The Importance of Knowing What You Want to Write

The Importance of Knowing What You Want to Write

There are times I have had pretty good luck with just taking off with a topic and coming out on the other side with a post. This morning was not one of those times. But I knew. I could feel it.

Even though that is my favorite way to write a post, it didn't work. I didn't feel my juices flowing and I tackled a subject I had been thinking about for a while, but not quite enough. When the post was around 750 words long and I wasn't sure I was halfway done, I knew I was in over my head. But I still tried to force it.

It was a good thing that I eventually gave up and left it as a draft. I will get back to it. It would have been stupid to go on. The post was expanding at an alarming rate and was probably better off as a series of posts.

But it got me to write this post.

I use Windows Live Writer to write posts for storage, when I know I will not be finishing it in one sitting. I use ScribeFire to write quick posts that need some research work, because I can flip through tabs on my browser as I write. And I use DarkRoom to write posts off the cuff. Unfortunately, this morning I used the off the cuff method to write a post that still needed research.

As far as research goes, I have taken a whole day before to write a post that required research, off and on, here and there, until it was finished. Those posts have turned out quite well. They started without a full plan of action, but having a whole day where I alternated between research, writing, percolating, and not even thinking about the post helped.

But when I need a post for the day, it doesn't quite work. There is not that time available. So the post goes back to the drawing board for some more notetaking, mindmapping and weird moments of clarity that happen in the middle of unconnected chaotic situations. Hey, I don't know how it works. It just does.

And while that post came slow as I tried to beat it out, this one was easy. I take what comes.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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