My New Writing Workflow

Posted by Narath Carlile on June 25, 2021 · 2 mins read

For a long time, writing has sat languishing as wishful thinking amidst the cornucopia of good ideas. There are many, many reasons why it has been languishing here, including what I suspect are the usual suspects for many people. Here are some ways/motivations/tools that I am using to help me overcome this.

Make it a habit.

Write for 30 minutes in the morning. You can almost always afford this time. I do it after getting some tea, having some reflection time (where I just flow my thoughts from the previous day which helps me to clear my head), and read a little (which opens my mind more). On my really good days, I will also have meditated, and if I am really really good - have practiced some loving kindness too.

Make it easy.

Find a way to write and share it easily. For me this has meant:

  • when blogging: use Vim + Goyo mode + Jekyll + Netlify to be able to write and quickly deploy
  • when writing with others: use FreePlane or Vim for quick thoughts -> Google Docs/Word for sharing/reviewing, then translate it for deployment (Pandoc is helpful here too).

When you get stuck, break it down, make it real.

I often find that by being curious about small things, larger issues can be revealed. This means that your writing can balloon into bigger pieces. These are important for me, and I love diving into them, since they can really help to deepen my thinking. But it can also become a real blocker. In this case, I keep the larger beautiful mess to myself, and extract smaller, easily explainable pieces to share with others.

By making it real, I mean that you should start a new document that you plan to share with others on the extracted topic. This can create just enough momentum to get you over the activation energy needed to help you start and complete the smaller piece, and it gives you an easy way to share it and get feedback!