Few things in life are guaranteed. This is especially true if you are a writer.
But this one rule — The Rule of 24 — is guaranteed. Iron clad.
Doesn’t matter who you are, what you write, how you write, or how hard you try to prove this wrong.
You can’t. The Rule of 24 will make your writing better. Every time. No exceptions.
Simplicity on the other side of complexity
Sometimes the biggest problems have the simplest solutions.
Want to lose weight? Simple.
- Consume fewer calories than you burn each day.
Want to get more blog subscribers?
- Read Copyblogger and follow the advice you get here.
- Create excellent content.
- Give readers great reasons to subscribe.
- Use social media tools.
- Ask in a more effective way.
Want to get rich? Okay, not as simple, but the principles are there in front of your nose.
- Find a need and fill it.
- Work harder.
- Work smarter.
- Marry an heiress.
- Get smarter about your marketing.
These are simple solutions all right, but that doesn’t always make them easy. Most of them require actual effort to implement and stick to in the real world.
Which is why The Rule of 24 is your best bet for a simple fix to the big problem of how to improve your writing.
Because it doesn’t come with that particular downside.
The Rule of 24 is as easy to implement as it is to understand. It doesn’t ask you to give up something you love, and it doesn’t go against the grain of who you are.
It’s not even original or genius. It’s simply true. Always has been.
You just have to choose it. And too many writers don’t.
Want to be a better writer overnight?
Here’s what you do:
Sit on what you think is your final draft for 24 hours.
No, really. That’s it.
No matter what you’re writing — a novel, a screenplay, a blog post, a landing page, a letter — if you do the best you can on it and then wait until the next day to go over it again …
… you have my iron-clad, 100 percent guarantee that you’ll make at least a tweak or two that will make it better.
Every time. Dependable as death, taxes and somebody voting for Kate Gosselin.
Aren’t we all glad I’m not charging for that sage advice?
Send me your $49.95 now, and I’ll make your writing better overnight … guaranteed or your money back!
I know it sounds ridiculously simple. I know it sounds like the other shoe will drop any moment. But there are millions of writers out there who don’t do it — even though it’s absolutely guaranteed to improve their writing.
It may be a typo you didn’t see the day before. It may be a better choice of word, a less-is-more edit, or a wholesale shift in creative or structural strategy.
But you will change something.
And the piece will be better for it.
What if there’s nothing to fix the next day?
Wow. There’s not one single thing you can do to make that piece better, huh?
Nothing at all you can tweak to make it just a little bit clearer, a little bit more compelling, a little bit punchier than it was before? Why, you must be the best writer on the planet.
Or … you aren’t.
Nobody’s that perfect. The piece might be exceptional or even brilliant, but that’s not the point.
The point is that if you come back to it the next day, every time, you open yourself to the opportunity to make it even better.
So there it is. The Rule of 24, available to all, completely free of charge, and unconditionally guaranteed.
Still don’t believe me? Want to write a post about how wrong I am? Good for you.
Let the draft sit for 24 hours first, though. It’ll be even better when you come back and find something brilliant you forgot to put in there.
Or you can slip it into the comments. No waiting required.
About the Author: Larry Brooks is the creator of Storyfix.com, an instructional site for novelists and screenwriters. He wrote this post on a Saturday, then submitted it to Sonia at Copyblogger on Sunday night with nine changes to the final Saturday draft.