I am writing 1500 words daily. Writing is easy. Start with a single word. Then add more words to create a sentence that make sense. Then, I add more sentences to make a solid paragraph. At times, I need two or more sentences to explain an idea.
An idea can be expressed in a single paragraph. Or in a single sentence. Or in one word.
That’s the easy part.
Words appear on the computer monitor like magic.
I often do free writing. I first write the title. Then write whatever I have in mind about the topic. I don’t know how my writing will end. I only know that I am writing one word after another.
Just like this. I am saying that I am going to write 1500 words a day.
Many of my blog posts were written this way. Most of them, you can no longer find in my blog today. That’s because some ideas I held dear many years ago, I have already unlearned.
The fastest way to write is to write freely. And I write freely because I do not have to publish them. There is joy in writing. It is the closest thing to thinking. But I do not have to waste your time reading my “thinking”.
Reading is a transaction. When you read, you are giving me your time and attention. I want you to make the most of your time with me.
To earn your trust, I need to do the dirty and difficult.
First, I challenge my ideas. One by one, I consider opposite views. Or other perspectives. It is tempting to speak like a guru, but often gurus disagree. I am not going to repeat what others say. I must add value.
I write, for example, that Filipino time is an embarrassing trait or a cultural flaw of Filipinos. I have learned this school. I was told about this a thousand times. Maybe, even more.[mfn] I am certainly going against the grain. But believe me, most Filipinos are too punctual. The American definition of Filipino Time is racist. [/mfn]
But is this the truth? Is this even right?
The Filipinos I know do not value tardiness. They don’t want to be late. Some mothers have to wake up at 4 in the morning so they can prepare everything for the kids who must be in school before 7 in the morning. So that she can be at work before 8. We rather be too punctual in a meeting than be late.
Writing is easy. By writing what contradicts what almost everyone believes in, that’s the juicy part.
Second, I don’t have to publish all 1500 words. Sure, there are some articles that need 5000 words to write. But not every idea needs 1500 words. If 400 words will do, then I will prune 1100 words to cut the noise.
Or probably, I will use the other words somewhere else. Some good ideas will find their place and time.
Let me confess something. Previously, one reason why I publish long-form text is that search engines love the skyscraper technique. That means to get on top of the search, an article needs to be longer than another competing article.
This is not unreasonable. Most blogs entries that are less than 500 words are seldom read. Even if your blog post is in the top 50 in google search, you’d be lucky if a soul gets to read it in a year.
Long-form content is great for ranking, but it does not add joy to the experience.
I will revisit some posts and prune. Whatever paragraph or sentence that does not add value must go. And I will also add more words to content that needs more.
If you’ve been reading articles or long posts, you must have observed that they follow patterns and formulas. Most articles serve to define a concept and tell people about it.
For example, I can tell you about the meaning of bayanihan. Most blog entries will end with the definition. This means that you’ll get same-same articles.
But if I tell you that we need to talk more about bayanihan spirit because we are divided by kanya-kanya mentality, then that article will make a difference. Then, I tell my readers how to promote it. Instead of a listicle, I will provide them with actionable ideas. Because if only one soul will read that article each, then writing 1500 words has meaning.[mfn] My article about bayanihan needs more pruning and reorganization. But the essence is there, so I encourage you to read it and share it with others.[/mfn]
And there is a third one.
This is also difficult, but something I have learned to love. It has something to do with using the right words to express my ideas.
I use two apps to help me improve my writing. I used Hemingway and Grammarly apps. The first help me keep my sentences short and simple; the latter helps me improve grammar.
I find AI helpful, yet boring.
I read my work again and again. I look for the best words and better word arrangement. I do so because I want you to learn and to remember.
But what if I will not be able to write 1500 words each day?
That’s okay. I know that on some days I will write 4000 words. I will remind myself that even if I won’t be able to publish an article a day, the mere fact I spend time writing and thinking is progress.
I am writing for my readers. And I am also writing for myself. It is the simplest and easiest way for me to make my thoughts visible.
I feel I have said everything I want to say and I must step now. I know, I still need to write 600 more words today.
P.S. Yes, writing daily is difficult. My schedule isn’t always the same. This is why this is a commitment.