Why is it so hard to write?
When I sit down to write something for publication even internally at work where the audience is small, there is something in me trying to perfect the output as it is written. That is me in editor-mode causing friction for me in creator-mode. However, I have found that one can overcome this friction in at least a couple ways.
Technique 1: Lock the Editor Away
Type and type and type anything that comes to mind. I like to use bullets per sentence or thought-fragment to make it easier to manipulate later. When you are done, you can just consolidate all the bullets into a paragraph. That’s how I wrote this article.
Once you have completed your first draft, you can free the editor and give it a few passes. However, don’t let the editor take too many passes as the work before you get feedback from whoever the target audience is lest you over-edit!
Technique 2: The Organic Capture Method
Simply explain the topic to someone over email or chat… you did it, thats a publishable or at least first-draft worthy pile of brilliant content!
I prefer this one as it often yields the best content. Strange, for me at least, how much friction I experience in writing when I forget to lock the editor away for my first draft. And yet, I can type for hours arguing with people on facebook or in dialogue on whatever special interest forum I am using.
It never fails to impress me. I have noticed, in brain storming sessions at work for example, when people get into a state of flow in dialogue they can effortlessly craft absolutely brilliant, concise, accessible language to convey their thoughts on the spot. No way they could have done this if told to sit down alone and draft this insight, at least not as easily.
This is the Organic Capture Method. Wait for someone to strike absolute gold in their organic flow of dialogue and capture the text of the insight verbatim. Often if you miss this capture by even 1 minute, the brilliant articulation is lost forever. Or at least is often not recoverable to the degree of brilliance at the time it was first uttered. I frequently offer to “interview” people when documentation needs written and simply capturing their off-the-cuff explanation to me always yields an excellent document.