Career Development Strategies E070 How To Become a Productive Writer?

September 20th 2021

Today, in the vast majority of white-collar jobs we need to write. Essays, reports, educational materials, instructions, emails, you name it. The need to create content in a written form is especially pronounced when it comes to content creators — authors, bloggers, essayists — but in fact, all of us need to write to a smaller or larger extent. However, some of us have a natural blockade from creative writing. For some reason, it is a challenge for us to take a blank sheet of paper and cover it all with new, original content. Which often leads to procrastination.

Is there any way to find joy in writing and become a prolific writer — when you are not one of those who “naturally enjoy writing”? Of course, there are various types of writing, and you can’t put all writers in one basket. However, here, we will focus on creative writing — which is particularly challenging to professionals who don’t have an inborn drive for writing.

Please find also our article elaborating on this topic: https://ontologyofvalue.com/how-to-become-a-prolific-writer-the-50-rule/

00:00 Hello, everyone. And today I would like to tell you a little bit about the process of writing. I write quite a lot. I finished a PhD in computational neuroscience, where I wrote a PhD thesis that amounted to almost 300 pages; quite a technical text about the human brain and causality in the brain. But I also wrote a book and another book that is a booklet to the aptitude test, I just developed. And I’m just in the process of writing a third book, which will come out in a few months, fingers crossed.

00:28 Plus, I’ve been blogging and journaling for the last 20 years. I’m used to writing a lot. And all that despite the fact that I’m quite dyslexic, I made a lot of typos and I also have low typing speed, perhaps between 40 and 50. And I try to speed up and I was exercising every day. But I soon realized that there is an upper limit of how fast I can click, and I just cannot get over that limit.

01:04 Unfortunately, I have to think faster, because I won’t type faster. And I won’t have enough time to correct my mistakes. The bottom line is, I don’t have any advantages when it comes to typing. Yet, I’m still able to produce a lot of texts. And the question is, how in the world is this possible? Today, I would like to share how I can write a lot of creative text, given all these disadvantages I have to struggle with.

01:39 With writing just like with everything else, and the success is all about finding the right work motivation. And my top rule that I crafted for myself is the 50% rule. And the 50% rule relates to a relationship that you build with your reader. When we write, we typically think about the reader and the reader only, what can I teach the reader? What is the message? What kind of value do I produce for the reader?

02:09 But in fact, there are two sides of the equation because you are also in the equation, you are the giver and the reader receives the information from you, or the message, or the emotions or whatever else you want to carry in your text. But the question is, what do you get out of it? Okay, the reader will get their message, they’ll get the content, but what will you learn? What will you gain from the writing process?

02:33 When I get down to writing hours, chop the pieces of writing into portions that I might write within a few hours slot or within one day. And I try to craft those pieces in a way that I know what I’m going to learn for each one of them. And then perhaps I will make this part of another product such as a book or a course, who knows? Anyways, let’s go let’s do it.

02:59 It has to be a type of content where I already know 50% of the information because otherwise, I could not make a point. If I have no idea about the topic, I don’t have any clay to build from; I don’t have a starting point. For instance, once upon a time I thought to myself, ‘Hey, it would be good to have a blog post about jobs in the biotechnology job market’. And I sat down and I tried to write something but then I was like, ‘Hey, I’m not a biotechnologist myself, I would have to first learn about biotechnology.’

03:30 And so, that’s how I’ve failed at writing an article about jobs in biotechnology, I will get down to this one at some point, but I have to learn first. The message is you always have to start from a topic where you already know something. But on the other hand, when you already know 100% of the information on what you’re writing is a share report of what you already know.

03:52 And you already have all the information is structured in your head and you know the details. What will you gain? Will it be an interesting time for you or will be boring? To me, it’s extremely boring if I know that I will learn nothing new at all. Next, the time you picked during the day to write is also crucial. And everyone has different productive hours yet we often stick to our official office hours that are between 9 and 5pm.

04:21 Everyone is different. You have to go through the self-discovering process and find out what is best for you and your motivation at work. For me, best Writing times are between 5am and 9am in the morning. When I wake up and I’m so sleepy that I cannot even talk myself out of doing something, I just crawl towards my laptop and start writing. Then before I wake up at 9am and realize what just happened; 10 pages of a text already there.

04:48 I’m like, ‘Oh man like now I can go for breakfast. I’m pretty much done with work for today.’ For me, taking myself by surprise and writing first thing in the morning works better.

05:01 Next today, I observed that in various branches of industry and the different types of tags mingled together. Procedures become more essay style and research articles sometimes contain humor these days. That means that you also have to think, ‘Okay, in the text I am going to write, is it possible for me to put my own touch into it, put my personality into it?’

05:25 Because it might happen that to some extent you can, and that will make the process of writing much more enjoyable for you. And there is always some way of owning your content, even if you officially cannot use sense of humor. To illustrate the point, let me tell you a little story, you might know the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

05:46 Arnie is well-known for putting hidden messages in his bills and official documents. And one famous example is his letter to the members of the California State Assembly, where he clearly put a hidden note. And I have to say that I fully resonate with this technique. And if you are writing something you don’t really want to write, something extremely boring or something that you disagree with, hey, why wouldn’t you use Arnie’s method. Like this is what I did on many, many occasions while working in academia.

06:18 In my experience, people have selective attention. In grad school, it was my favorite sport. Whenever I had to write something I deeply disagreed with, I was playing this game, thinking how many non-parliamentary words I can still fit into the text so that it still makes sense, so no one catches me. Again, it was all about how to complete the task so that no one gets hurt. No one ever noticed. And I had fun, so why not?

06:45 To briefly sum up my career development strategy for prolific writing. Thing about yourself, not only think about your reader, but also think about what do you get out of it. Make it fun for yourself, make it a journey for yourself and choose the time in the day when you feel the least resistance and when it feels the easiest for you to write and have fun. It’s all about making the writing experience pleasant experience.

07:10 Good luck, take care and I wish you productive writing thank you so much for watching. If you would like to get more of this type of content, please subscribe below. And I would like to know what your tips and what your life hacks for prolific writing are. If you have anything to share, please share below I will be happy to read. And please teach me whatever you know, that I don’t know about productive writing. Take care. Have a great day. 

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Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2022, July 27th). Career Development Strategies E070 How To Become a Productive Writer? Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/career-development-strategies-e070-how-to-become-a-productive-writer/

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