I average 20,000 words per month while working a full time job, maintaining this blog, running my side hustle (see The Amazon Sales Formula) all while being the best dad and husband I know how to be.
You’re probably thinking I’m full of myself for starting a post with such a statement but in all honesty it is simply to prove one point.
I get things done.
Again, you’re still probably thinking I’m a bit conceited but hear me out.
I am able to get things done because I refuse to let small details prevent me from moving forward. Every first draft I write is pretty weak. It has even gotten to the point where I couldn’t finish my first read over before sending to the editor. At times I’m literally embarrassed at the content I create. However, I know that once I send it through the editing and revision process I’ll be able to create something that is valuable and helpful to many (not all) readers.
Moreover, I believe that most of what I and others create will most likely not be gold at first. It will take some adjustments and some tweaks no matter how much of a perfectionist you are. For this reason I say focus more on getting the first draft out of the way.
If you identify yourself as a perfectionist then I hate to break it to you but you’re creating a permanent excuse that enables you to produce content at a snail’s pace. You might disagree with this and maybe you’re right. But before you ignore this article, I urge you to ask yourself the following questions.
Are you a perfectionist? If yes, then move on to the next question. If no and you’re not happy with the amount you produce then you may want to check out my book The Persistence Formula.
Are you happy with the quality of content you produce? If yes, then move on to the next question. If no, then I recommend you focus attention on methods to help spark your creativity in addition to reading authors you’d like to emulate.
Are you happy with the quantity of content you produce? If yes, then ignore this rant of an article. If no, then you need to ask yourself what you can do to step up your game. The reality is, you’re busy so your time is limited as it is. So you’re focus should be on taking advantage of the time you have. In other words, if you’re busy then you don’t have time to be a perfectionist. Get the draft done as soon as possible then either edit it yourself (though I would not recommend being the only person to edit your draft) or outsource that process. You can find some high quality yet affordable editors at elance.com and/or fiverr.com.
If you find yourself struggling to complete your writing or maximize the small amount of time you have available to write then check out the three strategies below. Bare in mind the strategies focus on helping people who struggle to produce because they are a perfectionist.
Strategy #1: Identify your current words per hour pace. Give yourself challenges to beat the current pace by five words or so. Time yourself and constantly assess what your speed is. Track the data. Focusing on improving your words per hour will help you avoid editing your words as you write them.
Strategy #2: Verbalize your words into a voice recorder first then transcribe those words as you listen to your recording. Just focus on writing everything you say in the recorder and only go back to edit once you’ve typed everything you just recorded.
Strategy #3: Incorporate more personal stories within your work. Obviously you only want to do this when it is helpful and valuable for your readers, but when it is this can be a great way to get yourself into a write zone. Use that momentum to continue writing.