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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Thursday April 18, 2002
10:38 AM


[ #4295 ]

I'm a crap writer. By that I don't mean that the stuff I write is crap - I like to think that most of it is pretty good - rather that I'm crap at the actual activity of writing.

That is, I often find it really difficult to motivate myself to sit her and type words. There's always other, more interesting, stuff to do.

Take the last week as an example. I had an article to write for a UK Linux magazine. The deadline was last Monday. The article needed to be about 3,500 words.

I started last Thursday, which gave me five days to finish it (including working over the weekend) which is plenty of time. By this morning I had 750 words. Last night I got an email from the editor asking me where it was. I promised it to him today.

So I've just sent it to him. I wrote almost 3,000 words in six hours. And the thing is, I don't think the article is any worse than if I'd taken five days to write it.

I wish I could be that productive before the deadline. I could make a living as a writer then.

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  • A writing tip (Score:3, Informative)

    by dws (341) on 2002.04.18 12:54 (#7253) Homepage Journal
    I have the same crappy writing problem. A tip that helped (from Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird") is to deliberately write "shitty first drafts". Instead of insisting to myself that the first draft is nearly publication ready, I let fly with whatever comes out, and plan to emit about 4x the number of words I want to end up with. It's easier (for me, at least) to edit something down than it is to puff it up.