How I Write Eleven Blog Posts a Week-Part Two

How I Write Eleven Blog Posts a Week-Part Two

Read Part One of this post here.

Use an Editorial Calendar

Knowing what you are going to write and when you are going to write makes it easy to get started. Every Sunday, I sit down with Evernote and I write out a weekly editorial calendar.

I start with a working title for the blog post. Sometimes this is easier than others. Sometimes I have to write the complete idea before I can title the post, other times my original idea is just the title of the post. On the editorial calendar, I just use something as a title.

I usually add three points or three of four questions that I want the post to answer to my editorial calendar. I add these points or questions to the editorial calendar in parentheses. It is amazing how well your mind works when you give it a question to answer; sometimes a post almost writes itself.

When I sit down to write, I look at the editorial calendar, type the title of the post and the three questions or bullet points down the page, and I write.

But the editorial calendar isn’t the most important factor in being productive as a writer.

Write Before the World Makes Demands of You

I wake up every morning at 5:00 AM.

I have spoken to a bunch of authors, and I have read a lot about writing and the creative process. Almost to a person, authors write very early in the morning. I have asked them why they write so early, some rising as early as 3:00 AM to write, and few of them have been able to tell me anything more than it is just easier. I think I know the answer.

No one wants your time or attention at 5:00 AM. No one.

It is easier to write when you don’t have all of the distractions that will most certainly demand your attention as the day begins. But maybe the most important factor is that when you wake up your brain is clean. Your mind isn’t bogged down and cluttered with the millions of things it is normally cluttered with once the world starts making demands of you.

My coffee pot starts at 5:15 AM, so when my alarm goes off, I can walk straight to the kitchen grab a giant cup of coffee, and head to the office to write. I write from about 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM.

My friend, Charlie Green, recently introduced me to Ommwriter. I used to write in Microsoft Word, but Ommwriter darkens your screen, eliminating everything but a space to write. It also plays some sort of meditative music through my headphones. It eliminates anything that would distract you from simply writing, and that makes it the killer app for getting down to business.

Edit Later

I watch just one hour of television a week, so I have time to edit during the evenings.

I didn’t use to separate the writing and editing process. Because I didn’t, I feel like my writing suffered. I like to write, then put the writing down and come back to it later to edit it. Something that looked and sounded right to me in the morning sometimes doesn’t make any sense at all later in the day.

Writing and editing are two very different processes. Writing is creative and I have the best luck when I don’t interrupt that process; when I am writing, I write.

Editing is a judgmental process, not a creative process. When I edit later, I don’t have to be in the same creative space, and I can just read the post aloud to determine what I need to rewrite or edit. My sentences are still too long and complex, and I am still too wordy. But I think my work is better when I edit after I have given the post time to sit. I still use Microsoft Word to edit my posts.

Questions

How much easier is it to write if you have an outline or a sketch?

Do you write and edit at the same time, or do you separate the processes? Do find that editing interrupts the creative process?

What is the best time to concentrate and focus on your creative work?


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Comments

comments

  • http://www.inclinedesign.info CASUDI

    Most often I write in my head first…. well sometimes I have the “working title” and a few major points I want to make……on paper, in an email to myself or a word doc……. as guidelines. Writing in my head happens anytime; working in the garden, cooking, contemplating the boats going up/down the channel or petting the cat. I seem to remember what’s in my head and get it onto my computer, early in the day, often in that 5am time frame. Once I have it on my computer I cant remember it any more… then I leave it all until later and return in edit mode.

    Since I often edit others, I put myself in the same critical frame of mind, constructive critical that is, as I do for others. I liked how you said you separate the creative from the edit, I guess I do the same.

    The final title usually comes after the completion, and I’ve noticed my first paragraph almost never stays the first….. my goal for my prime time blog is one article a month, yes most people call my posts articles :-)

    Your post here really works for those like me, and also those who want to do a post-a-day or more. Good stuff.

    @CASUDI

  • http://twitter.com/LauraJilke Laura Jilke

    My favorite editing tip: After taking a break from writing, read the entire document out loud.

    • Anonymous

      So painful, and so important.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    When you edit, you mention you edit in Word, not in the WordPress text editor. Are you able to cut and paste the full post, including links, from Word to WordPress?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Brett,

      I don’t add the links until after I have written the post. But Word does in fact carry the links over.

      A

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  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    This is BRILLIANT, Anthony. You may have given me the blog posting procedure that I’ve been looking for. I am an early morning writer, but I struggle to get posts done on many days due to distractions or editing constraints. It’s so true that writing and editing are two different mindsets. I’m going to try this next week and see if it works better.

    1. On Saturday or Sunday, outline my posts for the week using an outliner in Word. Write at least one full post ahead of time.
    2. During the week. Get up at 4 am (my regular time), open the outline, and write the basic post using Omniwriter. Get the basics of the post done and post a draft to my blog.
    3. At lunch or in the evening, pull the draft down to Live Writer, edit the post, add pictures and links, and publish the post to go live at 4am eastern the next day.

    I’ll let you know how this works…

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Jon. It works for me! 

      I think you will benefit tremendously from separating the writing and the editing. Your work improves, and you can get the writing done before the demands of the world begin to distract you. 

      Let me know how you do!

      A

  • Amy Miyamoto

    Anthony I really appreciate your emphasis of the point that writing and editing are two very different and distinct processes and by physically separating the two you can eliminate much of the push-pull that is created when trying to edit as you go… ;)

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