The risk of not writing

I’m back from holiday and looking to get my swing back with writing.

perfect strangerperfect stranger by daniel sandoval

Before the holiday I wanted to write a post on agile software development and risk management, but it seems the dog ate my fieldstones for that, so I’ll write about the risk of not writing instead.

I liked Johanna Rothman’s advice in The Gift of Time

The best way to prevent writers block is to write

For me it seems writing alone is not enough, it is publishing that gives me focus to go for it. A large collection of notes seems to hinder publishing, because it means I have to chose which of the notes to work into a post, which might mean procrastination. Call it publishers’ block instead of writers’ block if you want, but the end result is the same – less interesting things published than possible. I get around to posting event announcements and reports of those events, because there is some time pressure: announcements after the fact don’t make sense, and reports are more interesting for readers during or right after the event.

Even the draft for this post has been laying around since before my holiday and it contained this advice by Mike Cottmeyer :

It took weeks to write a post because I wanted everything to be perfect… I couldn’t let anything go. The guy I was working for at the time gave me the best advice ever… he told me to get over it. That’s easier said that done… but you know what… that is just what I did. I got over it and started writing.

So I’m taking that piece of advice right now, and may take the next one:

Try to limit your writing to two hours. [...]The idea is that you want to set limits and create a little pressure to perform.

I know from my coaching practice that setting defined timeboxes helps, doing it regularly: even better. How that works and to what I’m applying it right now, I’ll write now publish about it later :)

3 Responses to “The risk of not writing”

  1. Anko Says:

    Thanks Willem,

    Food for thought for me: writing as a means to gather your thoughts and get them aligned – a filter to capture all the fuzz around and getting aligned with the stuff you *really* want to do.

  2. Jeffrey Fredrick Says:

    Agree completely!

    I recently hit my own patch of not writing for a while but then I had some deadlines to hit and got several items done at once. Once I was in the groove of writing I found other writing (blogging) came easier.

    Now the challenge is to sustain that momentum…

  3. Willem Says:

    @Anko, thanks for the, eh summary, that gives me new insights as well (used it today, the XTC 10 year anniversary generated some fuzz in my head, I hope it got me a bit more aligned by writing a bout it :)

    @Jeffrey, interesting… I published this post because I was writing on something else (the new QWAN site) at the same time.