The 10 Minute Blog Post

Filed under: experiments,thoughts Topics: ,

Don’t think too hard—just write it. And publish it. In 10 minutes.

The most difficult part of writing is knowing when you’re done. There’s a famous quote (which this exercise prohibits my diligence in looking up the speaker and the exact quote) that says: “Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.” If you want to reduce the cruft in your writing, limit the time in which you have to write it.

The result? Clarity increases. Your points, articulated cleanly, strengthen themselves.

While wordiness may increase due to your haste in expressing yourself, your thought process is not littered with tangents and ill-born concepts that get in the way of your message. Editing then becomes simple: take away anything that doesn’t directly contribute to your point. Rewrite if confusing.

When you give yourself too much time, you get cute. You write sloppily. You think: “oh, there must be a better, more colorful way of saying it.” There might be, but 9 times out of 10 you were better off with the first thing you wrote. Your brain is special like that: the magic comes from forcing yourself to express it quickly and thoroughly, and you will surprise yourself in how artful you can be when you limit the time in which you have to think about the language to use.

This post was written in 9 minutes. How did I do?