These are methods to help you produce more written content despite your busy lifestyle.
A month ago I wrote an article about my struggle to find time to write and how I had to live with this frustration, as I had to maintain a busy full-time job while parenting three young kids.
Lately this situation has got me thinking of how can I produce writing when time is not an available resource, and what is the basic formula or hack to get writing out when I can’t change the fixed conditions of my family and work commitments? Recognizing a problem is the first step, then how do we go about solving this particular issue?
Typically, solving problems is a common prerequisite for my day job as an engineer. So when I realized I have insufficient time to write new content on my blog and on Medium, it made me think of ways of how I can push out more writing while still maintaining my busy schedule. The basic steps are detailed below, broken into four parts for easier reading.
Make no mistake, time is a resource for many of us especially working adults with children. We have limited time and basically, by working we are trading our time for money.
These steps are not complicated nor anything revolutionary, but it is simple and workable, given if you have an interest in writing.
But the fundamental answer is this.
Write fast while maintaining the integrity of a good written story or article.
It’s a simple math equation, if you only have X time in a day to write, but you want to push out Y number of stories in a week, you have to be able to write fast.
Below are some tips I have picked up and learned over the course of my writing journey after 6 months in.
1. Capture Your Inspiration
Catch those potential story ideas that come to you throughout the day. This is key, as every good story starts with an idea, and some people may even have sessions to brainstorm out topics for writing.
In my case, my ideas for writing come randomly to me, while I shower, when I’m doing a house chore, during breaks at work and when reading the news. Its thoughts that flash through my mind during these times, how I feel towards certain topics, be it anger, amusement, humor, disdain, empathy, which lead to ideas.
How I catch these thoughts is I would try to retain the memory of the idea and write it out in my phone’s Google KeepNotes app, which I can access later on in the day. Its scribbles, thoughts, emotions, and it’s fast. Some ideas are forgotten if I happen to be in a midst of a busy workday, but mostly this step can be done in between tasks so I do manage to capture it down quickly and resume my work. Other times if ideas pop out at night while cleaning I do quickly write them down on my app before I sleep. Basically, do what works for you.
2. Choose Topics Wisely
One thing to note is that I find stories that are written out of your interest will get written faster versus randomly thinking of a title that may be appealing to others but one that you have no personal interest or background in.
One of the fastest articles I have written on Medium was one written earlier this month as a rant for waiting too long for an answer by editors of publications on Medium for my acceptance into their publications. It was written over 10-15 minutes during my lunch break on a Friday, and it was a simple but to the point type of post. That took less effort on my part but paid off in a revenue of a measely USD0.78 to date. Not too bad considering the minimal effort.
Write what you are passionate about, what you have an honest opinion on and it will flow out naturally.
3. Write Out Your Drafts In Chunks
I simply do not have the time on some days, and nights, to sit down and write out a piece from start to finish in one seating. Unless it is a short-form story, but even short-forms require editing to try to reduce the word count in my case.
So I tend to write out my stories in chunks throughout a few days, I write the introduction paragraphs, then list out the main content in point form in a draft on my blog, this can take 20 minutes.
The next few days I go back to the draft and build upon the content from the listed points, and maybe add more content and elaborate out the story with more detail, and delete out some points after more thought is put into the writing.
Typically, unless the stories require some background research, usually you can write one out within an hour or two, depending on the length you are going for.
4. Review Your Drafts And Complete The Article
This is where you go in to complete the draft to a full written article. Put in any final additional content, edit out the errors, rephrase your sentences, and run through Grammarly for spelling and grammatical corrections. Find a suitable image from Unsplash or your own photos, and write out the subtitles and tags.
Another important step here is to review your story title before publishing. These days there are many websites that can check your story’s title’s attractiveness to readers and it is worth the time to go through this step to ensure your story will be more appealing to readers and hopefully get more viewership. Once this is done, click publish and the ball is out of your court.
There you have it, some tips on how to produce more writing content when you lack the time in your current lifestyle.
One final note to mention is that when there’s a will, there’s a way.
This means that I will find my way to write consistently and improve my writing however busy I may be in my personal life.