How to write fast and slow
This post is inspired by Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman whereby Kahneman hypothesises that our brains think in two Systems. System 1: fast and System 2: slow.
While this is a high level generalisation of the book, it was these ideas that resonated highly with me. As I noted ‘inspired by’ in the opening sentence. I can use some Hollywood creative licence to take my thoughts from there.
Getting back to thinking fast and slow. Assuming this is the case, that our brain operates in two systems we still have our own style and time for processing information. The better you understand your thinking patterns and embrace them, the better you can leverage from them.
In relation to the skill of writing, or some would say ‘content creation’, some people have the capacity to write many words quickly, while others go at a slower pace (I am definitely in the ‘slow’ category).
Understanding your writing ability will enable you to better manage your project timelines.
In particular, not set unrealistic expectations for yourself.
For example, I can take up to one month to write and then publish a 400 word blog post. For me I need to pencil out an idea (yes with a pencil), then pen up some additional thoughts (yes with a pen). I usually step away from the thoughts for a couple of days then go back and dictate my thoughts into more words. Notice I did not say coherent words. Then will be the process of redrafting (over and over) until I have something that is a little more readable then the first idea that I had. Regularly, I envy those who are able to write without the need for constant redrafting. But … I keep at it and keep hammering at my brain until there are some words on the page similar to the image in my head.
What does this mean for you? Understanding your process provides you with guidance for where you may need support to achieve your goals. If you struggle with content creation, start sooner, get help or dictate. The idea is that you will do something.
Setting realistic goals will be more likely to see you get the results that you want. Stressing out about writing is the road for failure. You want this to be enjoyable. Find people who will make the journey enjoyable.
Timing of your writing will depend on your aptitude for literacy. For some people, this will mean that you will have a book written sooner, while for others, this will be later. However long it takes you, the main focus is setting a realistic time frame to complete your project in, and most importantly finishing it.
However, you do not want your project to take using years. It needs to run in a reasonable time.
If this means you write slower than others, then you may need to do a shorter version of your book to begin with. Then build upon your content over a period of time. That way at least you have something out in the world rather than keeping it in the ‘bottom drawer’ waiting for it to be finished.
Small steps for writing can be a monthly blog, articles for other blogs, LinkedIn articles or a podcast. Whatever works for you to achieve your goal. That is if you really want it.
Do you write fast or slow?
Work it out and take advantage of it. Don’t let it hold you back and stop you from completing your book.
Set yourself a schedule and take steps today to write your book.
If you would like to contact me, you can do so by sending me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the interim, if you are interested in watching a 25 minute video about Creating a Book in Less than 60 Minutes, find out more details here.