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How One ADD Writer Focuses and Cranks Out Drafts

Carol Tice

By Jessi Stanley

I’m constantly coming up with ideas. Until recently, however, I wasn’t doing anything to develop those ideas.

Then I was inspired to try a freewriting approach that helps this ADD writer actually start writing. This post, in fact, is a result of that system.

With my system, I can grab hold of ideas as they speed through my mind and easily generate lots of copy.

My inspiration

A recent memoir writing project about the singer/songwriter Bob Dylan inspired me to develop my system – in four stages:

  1. In reading about Dylan, I discovered how prolific he’s been and how he seems to have ideas sort of floating around in his head waiting for him to write them down.
  2. Then I studied memoir style by reading an essay about the poet Sylvia Plath. I was impressed to learn she could write two to four poems per day. This got me thinking that she must have had a bunch of ideas, too.
  3. I thought about my own ideas and all my past journaling. I had easily and quickly filled notebooks by freewriting, or writing whatever came to mind.
  4. I started thinking how I could apply freewriting to my own writing needs. Maybe I, too, could be prolific if I could stop thinking so much and start writing.

My system

The system is simple.

The goal is to stop thinking and start writing. This is NOT focused final-draft writing (although it can be used to generate a first draft).

Instead, it’s like free association or brainstorming. Just write whatever comes to mind.

There are only three rules.

  1. Freewrite about possible topics.
  2. Make a separate Word document for each idea (as ideas arise).
  3. Write for about one hour, as fast as possible without stopping to edit.

The first time I did this, I ended up with three separate Word docs for three different blog posts. I jumped back and forth between the different docs as ideas for the different posts came to mind.

The second time, I ended up with four Word docs (that is, four topics).

On a few other occasions since then, I used a variation of this system to generate copy for a single topic. The process was the same in that I picked a topic and wrote whatever came to mind. I just didn’t time myself or worry about generating additional topics.

Could it help you write?

This system can help many would-be writers fight “analysis paralysis” and start writing drafts.

Now that I’ve finished my Dylan project and this blog post, I plan to start using the one-hour system at least once a week to generate copy for future writing projects.

How do you bust through distractions and get your writing done? Tell us in the comments below.

Jessi Stanley is a freelance writer and editor/ghostwriter in Greenville, NC. She’s @stanleyjessica on Twitter.

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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