Your Challenge: Write a Draft and Publish it immediately
Be honest, how many drafts are sitting in your account right now? How many posts ideas are still hovering in your mind because ‘you haven’t had the time to write them’?
Like me, I’m guessing the answer is: too many.
The problem with us writers is we’re so concerned with perfection that we never actually finish anything. We think our work shouldn’t see the sunlight unless it’s absolutely perfect.
Because of this strict standard for our own work, countless posts are left languishing in our Drafts— gathering digital dust until we feel ‘the time is right’ or in the ‘writing mood’. We convince ourselves that we’ll feel inspired another day. (Of course, that day is never today.)
If you’re mentally nodding because this is all painfully true, then it’s time to try impulsive writing. Because sometimes the only way people get stuff done is on impulse.
There are a few ways you can trigger your impulsiveness when writing: 1) Be Hemingway and knock back a Scotch and soda; 2) Try the two simple tips I’m about to give you, (drink is optional).
1. When you think it, write it
A lot of the time we have great post ideas and think ‘Yep! I should definitely write about that’. So you jot down some key phrases, maybe even type up a draft and think, ‘That’s enough to get me going. I’ll get back to this later’.
Days go by, sometimes weeks, and when you go back to edit you’re totally lost. So you put it off once again. ‘I’ll get back to it when my inspiration returns’, you tell yourself over and over again.
And that, my dear writer, is how great posts die.
Here’s how you can avoid lulling yourself into a false sense of future productivity: as soon as you get an idea, write the whole damn post. It doesn’t matter if it’s imperfect or missing a few commas— just get it all out. You can always add those killer references and cool anecdotes after.
Whatever you do, don’t leave it halfway and fall into the endless cycle of: I’ll finish this another day.
2. Publish first, edit later
A common problem, particularly for perfectionists, is waiting until the ‘right moment’ to publish a post. If it doesn’t ‘feel ready’ then you simply leave it to stew a while longer.
This puts you in danger of adding yet another post to the Drafts graveyard. Once you lose the momentum that pushed you to write the post in the first place, it rarely comes back. You likely won’t be in the same headspace again. It’s like loading an old game and finding yourself in the midst of a battle scene.
So yes, write that post, publish it, then circle back and edit it. Once it’s out, you can’t put it off because people are already reading it. They’re seeing typos, the misplaced commas, the drawn-out sentences and, oh no, the placeholder for that cool anecdote you forgot to write.
Here’s where your anxiety kicks in and pushes you to act. Your intense need to present the best version of your work will inevitably prevent you from delaying your edits a minute longer. (Sometimes hacking into your own anxiety has its benefits.)
How this makes you a better writer
On one hand, impulsive writing forces the perfectionist and serially procrastinating writers (like myself) to actually get content out. If it’s already exposed, you’re definitely not going to leave it in “editing mode” for weeks on end.
Think of it as a self-imposed deadline.
On the other hand, when you don’t give yourself the time to second-guess your writing, you discover your true voice. That raw, unfiltered content is your natural style, not the one you spent two days editing, forcing it to sound ‘witty’ or ‘deep’. When you’re just entering the world of writing, this is how you find yourself.
Granted, being impulsive is probably not the best approach when you’re writing a scientific paper or a client’s blog post. But when you’re just making a name for yourself with casual blogging— this is the way to go.
So, join me in clearing the dreaded Drafts section, pick one now and publish it. You’ll feel much more accomplished than you did five minutes ago. Promise.