Because we all have to give ourselves some credit
I started writing on Medium in December of 2019 with a goal of posting twice a week. While I haven’t always kept my goal, I’m making strides in regards to my writing skills, style, and voice.
Some writers say you need to write every day, and while I’m certain I’d improve drastically with such a habit, I’m not there yet.
Nonetheless, I’ve noticed a variety of benefits from writing and publishing habitually in the past three months I’d like to share!
1. I’m Writing and Editing Faster
When I first started writing again on Medium, I was spending about 4 hours on one post.
In all cases, it’s important to put in the effort, but posts such as Safety in Taiwan should not have taken more than an hour and a half.
After three months, my productivity is tightening.
At first, a 1,000-word post took 2–3 hours, but now I’m writing 1,000 words in 30 minutes, editing in 20 minutes, and gathering photos and publishing in 10–20 minutes.
I don’t even write that consistently, either. I publish once or twice a week on Medium and as of recent I’m loading up blog posts for Kayla Meets Culture, my travel blog.
So let’s say on average I write 3 posts a week. My writing time has been cut in half in the past three months and it’s awesome.
As I get better and used to writing more often, I look forward to seeing what improvements come forth.
2. I’m Discovering Where My Voice Belongs
I went from my blog, to Medium, and am now going back to my blog.
At first, I thought my voice would find a home on Medium, but it doesn’t 100% fit. For example, my post on teaching English in Taiwan should be on my blog.
If I can make a Pinterest pin out of it, incorporate keywords, and share it among travel blogging groups, it doesn’t belong on Medium. It just doesn’t get the same love from Medium.
Over the past three months, I’ve explored where my voice fits in with the greater Medium community and I realize some of my content belongs elsewhere.
The content still deserves a voice, but not on Medium.
But a post like this one? It definitely belongs on Medium.
There’s no SEO, no keywords, and definitely is not a pinnable, travel-related post.
My voice on Medium is moving away from my travel-persona and entering a diary-like territory that’s here to help me improve my writing skills and connect with other writers.
After three months it’s refreshing to have more insight on where my voice (or many voices) belong on the web.
3. More Organized Drafts and Left Behind Habits
Three months ago my paragraphs were excruciatingly out of order, mistyped words splattered my screen, and I wrote filler words out the ass.
Everyone’s first draft should be a mess, but often my first drafts included editing out fillers words and fixing spelling mistakes I could have avoided in the first place, adding unnecessary editing.
More recently, I catch myself before I add “that” if it’s not necessary and I realize I just said necessary two paragraphs in a row.
It’s not best practice to edit as you write, but little edits such as removing “that” or “am able to” will improve my habits and future first drafts.
A Few Last Words
Writing is not always easy — I just boasted I was cutting down my writing time while this post ironically took me 50 minutes to write and another 30 minutes to edit and publish.
Sometimes the content (or our voice) doesn’t come to us — but this is another challenge in writing I’m taking on: planned versus spontaneous content.
The content I planned (and feel more confident in) flows out much faster. This post — with less than 1,000 words took much longer because it was spontaneous.
That’s the point though. I’m here to make writing a habit I can learn from every time, planned or not, motivated or not. The point is to produce something!
So just keep writing, even if you think it’s crap (which is exactly how I feel about this post!)
I still have faith in the improvements I made, but every day will not be our day.
What’s important is to not give up.