There’s a specific reason why I wake up in the morning and end up writing 3-4 articles before I even hit the first sip of coffee. It’s because I’m all charged up.
The emotions are flowing:
- I’m happy.
- Or I’m sad.
- Or I’m frustrated beyond belief.
And the reason why I get into these crazy moods is because I’ve just read a blog post. Or someone’s just written me an email that I strongly disagree with, or maybe simply asked me a question.
I don’t need caffeine to get going.
I’m now all charged up, and ready to answer that email, refute that blog post, or give a distinguished answer to the question in the forum. The emotions are raging like a river in a thunderstorm.
I don’t even pause to stop for structure. I just write, furiously.
And suddenly, I’ve fashioned out an answer. But guess what, my response is no longer just an answer to a blog post, or forum post, or email…
It’s a full-blown article, and it’s far superior to the article I was going to write.
It doesn’t matter what article I intended to write, because there’s no way on earth I can drum up enough emotion with a cold-start. I struggle through the words. I long for structure. I edit, re-edit, post-edit, pre-edit. In other words, I go nuts when sitting down to write an article from scratch.
But when I respond to a blog post or email, I’m no longer trying to be Superwriter®. I’m just trying to get a point across as I would in a conversation. And it helps a whole lot if I know who I’m talking to in the first place.
So if JoeShmoe says: Work Smarter, Not Harder, then something in my brain instantly explodes. I suddenly think, this JoeShmoe has no freakin’ idea at all. That ‘Work Smart’ cliché is a bloomin’ myth, because you actually work harder as you get higher up the ranks. Now that Joe Shmoe (whoever he is) has got me going, I’m roller-coasting my way into the answer without even knowing it.
When I’ve finished answering the post, I’ve done several things:
- I’ve dumped a truckload of emotion into the article (Can you feel it, can you feel it?…)
- I’ve written with a sense of flow. Not pausing, mulling, pausing… just writing.
- My answer on the post, email, forum is long, detailed, and hence stands out not only in length, but also in depth.
- The post I’ve answered is so nice and detailed, that it’s chunky enough to use on my own blog/website/booklet/course/presentation/podcast/video (you’re getting the idea, eh?).
But what about the structure of the article?
Well, structure matters. And it helps to learn how to write as well as you can.
But in many cases, emotion will save the day. All you really have to do is take your response, tweak it a bit and while you haven’t got the world’s best article, you’ve got one heck of an article.
Most writers need coffee to get going—they need some additional stimulant.
Well, now you have your stimulant.
Go find some posts to answer. And let that torrent of emotion run wild.
(Yes, this article was written in response to a forum post—just in case you were wondering).