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The Productivity Strategy for Writing I Guarantee You WON’T Try

The Productivity Strategy for Writing I Guarantee You WON’T Try


    With a bold headline like that, you might think it would be easy to “cop out” and give you a ridiculous strategy that would be stupid to try. Instead, I’m going to give you a strategy will do three things to your writing:

    1. It will make it part of the top 1% of the best writing online
    2. It will make people sit up and listen to you
    3. It will generate more action than any other writing you’ve done

    What’s this fancy new secret, you ask? 

    Here it is: write everything at least three times.

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    I can almost hear the groaning and complaining. You thought I was going to hand you a “magic bullet” of blogging and productivity strategy; one that will immediately–and without an once of real work–shoot your efforts to the moon.

    You might wonder how super-producers like Danny Iny can craft such compelling, thorough content, literally churning it out at inhuman speeds. Chances are he’s gotten to that point by practicing: literally writing, rewriting, and rewriting some more.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic bullet. However, this strategy does need to be examined just a bit more.

    First, let me give you the “three-step” process I’m talking about:

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    1. Write. As in “free-writing.” Unhindered, brainstorming-like, free-flowing thought. No editing allowed.
    2. Write again. This time around, work on taking out words like “very,” “really,” and many instances of the words “that” and “so.” Chop 10% off of the total word count.
    3. Write one more time. Think your work’s ready to be sent out the door? Think again. I rewrote my first novel about four times, and that was easy–it was all made-up. If you’re writing a blog post, article, or anything worthy of anyone else’s eyes, give them the benefit of your best work.

    You may not like the idea of writing everything thrice (I knew I’d use the word thrice some day in a blog post!), but let me assure you:

    Your writing will improve drastically, and quickly. 

    And that is the secret of this technique: While the initial process is time-intensive, counter-productive, and sometimes downright hard, you’ll notice that the more you implement these steps, the quicker your writing will improve.

    Eventually, you won’t need to follow the formula every time. The words will flow, your thoughts will magically orient themselves into an organized stream of outline-worthy notes, and the overall feel of your style and clarity will shine through.

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    Until then, though, give us all the benefit of working through your copy at least three times before you publish it!

    One final strategy.

    Lastly, if it’s really bothering you to chop up your content that many times, “trick” yourself into it by using this writing/productivity method:

    • Write first in a minimalistic editor, like OmmWriter, or Byword.
    • Then, copy/paste the text into a second editor–something like Evernote–that lets you add in links and additional notes.
    • Finally, paste the content into a “real” text editor, like Microsoft Word or Pages, for final editing/publishing.

    I know most of you won’t try this–that’s why I wrote a headline like that. Many people will continue pushing “Submit” on half-finished content, eventually burning out from a lack of an audience. But to me, that’s good news.

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    The fewer people there are truly striving for the best writing they can produce, the less competition there is for guys like me!

    (Photo credit: Fountain Pen and Notebook via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 10, 2019

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

    Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

    But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

    Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

    But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

    Journal writing.

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    Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

    Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

    Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

    1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

    By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

    Consider this:

    Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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    But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

    The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

    2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

    If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

    How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

    Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

    You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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    3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

    As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

    Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

    All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

    4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

    Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

    Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

    The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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    5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

    The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

    It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

    Kickstart Journaling

    How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

    Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

    Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

    Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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