November 8, 2017

Blogging Under Time Pressure

timepiece prime time clock closeup watchBack in July, I posted about an idea I had involving imposing some artificial time pressure on myself when writing blog posts to see if it would help me improve my efficiency. In essence, the plan involved giving myself a specific block of time (e.g., 10-15 minutes) to write a post. I'd write as much as I could within the allotted time and then stop whether I was finished or not. The hope was that I could eventually train myself to be able to finish most posts in the condensed time frame without having to come back and finish later.

I have been inconsistent in using this method, but that's okay. The goal was never to force me to write all posts that way. It was more about trying something new and seeing how it worked. When I use this method, I sit down at the computer with a specific topic in mind. I note the time, and then I write the post as quickly as I can, stopping when time expires. It only works when I start with a reasonably clear idea of what I want to write about before beginning.

Somewhat surprisingly, I am happy to report that I have found the method to be helpful and even fun. When I use it, I end up with shorter posts. I think this is a good thing since I'm trying to do a better job of varying post length. I also seem to end up with posts that are a bit more focused and probably a bit easier to read. That's also a good thing. Many blog readers, including this one, don't seem to have the patience they used to.

I think the best thing about this method is that I do not waste nearly as much time as I normally do editing, re-writing, and doing other things that often contribute little to the post. Writing posts like this requires me to shift into a different mindset, and it is one I find helpful. I have no desire to write all posts like this, but I have found the method helpful enough to make an effort to use it more often.