Here’s the time right now:
I can feel the force coming back!
Basically, I had a chat with Chris Sowers yesterday my writing coach talked about my struggles with writing regularly of late.
I went from a 4-month regular ‘write’ to then falling off the wagon totally.
And right now I want to discuss the ‘20-minute’ approach to writing Chris has suggested I execute to ‘see how I go’.
I better be quick…..because yes OF COURSE you guessed it I now have:
18 minutes left on the clock before ‘time’s up’.
Of late because of various challenges within my business (or at least that’s the excuse I make) I’ve been unable to get the returns I was looking for when it comes to my writing.
Chris then has helped me ‘reframe’ how I approach my writing.
Rather than being determined to produce a long-form piece of content that’s going to be keyword rich and massively optimized….
Well, he made me see the bigger picture.
He asked – ‘do you remember why you first got in touch with me?’.
He said ‘it’s because you wanted to write a novel! And you did – not to become a nationwide bestselling author or anything of that ilk – but more because you have words in you – and you wanted to find a mechanism for sharing.’
That moment was pretty much earth-shattering for me.
Because over the last several months I’ve got more obsessed with ‘keyword ranking’ and ‘growing a big blog’ and the like
Having that would be amazing of course – but I also lost my way a little bit – in that I stopped (at around a 35% degree) of writing for myself.
And you’ll notice this over many of my blogs – that it IS my voice – but it’s also (lol) the voice of ‘SEO’ – and thinking about titles I need to write for and how that influences my writing.
I mean I’ve written a whole newsletter that’s over 100,000 words, AND I’ve written a 72,000-word novel…WITHOUT considering keywords at all.
It’s all been an outpouring of ‘stuff’ I just felt like talking about.
And I think then there’s a balance I need to strike.
Between writing stuff for SEO (which I’ll absolutely keep doing) – but ALSO writing for myself and pouring things out from my heart
This makes the writing I’m doing literally RIGHT NOW much more freeing.
And that’s because it’s about writing for 20 minutes
(this is where I’m at now) –
Without ANY set agenda.
Without the pressure of keywords – with the emphasis that I can just write about whatever comes into my head…
And well Chris Sowers – your insight was genius.
Because I can feel that this has got the engine going again.
This is actually my 2nd blog of today and ‘by George’ – I think this is the expression people use – I feel like I’m going to write a third one.
Since I have these 20 minute time slots – it feels like enough room to write a complete piece without it being too long that it wears me down.
In many ways – I think that’s the challenge of many things that we do in life that involve repetition (so many MANY things basically).
It’s about finding the balance; your own rhythm – and some level of variety.
What this is a reminder of though – is that more than anything I’m a writer.
I’m pretty positive that most of my team don’t think of myself in that way. They now I think, think of me as an entrepreneur.
But as Chris said – writing is a keystone habit for me – and I’m reminded of this as I write these words to you….
I can’t live without the act of creation – and writing.
So – with this in mind – I’m going to offer some insights into how I think you can implement this concept into your life:
- Regular expression of your thoughts carry AMAZING mental health benefits
- Regular expression in a written form can help you look back at the past and what happened
- 20 minutes doing this is long enough to produce something meaningful (you can probably knock out 600-750 words in that time) – but short enough to not make the process a drag (the sweet spot)
- Regular expression is also about achieving your flow state – which is where you find peacefulness and an almost meditative state that you’re in – I feel like I’m in this now.
- I’ve got that Pomodoro time counting me down BUT I’ve also turned on the ticking really loud to give me a sense of urgency (I recommend this)
- Google docs, expanded screen, title hidden, 125% view is how I’m ‘focussing’ my visual space
So, I’m entering the final 80 seconds so I’ll just finish with this:
There is power in doing short sprints (as is now evident to me) – and doing things in short bursts where completion of that activity is very likely to come…
Well then you get the dopamine reward your body craves – and it encourages you to go back out there and do it all again.
Therefore – finding a length of time that DOESN’T scare you, but almost excites you to sit and put some words down…is the key.
The proof is in the pudding of course with how consistently I keep this up – but it’s important to live in the NOW – and NOW (thank you Echkart Tolle) – it’s done ;P
904 words in 20 minutes – not bad!