Finishing Your Draft

Do you have a piece that's just sitting there?

Hi, Kelly Eden here from Medium,

How long does it take you to finish a story? Hours, weeks, months?

What if you could write an article, start to finish, in an hour?

You can. I do. Not every piece I write but the majority of them take around an hour.

12 years of professional writing has meant I’ve sped up, but there are tricks you can do right now to speed up your own writing process, without years of experience!

What are they?

Let’s start with a blank page.

Actually that’s the first trick—never start with a blank page unless you’re really inspired.

Most of my writing starts when I sit down to a page that already has notes on it. I gather these notes at random times in the day (or night) whenever they pop into my head. (My idea nuggets!)

It might be a heading with three sentences. A bullet pointed list of ideas. A piece of interesting research. It doesn’t need to be much, the main thing is:

The Page Is Not Blank.

Blank pages give us performance anxiety.

It’s possible to stare at a blank page for hours: you write a sentence, you delete the sentence, you write another, nope—that one’s terrible too. Sound familiar?

Trick #1: Collect ideas and start writing from a page that isn’t blank.

Bulldoze that draft

“Once you’ve started, just plow through to the end.”

This lesson I learnt from my mentor at the start of my writing career.

She was talking about novel writing but it applies to any genre. When you’re writing your article, personal essay, listicle… whatever it is, just keep writing until you reach the end.

When you get stuck for an idea, a word, the perfect phrase, or need a piece of research or a quote do this: ///////

That lets you know you need to go back to that spot and fill it in. It also allows you to keep moving.

Keeping your flow going is key!

Trick #2: Plow through to the end as fast as you can.

Next week I’ll share another couple of tricks to get your drafts moving.

Other news

My little pub Inspired Writer was featured in The Writing Cooperatives newsletter this week. We’ve teamed up with them to run a competition. If you haven’t had a look yet, check it out!

3 Ways to Explore Writing Personal Essays

Share

Kelly Eden is a writing coach living on the edge of a rain-forest in New Zealand. Ready to write your story? The Personal Essay Workshop.