Jared White Photo of Jared

Expressively publishing on the open web since 1996.
Entranced by Portland, Oregon since 2017.

A Single File for Blog Drafts Has Changed Everything

If your writing habit has become mired in procrastination, here’s a supercharged tip for you.

Essay

#writing

I’m going to get meta for a moment and talk to you about blogging.

I’ve hardly written any articles for my blog this year. I had my reasons. I hit the ground running with video and podcast content, I moved to Portland proper and opened up a multimedia production studio (a setup still very-much-in-progress), my web design business has been on a tear and I need those extra hours to pay for said studio, and the list goes on.

But now things are turning around, and I’ve started on a new practice which has changed everything for me.

I designated a single file in 1Writer (my Markdown editor of choice…although I also like Bear and Ulysses) to be used for writing blog drafts. I used to jot down ideas in whatever note or task app was in vogue at the time (Evernote, Trello, Apple Notes, etc.), but then I’d just end up with a random bunch of headlines and not much else. Then for a while I tried having articles in individual files in my writing app. The problem there was I felt pressured to really write out the whole post one at a time. Once you get that new file going with a headline and a paragraph, you just can’t help yourself.

What I really needed was a scratchpad.

I needed a centralized place just to “vomit” out all my thoughts in rapid succession. (Doesn’t that sound appetizing!) Then later on when the time comes to post something legit, it’s just a matter of selecting a wad of text and copy-pasting it into a real article file.

I suppose what I’m driving at is essentially the digital equivalent of carrying a little journal/notebook around with me. But I’m allergic to paper, so I much prefer to use my iPad to manage my writing process. Having a single “Quick Drafts” file is the best solution for this need.

A few weekends ago, I took a trip to the ocean. At a hip coffee shop near the beach, I spent about 30 minutes typing away and ended up with five draft posts waiting for further exposition (not including this one). Such creative volume is unprecedented!

I’m now taking one of those drafts and polishing it up into this article. I simply can’t wait to dive back in and add a few more drafts. If you need to jumpstart your writing habit again, this just might do the trick.

Any other blogging tips got you excited about #writing again? Let me know!


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