I want to be a good writer and I know this will take a lot of writing
But I’m not going to write 2 articles a week for years like James Clear. Most of those will be bad.
I want to write 20 articles in my whole life.
But I want them to be original, surprising and insightful.
The way I’ve decided to write them is to spend an hour writing twice a week but revisiting and rewriting the same old articles again and again until they become phenomenal. Iterating and essentializing them just a little more every week until there’s nothing I can remove.
If you search James Clear’s website or Kevin Kelly’s website, or even Seth Godin’s – the most prolific nonfiction writer I know, you’ll still only find a few flagship articles that changed the course of their careers as a writer.
Those few articles are the ones I’m after. Only the ones I’ve personally lived through and I have a story to tell about.
I call that method iterative writing. It focuses on quality, not quantity.
And it gives me the opportunity to dig deeper into my ideas, to gradually peel the skin of the onion until I get to the core of the subject.
The way I think this iterative writing will work best is:
- First, I just sketch down my thoughts
- Next time I visit the article, I add new ideas and remove others, slowly organizing my point and the arguments that support it
- The third time, I usually try to organize it as a real article
- Then I start tweaking it over and over until there’s to add or remove
- Finally, I look for feedback and go back to tweaking if it’s not perfectly clear and captivating.