September 5th, 2021 | How To Become a Prolific Writer? The 50% Rule.
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, in this short article, we will focus on creative writing — which is particularly challenging to the professionals who don’t have an inborn drive for writing.
The Process of Writing Is a Relationship.
Of course, just as with any other activity that we tend to procrastinate, the key to success is finding the right work motivation.
The key to prolific writing is to imagine your writing process as a form of a relationship with the reader. The reader is the receiver of the content or information, while we are the creator or a broadcaster. In any happy relationship, the two sides should be equally satisfied. In other words, as the creator, you should find some source of satisfaction coming from your writing.
To many people, the bare thought that their receiver — a person whom they might not personally know — learns something new or just enjoys the read, is a work motivation strong enough. But is it strong enough for you?
If not, perhaps you need to create a deeper feeling of personal gain from writing, going beyond educating your reader. Perhaps, you need to also educate yourself in the process.
The 50% Rule.
One extremely helpful yet rarely mentioned principle is the 50% Rule. Namely, if you choose the topic for your writing so that you can create 50% of the content using the knowledge and resources that you already have, and you need to learn another 50% in the process, curiosity and willingness to learn will prompt you to write the piece. You will have the additional benefit from writing useful for your personal development. You will entertain yourself and learn something new in the process — regardless of who your readers might be and what they will gain.
Why 50% rather than 90% or 10%? Well, if you only write a summary of what you already know, then you won’t experience this motivating joy of exploration. On the other hand, if you attempt to write on a topic you have absolutely no knowledge about, you won’t have any message to convey and there will be no central thought in your piece. In such a setting, you might easily get lost or discouraged.
For this reason, it is good to select topics where you have at least a vague idea of what your message is going to be. In such case, you can start by creating a list with a number of bullet points, and then, google for more information to unfold each point and add crispy details to your arguments — so that you better justify the opinions that you already have, or, to disprove them in the process.
Don’t Expect To Achieve Perfect Text At the First Go.
First the mass, then the carving. Most good writers don’t write in a linear manner but rather, stack ideas first, and finish and polish the text only after they reach the critical mass of content. There is almost no one who could sit down with an idea in their mind, and write a perfect text from A to Z at one go. So, don’t expect this to happen!
Most likely, you will need to come back to the same text multiple times – and every single time it will read smoother than before. This technique, also known under the ugly name of “word vomit,” is highly popular among prolific writers.
Gamify Your Writing.
As humans, we love games. If you can enjoy scoring points in a nonsensical video game, why wouldn’t you enjoy scoring points in a real game of life? You can section your text into pieces, and read yourself for completing every piece.
For example, you can write a screenplay containing 10 points, and then have a coffee, a cookie, or a 15-minute dopamine ride through social media every time you complete a step of your plan. Many people experience that their results improve even in cases when they assign meaningless points to the tasks on their list! So, don’t wait for your boss to give you tokens of appreciation for your work. Show appreciation to yourself!
Find The Right Time For It.
For many people, the most productive time for writing is in the early morning, right after they open their eyes. However, they are dogmatically glued to their 9-5 working scheme and never get out of their comfort zone to explore new writing practices. One of the most important aspects of being an efficient writer is experimenting with yourself!
Today, especially after the corona crisis, most employers prioritize effects over fixed working hours. So, even if you are not officially expected to sit by your laptop and typing at 5 am, why would you bother about it, even if it makes you work 3 times faster?
Own Your Text.
One thing worth mentioning is: it is also a motivating factor to inject your personality into what you do. Today, in most areas go the job market, the written text becomes more and more cross-stylish. Even in texts traditionally formal in tone, such as research articles, we can find humor and metaphors more and more often. Whenever it comes to your own interpretation of facts, you can always find a way to add your own touch to your text.
Of course, there are exceptions — you couldn’t ever put humorous comments in a procedure for how to control a plane or in a tax bill. However, in the vast majority of circumstances, adding a little bit of your own character is possible, and will greatly boost your satisfaction from writing.
What are your own ways to increase your productivity as a writer? Please share with us!
Please cite as:
Bielczyk, N. (2021, September, 5th). How To Become a Prolific Writer? The 50% Rule. Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com.com/how-to-become-a-prolific-writer-the-50-rule/
Please also check out our YouTube material:
Would you like to find out where you fit best in the job market given your personality, natural working style, and values? From corporations, through consultancy companies and startups, to launching your own freelancing business – there are so many options out there! And on the good side of things, if you choose for the working environment that you naturally resonate with, passing job interviews and landing contracts becomes much easier straight away.
We have built a self-navigation tool, The Ontology of Value Test, that helps professionals and students in choosing the right career path. The test will show you where you fit in the job market given your natural working style, personality, and values. It will give you a great overview of the potential and the opportunities that you have in the job market of today!
Interested in more strategies for how to navigate in the job market?