posted by Kris (with a "k") I had a random epiphany today concerning writing, specifically when high output at a consistent rate is desired.
I'm finding that much of my past experience with writing has instilled various routines and inklings that aren't always the best to carry around, depending on the style and scope of the project. While a master's thesis or journal articles represent a sustained argument, and require long amounts of concentration, the discourse handbook project I'm currently working on at Logos is nothing like this. Yes the final piece will be long, but individual components that comprise the handbook are nothing like the structure of a thesis or an article.
Actually, it's more akin to a blog post—it should be short and sweet, with a clear payoff.
But as I've hinted at, due to my past writing experience I've been approaching my current project all wrong. I've been sitting down to write the handbook with an aim of 45 minutes to an hour of sustained focus—much like what I do when writing an article. This leaves my mind more drained at the end of an hour, and less eager to hunker back down after a break. Not a good model.
So all that's changing now. Instead of trying to push out several "blog posts" at a time throughout the day, I'm approaching my writing with short bursts of focused attention. I write several notes on several features, then take a quick break. Then—back at it.
This approach helps me come back to the project with more nimble feet and a less tired mind. The progress may be smaller in segments, but the energy and focus lasts longer. Thus, at the end of the day (or week), I've done more with the same amount of time. Win-win.
What writing strategies do you have for the various types of projects you're involved in? Blog posts. Articles. Marketing blurbs. Commentary. Research paper. Etc. Does a one-size-fits-all approach work for you, or do you apply a more tailored approach?