I’ve got a decent thinking cap. I have a bunch of rough outlines for posts and videos. Some are even pretty thorough drafts.
Now I need the finisher’s hat.
Currently my input/output looks something like this.
Now, I don’t think it should be a full green bar of finished work. Imagining a world where every idea needs to be taken to completion reminds me of a line from The Wise Man’s Fear:
“To carry a sword your whole life, knowing it was only for killing …” She shook her head. “What would that do to a person’s mind? It would be a horrible thing.”
Writing isn’t war, a pen isn’t a sword, a laptop isn’t a bazooka. But what might it do to a person’s mind if they could only write things the entire world could see?
Still, I’d like it to be closer to this:
More finished work. Fewer unfinished drafts.
These two things will be helpful for me to keep in mind:
Taking ideas to outlines is good. With an outline I can see if there are connections to other things. I can see if some shape forms around the idea without much of a time investment. Outlines don’t create the guilt that an unfinished draft does.
Taking outlines to drafts and not finishing them is bad. There’s value in writing, but the reason I don’t finish is hardly ever “this doesn’t meet my standards” (because they’re low!) and usually more along the lines of “I don’t want to add links and revise this”. Let me just start a draft for another idea…
Assuming I have the same amount of time for all of this, it makes sense to stop making new rough drafts and finishing the existing ones. It also makes sense to try following these guidelines.
- Make videos from posts and posts from videos. At some point in the past, I decided there was enough in the idea to make a video or a post about it. That’s a good starting point for taking it to the other medium. The assumption here is that value is created both ways. Starting with something written makes for a better video. Adding a video to a text post adds something that’s a little more interesting. And (hopefully) increases the chance that someone will watch the video.
- If starting from scratch, have a quote or two. Because I’m not writing about things I’m a subject matter expert in, it can be really helpful to have at least one quote to work with. It’s like bringing someone in that knows what they’re talking about.
- And now we’ll see if this helps me become a finisher. I’m going to make a blogging about blogging category.
- P.S. I’m liking this setup with the iPad below my monitor. I doodle in the standard Notes app and grab a screenshot to paste into WordPress.