Mixing In Short Reads To Make Up For Writing Gaps.
Meeting the story a day 30-day challenge.
Since starting on Medium, I’ve felt that quality beats quantity. I also believe that every time you let a day go by without publishing a story, you disappear further away from whatever algorithms help you reach more readers.
“The most powerful people in the world today are the people who are writing the algorithms for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram because they’re controlling the spread of information. They’re programming the culture.” — Naval Ravikant.
I’ve definitely noticed I’m not getting curated (distributed) as often as I was when I wrote more regularly. There was also a significant pay drop, earning a quarter of my August payout in September. So, I’ve decided to do short-reads, mostly about writing, between the stories that take me too long to write.
I’m determined this is the first story of 30 in the story a day 30-day challenge. In the last month, I’ve had two huge gaps between stories, the first gap was around a week, and the latest gap was over yesterday when I finally published after 13 days!
First, I want to look at what’s been slowing me down, other than the usual time issue. Whenever I get the time, how can I best utilise it to meet the challenge?
I get the most read time from stories about narcissism which means there can be research to ensure the information is up-to-date and show that I use reputable sources.
I also enjoy writing about the latest studies on mental health, particularly personality disorders; again, this requires more research. One thing I can do to speed up the research process is to stop drifting off-topic.
I always have a general layout of what information I want per paragraph, so a guideline and strictly sticking to that guideline would keep me from spending half an hour or more reading unnecessary, though interesting, information.
Develop faster research and write techniques.
With small children, it’s a challenge to write a sentence without interruptions, no matter how many fun projects you’ve laid out for them. The other constant interruption is my tendency to procrastinate for food, coffee breaks, extended coffee breaks, additional paperwork, and any number of jobs around the house and yard.
One interruption can lead to another, and before I know it, times up, and I’ve got to either collect, drop-off, or feed the tribe. The dream of uninterrupted, free writing time is a rare treat, and by the time I get it, I’m too tired to keep going. The best option for this problem is learning to write in short increments and keeping to a clear structure so that when I return to write, I’m not scrambling to get back on track.
Learn how to work in short increments.
3. Switching stories.
One thing that can hold me back is another story creeping into my mind and letting it take over. Switching stories can be helpful if I’ve found a better angle on a half-written story, but it can also take me off track, adding more research and time, then I lose momentum on the original story.
Similar to the research problem, I add new sources, which can take me on other paths, and the days end with a tonne of reading — no writing!
Recognise when switching works and when it doesn’t.
Stay on task is the main message I must remind myself every day! If going off task can lead to a better story, I’ll veer off course long enough to see if it’s worth the time, so long as I don’t end up hitting a roundabout and getting stuck there.
Best of luck to other writers trying to kick any bad writing habits.
Here are some stories about writing you might enjoy and find useful:
21 Signs You’ll Become a Writer That Makes 6-Figures
This is what the writers I’ve met for the last 7 years have done to earn 6-figures. You can too (when applied).
100 Day Challenge For New Writers
How to grow and become a top writer on Medium in three months
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