You should be writing fast. Faster.
All good writing is done fast. If you don’t know what to write, keep writing anyway. If words won’t come out, just put in ”blah blah blah” until something comes out. When you realize how fucking stupid it is to write blah blah over and over, you’ll come up with something. Don’t filter yourself, just write. Dump your brain on paper. Clean it up later.
Here is a really good way to write fast. Once you have an initial topic, a spark, an idea you’d like to express… don’t write it out completely; not yet.
Instead what you do is, you start collecting notes. Create mindmaps, write down thoughts on index cards, business cards, scraps of paper, napkins, whatever.
The more you activate and stimulate your brain about this particular topic, the more ideas will come. You’ll read an article on a blog or in a magazine and you’ll make a new connection, and there’s another idea.
After a few days of this, your head will be practically bursting at the seams trying to get this idea out.
Pressure and release. You know how that works?
Now, it’s not hard to write fast. You’ll hardly be able to keep up with your thoughts. You’ll be able to write until you feel like your arms and fingers are about to fall off and you’ll be forced to take a break… only to go back to writing 10 minutes later because you’re not done yet.
All of my best stuff have been written in this way.
I just got this tip today, the note-collecting thing. I have never done this consciously. But I realized that all my best writing have been done by a gradual accumulation of ideas that build up pressure over time, sometimes months or even years. Until the dam breaks, and it all comes pouring out.
The cool thing about writing in this state is that the end result usually needs very little editing, because when you write fast you enter into a flow state. Flow state is a state of near-perfect decision making.
I can’t remember where I heard this, but there is a guy who records a lot of videos who does something very clever. Every time he gets an idea, he writes it down on an index card. And when he has a few ideas which are related to each other, he will wrap a rubber band around them, and throw them in a bucket. Once his bucket is full, he’ll start recording. He doesn’t need scripts and he doesn’t need to prepare for the videos. All he needs to do is pick up a stack of cards, look through the cards and start shooting.
You could apply this equally to writing or whatever else creative you do.
And, don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have a lot of ideas. Action precedes creativity.
That means once you start writing down ideas, you’ll send a message to your brain to start coming up with more ideas. Get in the habit of writing down 10 ideas every morning. It’s not that hard. After a while your ideas will start to get good. If you don’t know what to write ideas about, start with ”10 ideas for things I could write ideas about.” Problem solved.
I learnt early in my copywriting training that there is no such thing as writers block, only insufficient research. This is really another way to think about that.
When you have enough stuff to work from, write it out, and write it fast.