories, learned the craft of writing and spent years as a journalist honing his skills as a writer.

    Even writers who have to churn out articles — like sports writers– have proof readers, editors and do not get assignments without a proven track record (Hemingway had this as well). Still, articles get published with errors and bad sentences all the time.

    As an editor, I receive tons of submissions that employ a fast writing technique in order to get it down on paper. Sadly, without multiple drafts the story stays predictable and one dimensional. Good writing takes time to formulate its ideas and, in general, takes more than a couple of days to produce.

    The real problem is that to be relevant in eyes of Google and the blogosphere, a lone blogger has to churn out more stories to be competitive in the larger Internet world, or resort to offering lots of guest blogger opportunities.

    As a writer, the stories I write are only as good as the effort I put into them. If I were to write five articles a day, then wait a day to edit and then publish, I would have to be insane to think anyone of those articles would be of value to my readers.

    • You completely misunderstood the article. How did you draw those conclusions? It’s ironic, really. My average blog post takes me about 4-5 hours to complete. At the end of this article I mentioned a post that took me three sessions and 15 hours of work. Is that not enough for a blog post?

      Many bloggers write their articles in one session – and that is who I was writing to. How you drew the exact opposite conclusion of what I was suggesting is a mystery to me.

      “Good writing takes time to formulate its ideas and, in general, takes more than a couple of days to produce.”

      I saw an article on your blog that was about 300 words. How many days did that take you to finish?

      • I did not misunderstand your article. Your two-step (plus an optional third step) method to “superior” writing informs people that waiting one more day before publishing an article is the right way to go. I am saying it is a step in the right direction, but for most writers it is not enough. Most writers produce their best writing over time: multiple drafts over a period of days or weeks. Many books take years.

        Superior magazine articles take time to write. So do superior blog posts. I say this from experience as a professional writer, editor and teacher and have first hand experience reading other writers’ work on a daily basis.

        I did write a 300 word blog, which probably took 4-5 hours. I did so, in order to keep adding content for the reason I described in my initial response, which has to do more with Google than producing the best work I could. It is a mistake in the long term and my communication suffered for it.

        I understand that my response would be unpopular. That’s okay. I am writing to the same people you are and I am saying, more effort will make your blog more valuable to its reader and give readers more reason to return to your blog in the future. I am not suggesting that waiting a day before posting is not a good idea, but it is not a solution and will likely only create mediocre writing, versus bad, one-session writing.

        • Hey Devin,
          Thanks for clarifying. I can tell that you are a capable writer and I respect that. I agree with you that superior writing takes times (and multiple drafts).

          Where I’m drawing a blank is how you inferred that I suggested that readers not spend quality time and put great effort into their writing. In fact, I said nothing about how long it should take to write the first/second/third sessions (or that it should be limited to three). I think you’re assuming too much.

          If I wanted to include time spent on posts and the quality of posts, the article would probably be twice as long. This post talks about multiple sessions of writing to take advantage of the way our minds work. Anything else that you inferred was not my intent.

          • Hey Stephen,

            My understanding of the article comes from only what was written in the article. As an example:

            “If you write five posts a day, start this process for all five posts. The next day you can finish the five posts and start five new posts that will be finished the following day. If you can’t afford the one day gap needed to get into this routine, do the first two steps and wait a few hours instead of a full day to finish the post(s).
            If you write one post per week, try breaking up your writing time across two days instead of writing it all in one day.”

            The instructions are to be writing a story over a two-session, two-day effort. You’re right, the article does not tell someone to write fast or without insight or passion, but it does tell him or her to do it in two days, even if the article does not tell them to “only” do it in two days. This is what I came away with and what I was commenting on.

            The reason why I responded is because I see so many good ideas coming from bloggers that had been rushed to publication and that the point of the article got muddled or lost. Brilliant ideas that ended up being half-baked because the brilliant images in the writer’s head often did not translate onto the page for the reader.

            Whether we agree or not, thank you for being willing to chat with me.

          • Devin,

            This article was written for those who write articles in one session. To my knowledge, a very large % of bloggers write and publish posts in one sitting. I would never encourage people like you who write several rough drafts to “downgrade” to just two sessions.

            In the examples you gave, one was a once-a-week blogger and the other was a five-a-day blogger. Both of these examples were single session writers, so I suggested they split that into two sessions. It might not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction that can improve the quality of their writing.

            I greatly appreciate your respectful manner of discussing this with me. Also, I just started writing an e-book and you have challenged and encouraged me to revise it several times to make sure the content and style are excellent. Thank you for that and your thoughts!

  35. I work in a similar way too. I usually draft a post, just write everything I have to say on the topic. I don’t bother about making it to read nicely and so on, this is all about ideas. I often even don’t write the ending part, I leave it open. The next day I revise the post and complete the ending. It usually works perfect for me.
    Great post.

  36. Stink, this article is getting some traction. Too bad they wouldn’t put it on Copyblogger. I like the article, an I always take at least 24 hours before hitting publish.

  37. Daniel says:

    Good Post, Steve.

    I think it would depend on the individual.
    Within Screenwriting, people would use an incredible array of methods.
    In some cases(at one end of the spectrum) it was suggested to just jot down what ever comes to mind.
    Even though what ends up on the page may have been incomprehensible to the outside eye(Others), their would be a chain linking the ideas together.
    At the other end of the spectrum, it was advised to do a ton of research, then to write a very stringent in depth outline.

  38. Probably should be ashamed to say this: but I actually have a black book in which I first jot down all my thoughts. On a regular base I’d flip through it before writing a post. I’m a ‘slow-writer’; so I generally use the method you describe: I’d first write a (shitty-shitty) draft with the help of my notes and then edit and rewrite the ‘final’ post the next day. And… I always go to bed with a pen & pad. :-)

    When the post is published, I go back to it and edit it again, and again, and again. Bad habit, I know. I still edit posts I wrote at the start of my blog.

    It took me a while to admit to myself that this is the way I write best; now I’m comfortable with it.

    So dear Stephen, I completely relate to your post. :-)

  39. I am so glad you said it takes you a few days to write articles, I write this way because I get too blocked and can’t seem to write anything good on the first try. Spreading the process out takes the pressure off and as you said, coming back at it with a fresh new mindset works wonders!

  40. I literally have sticky note pads full of notes, other ideas on my I pad as well. I am very new to writing blogs and I find I come up with different ideas at the weirdest times and place. Now I don’t feel like the oddball my wife says I am. Thanks for the post

  41. John Zhang says:

    Definitely Stephen just shared a great trick to produce posts. The style is the man. hah. I was that kind who produce one or two posts a week. Will take a try of the method. Thank you.

  42. darkduck says:

    I am kind of disagree with author of the post.
    I tried both tactics:
    1) draft-edit-post same day
    2) draft-sleep-edit-post
    I have better posts and more visits for posts which are written in first manner.
    But second also has its benefits as it “officially” allows you to leave something for tomorrow. ;)

  43. Glynis Jolly says:

    I guess it matters on When you grew up and Where you grew up. In all of my writing classes from elementary school on forward, rule of thumb has always been to write the rough draft, let it sit overnight, and revise the next morning. You’d be surprised at what you find in your piece the morning after.

  44. Great post Stephen.

    I’ve been using the same technique for some time and have found it does allow me to refine my posts before hitting publish.

    In fact, I had to chuckle when I read your introduction – as I can totally relate. When I’m in the first step of the process – I just let my thoughts flow without worrying about aiming for perfection. I know that I am going to come back later and get rid of any of those ‘what-the-heck-were-you-thinking- when-you-wrote-that’ sentence.

    By doing that I am able to at least get the bulk of the content out without hitting delete every few minutes and then giving up because the thoughts are just not flowing. For me, editing and refining a paragraph is often easier than creating something from scratch.

    Thanks again, great article!

  45. Mode says:

    Awesome information. Reading your posts after about 1 year can tell you about your writing performance.

  46. Rene Power says:

    Top post. I’m writing 5-7 posts a week on marketing, business and social media. Always trying to find the time and right way to bank as much content in advance as possible. This approach feels like a winner so far!

  47. Kaila West says:

    That’s really interesting. Though, at times I am very excited about a topic and write a draft, but the next day I am apathetic towards it. Personally, I think it is good practice to split the blogging process into 2 days when you’re struggling, but it might not be the best practice for all blog posts.