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
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.