How to write like a genius by tricking brain with tiny type

Does this happen to you?

Wait. Bad question. Not interesting.

Do you get stuck when you write?

Stuck? Stymied? Blocked? Bogged down? Hung up? Funny how the same thing can be either up or down…

Does your writing come to a screeching halt?

Better, but “screeching halt” is a cliché, a dumb one at that…

[Fists hitting keyboard] asgdu z;p/sz,dgrxu

Does your writing ever go like that?

It happens to me.

It’s when you try to write and edit at the same time. It’s probably the worst possible way to write. You can get stuck on one sentence, trying again and again to get it perfect … which is doomed to fail because the fitness of that sentence is largely defined by all the other sentences around it.

When you write and edit at the same time, you make no progress. And your writing doesn’t get any better. Lose-lose.

Writing and editing are two different activities:

  1. You write — get everything written, not worrying that it’s sloppy or incomplete, or any of the zillion other things that are wrong with it.
  2. Then you edit. You clean it up. Make it better.

Repeat until done.

We all know that. But we all get stuck writing and editing at once. It’s tempting to try to be perfect as you go.

Here’s a really cool tip from the Publication Coach Blog on stopping this ugly habit, at How to stop editing while you write:

Start writing in 3-point type. It will be too small for you to read and if you can’t read it, you won’t be able to edit it.

To paraphrase Yogi Berra, 90% of writing is half mental.

You can get a lot done by tricking yourself into separating writing from editing.

Try it. I think you’ll like it.

Okay, you probably won’t like it. You’ll hate it. But it just might work.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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