Daily Lab: How to write quickly

Do the writing part last.

Daily Lab: How to write quickly

There’s a famous quote often (and likely wrongly) attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Now, I don’t know anything about chopping down trees, but I do know a lot about writing quickly. And everything you need to know is contained within that quote.

Because the secret to writing quickly is doing the writing part last. And spending most of your time sharpening the axe and preparing for the work.

So, the next time you need to write something quickly, spend most of your time answering these questions:

What is this writing trying to do?

Who needs to see it for that to happen?

What do I want them to do once they’ve seen it?

How do I make that easiest for them?

Why should they care to do it?

By the time you’ve written all that, you’ve written everything you need to say.

Now, start chopping.

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