How To Become a Better Writer Faster

I’ve been spending the last seven years getting to know the habits of writers. I’ve found that some aspiring writers focus strictly on quality. They write slowly and carefully, trying to make each sentence perfect. Other writers focus on quantity. The goal is to write as many books/blog posts/articles/pages as possible.

Have you ever wondered which way is better? Which method will help you become a better writer faster?

How To Become a Better Writer Faster

Quantity versus Quality: Which Is Better for Writers?

A high school pottery teacher split his class in half. To one half he told them they only had to produce one perfect pot by the end of the semester and they would get an A. He turned to the other half. They had to produced fifty pounds of pots by the end of the semester. It didn’t matter whether the pots they made were good or not. They simply had to be pots and there had to be fifty pounds of them.

By the end of the year, who do you think produced the best pot?

It’s really a question of what makes better work, quality or quantity?

Who produced the best pot in the class? The quantity people or the quality people? The quality people spent hours on a single pot, throwing it and re-throwing it. But by the end, none of them had made a perfect pot.

The quantity people on the other hand, made so many pots so quickly that over time they figured out how to do it right. By the end of the semester, they could throw the perfect pot.

Quantity wins.

How Do You Become a Writer?

A few years ago, I travelled around the world for about a year. One day in the Transylvanian mountains of Romania, one of my friends asked for some advice. “I want to be a writer. How do you do it?”

“Write every day,” I said. “Do you do that?”

“No, but I have a lot of ideas for good books.”

My friend didn’t bring up his writing for a couple of months. I thought I had scared him off. But then one day while in Turkey, he came up to me. He had spent two weeks writing a novel, and wanted my advice.

“How much have you written?” I asked, expecting about five or six pages.

He replied, “One-hundred and fifty pages, single-spaced.”

Holy crap. There I was struggling to write a page a day and he was writing ten a day. Later that year, he wrote three-quarters of a movie script and five episodes of a TV series. I saw some of his writing and while it had plenty of flaws, you could see the improvement already. He was becoming a better writer faster.

Write More Today

It’s tempting to focus on perfection, especially if you’re trying to become a better writer.

Unfortunately, as the students above learned, when you try to write perfectly, you don’t spend much time actually writing.

If you want to become a better writer, it’s far more effective to do a lot of bad writing than a little perfect writing, especially since if you’re aiming for perfection, you’ll be writing forever.

Today, don’t try to be perfect. Just try to write something better than what you wrote yesterday.

Do you focus on quality or quantity in your writing? Let me know in the comments section.

PRACTICE

For fifteen minutes, write as much as you can about the people you work with. Do you ever have any conflicts with them? What do they look like? What are your interactions like? Don’t edit. Just write.

Make sure you post your practice in the comments. Let’s see who can write the most!

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

  • Rincon Stevie

    What a funny way to talk about the people you work with…back office…the real work is done…in the back office. The real trouble, for me, is mostly CAUSED in the back office. I love getting the right information in the right box. I get energised just thinking about systems so I can put things in order…not that my brain is organized…sorry, not…but the appeal to be organized, that is sexy. I like having the right box for the right tool. The right furniture of the right tax. The right jig for the right cut…unfortunately, I can’t draw, write neatly, cut compicated angles. I can’t fit the right shirt in the right drawer, or get my change organized. But the appeal still calls. And that brings me to the back office. Their job is to make sure that my paperwork is matched up perfectly with the client aspirations for their money. And since we are talking about money…it is important that these things match up. Given that I am challenged in this area…vertically…horizont
    ally…diagonaly…spacially…I struggle. I like to think I am a good administrator…everyone tells me I am a good administrator. Of course I can’t spell…and it irritates me when I meet other people who can’t spell. I’d like to think I can figure things out, but when I need help, I call my back office. And that, is often the begining of the loss of my “peace”. This usually happens slowly…given that the usual call starts with three minutes of hold and annoying music…then progresses to the identification process, where I usually have forgotten the specifics of why I called because I’ve gone on to something else in the precious time I was waiting. But of course, then I sound like a dimwit…and credibility matters when you are on the other end of a wire…it isn’t the same thing as being able to get right in someone’s space…but I digress. The point is that I usually start my back office visit behind the eightball. Moving on, I try to recoup the advantage of moral high
    ground by asksing for the person’s name again, just so they know that I am going to keep track of just exactly what the do for me. And I write their name down and the time I spoke to them and if I am lucky they won’t transfer me to someone else. They usually try to help…they are nice…usually…sometimes they are smart and will try very hard to plumb the depth of my problem…but as the conversation drags on, it becomes clear…all to often, that they can’t help me because I have used the wrong form, or missed a check box that will now have to be initialed by the client…and often I need to reverify the identity of the client because their drivers license has expired, whipeing the validity of their identity right out of the system. And so, in order to fix the problem I called about, I should have known, that the identity of the client I’ve delt with for 25 years, needs to be re certified. Damn. How did I get to this place where my voice is tense, my bp is elevated and my frustration with the need to get things in the right little box has come back to bite me…one more time.

    • Joe Bunting

      Glad you stopped by to practice Mr. Stevie!

      I love the stream of consciousness in this post. It has an energy to it, a frenetic pace. We don’t necessarily need to understand what you’re talking about because the voice is interesting.

      I would love to see you write a specific scene in this voice rather than just speaking in generalities. I can see you have a lot of material here. It would be cool to see the specifics, the real people in the annoying office drama.

      “Damn. How did I get to this place where my voice is tense, my bp is elevated and my frustration with the need to get things in the right little box has come back to bite me…one more time.” I love that! That could be the first sentence to an amazing scene.

  • Anonymous

    Greg is stocky. Like a brick. He talks in a low voice. Instead of taking the stairs up to Sassafras tower, he climbs hand over hand up the guy cable to the platform twenty feet above it, a beast. I don’t envy him his strength. I get to watch him perform, but I don’t care to join. I don’t need acrobatics or feats of strength to be happy. We sling people through trees. It’s the job I do. They fly, seventy feet above the ground, screaming, often. I enjoy the woods, the white and red oaks, the hickory trees, the buckeye and dogwood and beech trees as much or more as my fellow empoyees. The muscadine and virginia creeper and kudzu are silent coworkers. I find blackberries along the trails and chew on sourwood and my lips pucker. A conversation.

    Greg and the other employees are interesting too, I guess. After our training some of the tour guides threw a party at the A Frame. How do you refuse a party on your first week of a job? I had to go. I pulled up in the darkness. They sat around a fire, ten of them. They smoke and drank Bud Light. “Anyone want a Fat Tire Summer Ale?” I asked, lifting the beer I brought, feeling like an idiot. Chills of pre-rejection crept up my spine.

    “You’re from California right,” said Jeff.

    “Yeah.”

    “Wow. You miss it?”

    “Not really. It’s like every other place right. There are good things and bad things, but after you’ve been there for long enough, you don’t see them anymore. I miss the people though.”

    He offered me his bong. “You smoke.” I declined.

    Trevor pulled up with his sister Tina. She is six two. A giantess. He brought a 24 pack, a handle of bourbon and a two liter of coke. He shook everyone’s hand eagerly, a big smile on his face. He’s a born salesman. Then, he poured a big glass two-thirds full of bourbon and filled the rest with coke.

    “How many drinks have you had, Jeff? I need to catch up!”

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  • Seth

    It’s fun to watch the interaction here.

    You ought to meet this guy – Seth grew up with him on Summerwood Cr: http://youngmanoldman.blogspot.com/

    • Joe Bunting

      Lives in gainesville?

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  • I am an entrepreneur. I don’t work with anybody unless I am collaborating on a project.

    It’s been years since I had a full-time job working for someone else. I miss it dreadfully. There is something so empowering about working with a team of people that you respect and who respect you. Maybe it was because I felt the difference I made there.

    I worked for a Women’s Centre whose purpose was to provide a place for women who were victims of violence to turn. I met so many strong and courageous women who will always have a special place in my heart. I spent seven life-changing years there. Growing. Healing. Making a difference.

    Sarah was a counsellor there for over 20 years. Her faith in God was strong and she seemed so different than the others. She set boundaries for herself that I never understood. Her beautiful blonde hair framed her face with golden light. She always had an air of peace about her that I found astonishing given the difficulty of our backdrop. Sarah always seemed so able to leave the horrendous stories she heard in the moment she heard them She did not carry them like I did, but then I wasn’t a counsellor. There was a time I thought this made her less caring, but I discovered it was the secret to her strength. She never had lunch with any of the rest of us. She was not part of the convivial camaraderie that the rest of us enjoyed. She kept to herself. But from time to time, she would stop by my office to talk and to acknowledge. She was a puzzle to me. I remember once when she came into my office and she sat down. She was quiet at first, and then she told me how glad she was that I had become part of the team. She told me that she admired that I always spoke up for what I believed in, no matter the outcome – that for me, everything was about justice and doing what was right. I gloried in that moment – that recognition. So much so, that I let it define me for years. I felt I had to be that person and that it was my obligation to fight for justice like a lack-lustre superhero.

    And then there was Evelyn. She was Chairman of the Board, and a corporate shrike from hell. She and I shared no common ground. From her perspective, I never knew my place. I did not bow down to her as she entered the room. I did not kiss her ass incessantly, or ever for that matter, so that she could feel good about herself. Evelyn was a short round troll of a woman, with a blonde bob that never bounced playfully. It framed a cruel face and small dark eyes that could look right through you. She, I do not miss. (or is that her? My education seems to have abandoned me!)

    Anna was a God-send. She taught me so many valuable lessons. She was a gentle woman, with kind eyes and a great sense of humour. Her positivity was palpable! I had expected her office to be cave-like, with pillows on the ground where she sat to ponder life’s mysteries. She was our sage guru. She once declared to me that she had never met a woman so confident her abilities and what she could achieve who ahd no confidence in herself. Wow! She packed quite a wallop! I felt stripped bare and ashamed that she saw right through me. I was sure she was sent to help me heal. And that she did.

  • I am an entrepreneur. I don’t work with anybody unless I am collaborating on a project.

    It’s been years since I had a full-time job working for someone else. I miss it dreadfully. There is something so empowering about working with a team of people that you respect and who respect you. Maybe it was because I felt the difference I made there.

    I worked for a Women’s Centre whose purpose was to provide a place for women who were victims of violence to turn. I met so many strong and courageous women who will always have a special place in my heart. I spent seven life-changing years there. Growing. Healing. Making a difference.

    Sarah was a counsellor there for over 20 years. Her faith in God was strong and she seemed so different than the others. She set boundaries for herself that I never understood. Her beautiful blonde hair framed her face with golden light. She always had an air of peace about her that I found astonishing given the difficulty of our backdrop. Sarah always seemed so able to leave the horrendous stories she heard in the moment she heard them She did not carry them like I did, but then I wasn’t a counsellor. There was a time I thought this made her less caring, but I discovered it was the secret to her strength. She never had lunch with any of the rest of us. She was not part of the convivial camaraderie that the rest of us enjoyed. She kept to herself. But from time to time, she would stop by my office to talk and to acknowledge. She was a puzzle to me. I remember once when she came into my office and she sat down. She was quiet at first, and then she told me how glad she was that I had become part of the team. She told me that she admired that I always spoke up for what I believed in, no matter the outcome – that for me, everything was about justice and doing what was right. I gloried in that moment – that recognition. So much so, that I let it define me for years. I felt I had to be that person and that it was my obligation to fight for justice like a lack-lustre superhero.

    And then there was Evelyn. She was Chairman of the Board, and a corporate shrike from hell. She and I shared no common ground. From her perspective, I never knew my place. I did not bow down to her as she entered the room. I did not kiss her ass incessantly, or ever for that matter, so that she could feel good about herself. Evelyn was a short round troll of a woman, with a blonde bob that never bounced playfully. It framed a cruel face and small dark eyes that could look right through you. She, I do not miss. (or is that her? My education seems to have abandoned me!)

    Anna was a God-send. She taught me so many valuable lessons. She was a gentle woman, with kind eyes and a great sense of humour. Her positivity was palpable! I had expected her office to be cave-like, with pillows on the ground where she sat to ponder life’s mysteries. She was our sage guru. She once declared to me that she had never met a woman so confident her abilities and what she could achieve who ahd no confidence in herself. Wow! She packed quite a wallop! I felt stripped bare and ashamed that she saw right through me. I was sure she was sent to help me heal. And that she did.

  • Dsbroussard

    Currenty I’m not getting much work however on occasion i work with someone doing tree work. He talks alot about how the goverment is try to take from him and he gets real angry and often tells me he fears they will come and get him over the health care thingy. He dosen’t want to pay in. But as of now he has no insureace and uses goverment funds to get health care when he needs it. I try to point out the the humor of the siduation but he only gets angry. So for the most part i just do my work and try my best to stay out of the whole politics thing cause i’ve noticed people get very angry. Also he is not one i would want to get to raled up as he is about 330 and 6’4. So’s I let it slide. I find myself bitiing my tounge alot cause i need the work and his so damn big i would cetainly not wish to fight him. Also I am a lover not a fight or at least i’m trying to be. Learning to keep my thinking to myself. its not easy I sorta like talking and getting a good flow going but often I find myself saying the wrong things. Working hard on it these days, learning to leave that damn white whale alone. Lots of learning and many things to paractise on cause i’m really no different I have my own tender spots and absertatys.

    Yes I can’t spell.
    But it felt good to write.

  • Dsbroussard

    Currenty I’m not getting much work however on occasion i work with someone doing tree work. He talks alot about how the goverment is try to take from him and he gets real angry and often tells me he fears they will come and get him over the health care thingy. He dosen’t want to pay in. But as of now he has no insureace and uses goverment funds to get health care when he needs it. I try to point out the the humor of the siduation but he only gets angry. So for the most part i just do my work and try my best to stay out of the whole politics thing cause i’ve noticed people get very angry. Also he is not one i would want to get to raled up as he is about 330 and 6’4. So’s I let it slide. I find myself bitiing my tounge alot cause i need the work and his so damn big i would cetainly not wish to fight him. Also I am a lover not a fight or at least i’m trying to be. Learning to keep my thinking to myself. its not easy I sorta like talking and getting a good flow going but often I find myself saying the wrong things. Working hard on it these days, learning to leave that damn white whale alone. Lots of learning and many things to paractise on cause i’m really no different I have my own tender spots and absertatys.

    Yes I can’t spell.
    But it felt good to write.

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  • Calvin

    I disagree.. Quantity is quantity, but many quantity people keep making the same mistakes and never learnt to master their ability.. But the question being open ended contains many different levels.. I would rather say, Quantity is more for practice. At the early stage of knowledge, we can’t have quality, we need to try many times, so we can see perspective on all the different angles.. But once we learnt enough from quantity, we will need to develop quality in our work. The progression works this way, Quantity lvl 1> Quality lvl 1> Quantity lvl 2> Quality lvl 2 etc etc.. When given challenges where the time given allowed makes us choose between Quantity vs Quality, that’s where we have to strategize, what is more important, we place out quality, what is less important, we have quantity.. priority management..

    • Interesting ideas here, Calvin. I agree with your point that quantity alone isn’t enough. There has to be a focus on quality, or else you’ll never improve. This situation is unique, too, in that the quantity students still had a teacher who was giving specific feedback based on the quality of their work. Perhaps a better way to put it would be “quantity with a coach.”

      But your idea about leveling up is intriguing and probably true. There does seem to be a cycle here, almost like a wave, of learning then applying.

    • Calvin, it is a given that the writer will re-write. The biggest problem in a creative or playwriting class is to get students to write enough. Most never do.

      • Mike Roberts

        Exactly; you can’t fix what doesn’t get written….

  • Calvin

    I disagree.. Quantity is quantity, but many quantity people keep making the same mistakes and never learnt to master their ability.. But the question being open ended contains many different levels.. I would rather say, Quantity is more for practice. At the early stage of knowledge, we can’t have quality, we need to try many times, so we can see perspective on all the different angles.. But once we learnt enough from quantity, we will need to develop quality in our work. The progression works this way, Quantity lvl 1> Quality lvl 1> Quantity lvl 2> Quality lvl 2 etc etc.. When given challenges where the time given allowed makes us choose between Quantity vs Quality, that’s where we have to strategize, what is more important, we place out quality, what is less important, we have quantity.. priority management..

    • Interesting ideas here, Calvin. I agree with your point that quantity alone isn’t enough. There has to be a focus on quality, or else you’ll never improve. This situation is unique, too, in that the quantity students still had a teacher who was giving specific feedback based on the quality of their work. Perhaps a better way to put it would be “quantity with a coach.”

      But your idea about leveling up is intriguing and probably true. There does seem to be a cycle here, almost like a wave, of learning then applying.

  • ismael

    dear Joe bunting i was reading Calvin comments and i agree with him and i also agree with your examples. I also wanted to tell you about what i learn from history class about quantity vs quality, sorry if i’m a little off topic. In history class i learn that in WW2 soviet russia was way behind in term of technology and highly trained army and Nazi germany had all the technology and had the greatest train army in the world (in its time). BUT! Nazi germany lacks of one advantage that soviet russia has, numbers. At the height of WW2 nazis germany had only 12,000,000 troops and soviet russia had 33,000,000 troops which is the reason why soviet russia defeated nazi germany. Joseph stalin said “quantity has a quality all its own.” despite that he is worse than hitler i agree with his qoute because of many reason. One if look at the business world it “kinda” follow with Joseph stalin qoute. For example look at Mcdonald. If you Compare Mcdonald with a five star restaurant obviously five star restaurant has higher quality. But Mcdonald makes 100 times the profits than a five star restaurant because of their quantity food.
    Like Joseph Stalin said “quantity has quality all its own.”

  • ismael

    dear Joe bunting i was reading Calvin comments and i agree with him and i also agree with your examples. I also wanted to tell you about what i learn from history class about quantity vs quality, sorry if i’m a little off topic. In history class i learn that in WW2 soviet russia was way behind in term of technology and highly trained army and Nazi germany had all the technology and had the greatest train army in the world (in its time). BUT! Nazi germany lacks of one advantage that soviet russia has, numbers. At the height of WW2 nazis germany had only 12,000,000 troops and soviet russia had 33,000,000 troops which is the reason why soviet russia defeated nazi germany. Joseph stalin said “quantity has a quality all its own.” despite that he is worse than hitler i agree with his qoute because of many reason. One if look at the business world it “kinda” follow with Joseph stalin qoute. For example look at Mcdonald. If you Compare Mcdonald with a five star restaurant obviously five star restaurant has higher quality. But Mcdonald makes 100 times the profits than a five star restaurant because of their quantity food.
    Like Joseph Stalin said “quantity has quality all its own.”

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  • Matt

    Amazing post

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  • Hello Joe, I believe it all depends on the goal or what you want to achieve. Quality demands more resources, it may take time to fine tune the skills to produce quality but once that’s fixed you have created a unique brand.
    Quality is smart, it’s thorough and special so most people will wait for it. I find this write-up interesting and precise.

    • When you become more established, it isn’t as important, but I believe this is the best advice for every new writer.

      • Cassandra Steller

        I’m a new writer, and I agree with the quantity idea. Quality will come later, when I’ve figured out my way.

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  • The Magician

    Here’s my interpretation first is quality then comes quantity. If you make something good that everyone loves sell it and make more.

  • I’ve heard the pottery class story before, but it’s the sort of encouragement we can’t hear too much of.

    I walk both sides of the perfection line. I want everything I write to be the absolute best it can be.

    But I also learned a long time ago that the best way to write perfect words is to write a lot of bad words. Sometimes really bad.

    So I write every day whether I’m working on a book or not. Blog posts. Journal entries. Letters home. Every word I write makes me a better writer.

    About that assignment….

    I work at home. My only “coworkers” are the cats. Should I write about them? Or just make something up?

    • Well, you could write about the cats, if they’re interesting enough :). At least you have quiet coworkers!
      I’m in the same boat as you, Carrie. I’m at home, but there are quite a few people here with me. They’re family, though, so I’m not too sure if I should write about them… 🙂

      • Reagan,

        Thanks for the comment.

        The older cat is pretty quiet.

        The younger one, on the other hand…. Think teenage boy and you’ll get a good idea.

        Then there are the four orphan kittens in the back room. They’re eleven weeks old and full of hijinks.

        I’ll have to see what I can come up with today.

        Thanks for the encouragement!

    • YES WRITE ABOUT YOUR CATS. 🙂

      • Well, then, I will. I missed an assignment to two this week anyway, so stay tuned!

      • Okay! Here goes!

        The exercise for this post is to write about coworkers. How I sometimes long for human coworkers! Think of all the work I could get done!

        Sigh.

        I work at home as an artist and writer. I call myself full time but creative time is usually limited to four hours a day. After that, there’s The Wall. Beyond The Wall, well, let’s not go there.

        Between the times my husband goes to work and comes home again, it’s only me.

        And the cats.

        Now you might think cats would be easy enough to work around. I mean, they sleep all day and prowl all night, right?

        I can attest to the night-time prowling. We have a very vocal “warbler” living with us and his repertoire can be quite diverse, depending, of course, upon the time of year.

        But the sleeping all day part? That’s the subject of this little blurb.

        Thomas is our oldest cat. We found him in a gutter in early June 2003. He and his brother were barely five weeks old when we spotted them on a evening walk. When I saw two white things at the opposite curb, I said, “What’s that over there?” and two kittens came charging across the street (fortunately there was no traffic.). Thomas ran up my husband all the way to his face. We took them home and, needless to say, they went no further.

        Thomas remains of the pair. Now thirteen, he’s troubled by diabetes, gall bladder attacks, and an allergy to chicken. He has a ravenous appetite thanks to the diabetes and is not at all averse to begging for food in the most approved canine-fashion (he has always had a bit of the canine in his feline personality).

        He does sleep most of the day, but he also acts as my desktop screen saver. Which is to say that whenever he thinks it’s time for food, he comes and sits on the desk in front of my computer (yes, it’s an old desktop Dell). The only way to move him is to physically put him on the floor, but that works for about two minutes. The best way is to give him a little food, after which he’ll lie down and sleep until the next feeding. In, oh say, 30 minutes or so.

        Max is the other house cat. He’s our teenager. He came into the house as an orphan less than 24 hours old. He was born and abandoned the same day and is the only survivor of a litter of four. For four weeks, he was on a three-hour feeding cycle around clock. Caring for him gave me a deep appreciation for the parents of human babies and for all the work usually done by a conscientious mother cat.

        Max is now two. A teenager. He’s the warbler and although they’re sometimes annoying, irritating, or infuriating, his serenades are also amusing. Who would ever have guessed at the variety of sounds (and decibels) that could come out of a cat’s mouth?

        As I write this, Max is sleeping in his usual spot. In the room, but silent. That won’t last for long. His afternoon feeding approaches. He’s likely to come sit beside my chair for a while. If I pay no attention (I am almost done after all), he’ll jump up on the arm of the sofa nearby. If that fails to separate me from work, he’ll assume the desktop screen saver position. He’s much larger than Thomas and is also a medium-long hair, so he’s a much more effective screen saver. Even when he chooses to sit down, which he rarely does.

        We also have a litter of four orphan kittens from this spring. If you’ve been following my writing assignments, you’ll already have met them. Oreo, Patches, Paulie, and Snip. They’re about twelve weeks old and have been under my care and custody for about ten weeks.

        They’re not as much trouble as Thomas or Max because they’re isolated in a backroom so I can keep track of them. But that doesn’t mean they lack an allure of their own. Who can ignore twelve-week kittens at play? Even when the entire house is between them and my work area?

        As if that weren’t bad enough, two of them, Patches and Paulie, take a peculiar delight in lap time. Whenever I appear, even just to look through the window at them, they come running. Now I ask you, who can ignore such supplications, especially when the supplicants are so cute?

        I expect, if they don’t find new homes, some of them may eventually be trained for screensaver duties by Thomas or Max.

        How will I ever get any work done when that happens?

  • I struggle with perfectionism every single day, and it has never gotten anything accomplished. this article puts to words the exact thing I have figured out over four years of writing. WRITE EVERY DAY. That’s the most important thing (And I have a hard time with that one, too. This is the first thing I’ve written all day)
    I have watched my own writing slowly become better over the years, so I am a living example of this.
    As soon as you sign up, you’re in this for life. Every single day.
    Joe, the way you write, your frankness and honesty about writing, is refreshing. I appreciate everything you do. Thanks so much!
    Reagan
    “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men”

    • Ioana Pitt

      I totally agree with you, Reagan. I’m a crazy perfectionist and it shows in everything that I do. I spend more time than necessary to make every single thing my best work. As a writer, I’ve found this to be often limiting because it discourages me from even starting in the first place.
      Have you heard of NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo? It’s an extremely motivational way to get you writing every day. You might want to give it a try. I’ve found it really exhilarating experience to get you back into writing.

      • I’ve heard of it, but never really looked it up. I will now. Thanks, Joana, and I wish you the best with your writing. Let’s turn off our internal perfectionist!

    • Reagan, check out my blog post Baby Steps on Franklywrite. I think it will help you.

    • Yes, Reagan! Thank you!

  • This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I haven’t written fiction for the past year, and have been instead in an essay/blogging phase. However, I recently signed up for the Becoming Writer contest which forced me to regain my past comfort with fiction writing and to rediscover my style in a short period of time. At first, I was fazed. I had no idea where to start. After giving my insecurities some thought and distance, though, I was able to come to the same conclusion that you discuss in the post.
    So, I’ve now decided to start writing fiction again, and instead of being perfect, I’m going to take it easy and simply write for the fun of it. We’ll see where that takes me! 🙂

    Thanks for the thoughtful post, Joe!

    P.S. Here is a really great TED talk if you’re a huge perfectionist like me and sometimes doubt your work’s quality after having been away from it for a long time. It inspired me when I was feeling down. I don’t think I could link it because it will be seen as spam, but it’s called “Your elusive creative genius” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

  • Kenneth M. Harris

    I am employed with northwestern University for the last twenty five years. In college, my minor was business. I was forced to take classes in how to get along with your boss. How to work with the different personalities. In the beginning, I was skeptical of taking business courses. I only wanted to write fiction. Today, those business classes helped me in working and understand with various diverse men and women. There is many of and in order to make this work, it takes understanding the personality of all of them, one wants something right away. what is expected and, as I been taught, know right away what’s expected with each one. None of us likes to be told what to do. The key is to have everything that they need. I start my morning or week that way with each of them and present everything before they even asked. In this way, I never feel as if I’m ordered around. As far as quality and quantity, Joe, I aleady know that my writing right now anyway Has no quality. As long as I have been writing, I’, discovering that since I have been in the writing practice, Each prompt that I receive, I try to keep up even if I’m late. I REALLY THANK ALL OF YOU AND APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU FOR GETTING A QUARTER OF COFIDENCE.

    ken

    • I see the improvement, Ken. And you do have quality!

  • OK, I get all of that, but here is my quandary. I have it made. My wife works and I stay home. I have all day to write and to “work” on my writing. I’m not one of these people who have been writing since age 13 and feel they have something to say. I just one day said, I want to write and I began. I’ve been writing for a little over a year.
    Do you think this quantity over quality hold true when all a person does is free write? I can’t write that fast and actually have a real story. I’m trying not to focus on story but more on slices of life and vignettes.
    I am dyslexic and have a terrible reading comprehension.
    I don’t know my path and in the mean time I keep free writing.

    • Free writing is great, but I think you need to throw in something more structured as well. Why not try writing short stories or choose a few characters and serialize a novel?

  • Leah McCray

    I struggle with writing everyday. I’ll say to myself, get out your phone, tablet or computer and finish that book or start the next one, but one hour later I still haven’t written a word. But other days, I’ll sit down and will write or edit 4 hours straight. For me, It’s just so hard to start. Also, I get easily distracted. However, I really do believe that your advice is spot on and I am going to make a sincere effort to write everyday for more than just 20 mins. It’s also hard for me to write without a project. Your advice was just to write about anything to hone your skills and increase quantity. That’s been hard for me in the past, but I’m going to give it a whirl. Thanks so much for sharing. God bless you!

    • MadameGin

      We have the same problem, you and me. I just have such a hard time starting! Once I do, I’m on a roll, but it can be an hour of procrastinating before I even start to get anything done, and then, at the first distraction, poof, the spell’s gone. That’s how I ended up here, I wanted to grab a schedule, it didn’t matter whose, and stick to it to see if I could create a habit and get myself into a routine.
      I’ve already done my fifteen minutes today. I did better than I expected. I just wish I can keep it up! Now, I’m off to write something else while I still can, haha!
      Good luck to you!

      • Orion Lyonesse

        Try setting a definite time to write every day. At first, it’ll be like a chore, but do it anyway. After a time, you’ll be chaffing at the bit to get to the writing time! You could also use prompts to begin writing every day. It’s fun to create flash fiction (really short pieces, say, 500 words) to get your juices going. As a plus, the market for flash fiction seems to be unlimited right now.

  • > Do you focus on quality or quantity in your writing?

    I focus on what is needed in the moment. Sometimes that is quantity, sometimes it is quality. Listen to your heart.

  • Tiffany Shand

    I usually go for quantity in the beginning and then turn it into quality. That way your have a lot to work with and have a basic foundation which can then be improved.

  • MadameGin

    Well, here are my results for today. I don’t think they’re good, but at leat I did it! I hope to get better with time:

    So let this begin. You ask me to write about my work mates. Truth is, I don’t work, so I don’t have any. I could write about schoolmates? I don’t have either, I’m finished, but that’s all I’ve got.

    I have been told (by my father), that I don’t know how to work in a team. It’s fairly truth: I either need to be in charge, or alone. Tell me what my part is, and I’ll do it. Just don’t ask me anything, please. So I have a fairly good feeling that in a work environment I would behave similarly.

    The work of my dreams, actually, is being behind a counter somewhere. A shop, say. It’s an easy work, you don’t have to interact with anybody (in a deep sense), and you have time to do things between client and client. Say, read, or even write. Ideally, I’d like to be behind the counter of my own bookstore. I could work as a writer while being in an environment I love. And I don’t really mind being distracted, as long as it isn’t a long-term distraction. I can stop for a second to attend a client and then keep writing.

    Hell, I used to do it in school during breaks and between activities. It’s actually something good. “Fine! I now have fifteen minutes left until the next class, let’s use them to write!” It’s stimulating. Plus, it provides me with the warm-up I need to get me writing. It’s like one has some kind of motor memory that gets the juices flowing. Write something, anything, transcribe it if you must, and then get writing what you have to write. It works wonders, and that’s why I think this exercise is going to help.

    To tell the truth, I’m doing better than expected. I have still five minutes yet, and for the time since I started, I haven’t stopped for more than three or four seconds to think a word. I was expecting to be bumping more. Still, I think I’m kind of cheating now. I’m completely ignoring the subject and writing about what I’m doing instead, and that doesn’t require much thinking. I’m concentrating in not stopping, though, and I guess that isn’t bad. It’s my first time, after all, cut me some slack! I’m thinking that maybe I should write tomorrow’s assignment in the third person. This is way too easy. And not much of a practice, really. But that would be from a quality point of view. Today I’m not trying to write well, am I?

    Hey, now that I look at it, this is filled with typos! I just stopped to correct the word “assignment”, that was missing its n, and looking up I found a lot of words underlined with red. Wonder if I should stop or correct them later. Anyway, time’s up, so I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

  • I think that’s why journaling is valuable. I recently finished a personal prayer pilgrimage, and kept a journal. The focus was to consecrate oneself totally to Jesus through Mary , following a guide by St. Louis De Monfort. Everyday a convicting scripture and meditation was provided. Every day the message was explosive! I couldn’t get enough. Like a.good book or retreat, I didn’t want it to end. I wrote everyday and in so doing, I wrote freely. Nobody else would see it, unless I decided to share it. Often I didn’t discover what prose lay dormant in my mind, and it certainly wasn’t perfect, but some of it I enjoyed going back over it and reading. It’s like building a body. It starts small and then the cells multiply, forming organs, bones, muscle, and skin…all layered and fearfully complex. Words
    building sentences and being the connective tissue to a message, a lesson and a story.

  • Godfrey Coppinger

    I’m a pre-school teacher, an old arthritic preschool teacher.
    I’ve always worked with children, as a babysitter, as a folksinger, as a
    storyteller. When I was a teenager my cousins would come to visit and we’d sit
    on my bed and I would read to them from picture books, comic books, anything
    they wanted to hear. I discovered storytelling as a “job” in the late
    70s, and became professional in 1980. Storytelling has taken me places, but I
    never made a lot of money. When I married, I was pretty sure my husband didn’t
    want to join me in near-poverty, so I looked around to find a real job. That is
    when I discovered that I could jump right in to a child care job with no
    official training. I worked and went to school to learn more. I never got a
    degree because I took more child development classes, to learn more and more
    and more, even though they told me I had enough. I also took classes that I
    found interesting, even though they had nothing to do with my major, like
    anthropology.

    I have now been teaching preschool for over 20 years, but it
    may be coming to an end. No, it’s definitely coming to an end. A couple of
    years ago I had knee replacement surgery and I’ve slowed down considerably. I
    can’t pick the children up any more and I can’t sit in those tiny little
    chairs. I’ve been a “floater” since the surgery, going from class to
    class, giving the other teachers their breaks. I take my instruments with me –
    guitar, Native American pocket flute, harmonica, kazoo – the kids love the kazoo.
    I even bought a smaller guitar because
    the big one was too heavy for this old lady to carry around.The children
    and all the teachers have told me that they love when I come into their
    classroom.

    So it was great surprise that I was told that I was “not
    performing in the classroom.” I am now working in the kitchen ,putting
    together the snacks and making sure each class has cups and whatever else they
    need. On the Friday that I was told about my new position, I was strong and
    brave. But that weekend I couldn’t stop crying! These kids are such a joy to
    me. They stop me in the hallway and say When are you coming to sing for us? Can
    you tell us a story?”

    But I can’t do that. I have other duties now, and it breaks my
    heart. But it is what it is. I have to work. At least I still get to see the
    kids. And, y’know what? They can’t stop me from coming in early or staying late
    to sing for the kids!

    A little off topic, but it’s very comforting to let it all out
    in a place where I know my boss won’t see it. Because I know she’s wrong. I
    know that was I brought to the classroom was of value, even if I’m old and
    slow.

    Oh, Good Lord, I think I may have to go somewhere and hide and
    cry now.

    • Erin Baker

      Oh, that stinks! My heart breaks for you and for the kids. It is amazing to me how sometimes people in charge can be so blind and clueless. They don’t think about joy and the gifts people are able to share and how others receive them. They think of wasted stuff that isn’t important. You are right, she can’t keep you from coming in early or staying late to sing and teach the children. Good for you for thinking outside the box to find a solution that works! I wish you the best!

  • I think, for most of us, the challenge is finding the right balance. I have been known to struggle with a single word choice for a ridiculous amount of time. Hence the oft-given advice to go ahead and give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft and get on with it. 🙂 On the other hand, if I don’t feel good about what I’m writing, I lose motivation.

  • Bob Ugee

    Joe thanks for the piece. I like it because it seems you are directly referring to me.

  • Kevin Keeney

    Here is my 15 minutes — I didn’t edit as I wrote, but I did correct spelling. I hope this is the first of many days in a row that I write for at least 15 minutes…

    The people I work with.

    I work in retail, in a chain pharmacy.
    I work with the pharmacist and other technicians and/or cashiers. I
    work for the pharmacist, he is my supervisor. But we also work
    together.

    He is unflappable, totally
    customer-service orientated. I admire him. I get so mad and
    frustrated with the idiotic customers, their inability to produce
    insurance information. Not him, he just keeps moving right along, not
    making waves. He is good to work with, we make a good team. We trust
    each other to do the job correctly and still have fun at the same
    time, when it is not too busy. I can’t imagine ever having a
    disagreement with him. The other technician and I laugh about how his
    being so nice is ruining our lives because the two of us are not so
    nice. We are not mean, but we at least mutter under our breath a lot
    at the stupidity that assaults us daily.

    The other technician I usually work
    with is nice. She is much younger than I, but actually everyone in
    the pharmacy is. I ended up with this job because I turned 50 and
    nobody would hire me in the computer field. She works there because
    she graduated from college and can’t get a job in her field. We tend
    to pick on each other to try and make the day go quicker. We have to
    stick together especially when we have substitute pharmacists who do
    not want to work and sometimes have no idea what they are doing,
    which creates more work for us and makes the customers mad.

    The pharmacist is on a diet, in a
    contest with his future son-in-law, so he just doesn’t eat. The other
    tech should be on a diet as she is overweight. I think she is trying,
    but it does not seem to be a priority. I should be on a diet too, but
    the urge for Starbucks wins on most days.

    Most days we have to work more than our
    scheduled hours since nobody but us idiots want to work there. So,
    sometimes we are overtired from a 12-hour shift, but we help each
    other out.

    None us believe that the customer is
    always right, but we certainly are not perfect either. It will be sad
    when one of us leaves for another job, it is hard to replace
    coworkers that are friends.

  • When you’re right, you’re right. I tell students all the time the best way to get good at math is to do math everyday! Yet I am still learning this lesson as a writer!

  • I needed this reminder today, Joe. As I shared in a recent post, life got in the way and I fell off the writing wagon. It’s summer and CRAZY here with two teens home full-time, but I write 200 new pages on my novel — finishing my first draft. They are UGLY because I didn’t even go back and edit or revise at all. It’s going to be a HOT MESS to go back into, but I’m proud I typed THE END, despite all the chaos going on in my life.

  • Pingback: Monday Must-Reads [08.24.15]()

  • Spits and spurts? Quantity and quality. I write like a crazy woman for a while. Then I stop. Then I pick out bits and jazz them up.

    I find writing lots – quantity- works for my writing style. I have to write lots and lots to get into the flow. The more I wrote the better it gets. If I sit down to write a piece of quality work all my dragons enter the room and my creativity shrinks in fear, i close down, my pen shivers and retreats into the shadows and I am left with a page of dodgy phrases.

    So I go for the quantity purely as a tool for getting the juices flowing and as fodder for producing work of quality.

  • At work. Again. Same people. Everyday.

    Bushy Beard humphs in through the door. In a rush. Grubby shirt, tousled wiry steel grey hair. Whiskers that spread down his cheeks, to his neck, to his belly that pokes through the broken buttons of his smeared and greasy shirt. Anxiety swirls around his 6 foot, large man frame, and fans us with its whirl of worry. He disappears into his corner. Closes the door. Shouts down the phone. And leaves again with nay a ‘hello’, ‘good morning’, or ‘good-bye’.

    “Thank god he’s not staying today. He’s wound up again. I’ll have to have a supervision meet with him later.” Committed activist, short haired, hiking shoe’d, feminist, environmentalist pushes away from her desk at the end of the reclaimed pine trestle.

    I smile. I shove my feet toward the warmth of the under desk radiator and pull myself closer to the desk.

    Ageing Admin Mouse peeks across the desk. Shuffles a small pile of invoices. Rearranges paper clips, smooths down the fine wisps of ash-grey hair to settle in their own withdrawing hairline. Gnashes her browning teeth. Then smiles. Her eyes change from grey to bright blue and light shines from their centre.

    I smile back.

    The phone rings. Junior clerk replies cheerily. Presses the wrong button. All the phones ring. We all smile.

    But Bushy Beard humphs back in with the wind of a worrier and the stomp of a wounded bull. We drop our heads, avert our gaze, and let his weather pass.

    My brow furrows. Another day at the office.

    I sigh.

  • Parker

    I am more focus on quality than quantity. But this is extremely limiting me. Many times i stare at a blank page, but I am seeking perfection to start me off with and I can see how this is interfering with my creativity. I have many ideas/thoughts, but they never make it to the page but I am concerned about perfection first then content later. I worry about subject, verb, direct object, using too many -ly ending words or using the same word too often, yada, yada, yada, yada and in so worrying my ideas just fly away into Lala Land instead of being a part of the my story.

  • I could not a agree more. I do my best work when I am writing a lot. My proofreading also improves, to a point. It’s funny, I just a wrote a blog post about forming the writing habit that goes along with this idea. In fact, my entire blog is built on this premise.

  • Being one of the tallest employees at the deli, Jan’s height of six feet, six inches, was only surpassed by his arrogance. It didn’t help that he was handsome, with a shock of jet black hair and eyes that could stop a train running at full throttle. He used all his features to bully his coworkers, especially Amanda. Small in stature, it was her timidness that made her the perfect target for customers who wanted to vent their life’s frustrations on a service individual, and, of course, Jan. Each day he would devise some new plan to have her red-eyed from crying by closing time. It was only when Faith come on as the new full-time cashier that Jan met his match. Although she was average in height, only slightly over five-four, her face was angelic, round and pleasant, with a disarming smile. However, she possessed a tongue that could deliver a slashing comment with precision, which she aimed at Jan on a regular basis. By the end of her first week, he walked out in the middle of his shift and peace was restored at the deli.

    • Melvia Zeigler

      Great first draft writing. Your descriptions were wonderful. Most enjoyable read.
      Thanks for sharing.

  • Okay folks, I wrote my passage without any edits. I welcome comments. 🙂

  • Melvia Zeigler

    I have made it a part of my routine to write
    every single day, no exceptions. I stick
    to this commitment. It is really
    important to set aside time to write. I had to block off a small chunk of time
    to write or it wouldn’t happen. For me
    morning works best. However, if you’re a night owl, late nights are fine too,
    as long as you’re not too tired.

  • AnnM

    Thank you Joe. I agree with your post.
    Though I also struggle with perfectionism, quantity, practice, brings things into focus.

    I know the more I write, and read, I see what good writing is. Not just the grammar and punctuation, but moving people. Having them ‘see’ a scene, feel it when they read my work is amazing.

    I entered the contest here and the critiques I have received have been an incredible learning experience. I thought my story was pretty perfect when I put it in the workshop LOL. However I had lots of revisions and editing to do.

    The more I write, the more I realize my novel needs work. It’s hard to not go back to the beginning and re-write. I’m going through and doing an edit though and seeing where I want to change scenes for the better and will do that later.

    Quantity first! Quality…….eventually.

  • Lauren Timmins

    My job is different, I am paid in knowledge rather than money as a student. My day starts with The Boss. The boss of all bosses. My mom.

    We both set our alarms for 5:45, however she succeeds in waking up whereas I hide under the covers until the last possible minute. I rush around to get ready and make too much noise, she tells me to quiet down and makes something I can eat in 30 seconds, briefs me on what I’ll need to do when I get home or who will retrieve me from marching band, then I go.

    My first block is a computer class. My teacher is a short woman, a veteran mother with two kids in their first year of college. She has shoulder length auburn hair and glasses. Her voice is commanding, she moves with purpose. Despite her initial military-like appearance, she is very laid back and understanding. She uses the full hour and a half to teach us and lets us go with no homework.

    Honors English is next, and this class requires interaction with people. There is the same mix of students, the “smart kids”. On the first day we were assigned four people who we will work with exclusively throughout the year. The first is a Romanian who is known for knowing a little too much about computers. He is tall, lanky, and has rectangular glasses. The next is a trans-gender boy. He has a round face, short, rust colored hair with sienna lowlights and straw colored highlights. His voice is unique; soft with a deeper edge. The third I have been friends with him since eighth grade. He always sports a witty graphic t-shirt and curly blond hair that comes halfway down his neck. The last is a girl I’m in marching band with. She plays the flute. Her hair is dark brown, but she had it ombred to a golden color. Deep brown eyes, always dressed well. I work with her on a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting two characters.

    Next I have an AP class, then lunch. I sit at a table with nine other people; the table is only meant for six or seven, but we make it work. We are a ragtag group. Gamers, band nerds, emos, Wholocks, and Anime fans. There is a girl with short blue hair, the t-shirt boy from English, my CSGO obsessed best friend, the one and only male flute player/socialist, and the saxophone and mellophone who we all hope to see as a couple. I argue with the flute/socialist about Bernie Sanders. I remind him that things are not really free, that the “free” things are just paid for by higher taxes, and that there is no way he can win the Democratic nomination. He rolls his eyes and starts making fun of the Republican party and tries the old, “Trump is your leading nominee, that pretty much shows what the Republicans are.” I start to counter with other nominees, like Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, but my best friend shushes me and pulls me into a conversation with the mellophone player.

    The saxophone player and mellophone player are in my band class. The mellophone hits on the saxophone, who, despite her small size, shoves him playfully away and threatens him with a mouthpiece up his rear.

    My last class I cannot say much about en anglais. Je voyage a la classe de francaise. Ma prof est petite, blonde, et gentille. Les autre etudiants sont intelligent mais tous dans cliques.

    I stay at school for another two hours for marching band, which is the closest thing to a real job I have. Our band director wears size thirteen pointy shoes, which he uses to demonstrate how high our toes should be. He sits atop a scissor lift and barks directions into a headset. “Clarinets, shoulders.” “Trumpets, stop talking!” “RUN IT BACK.” He is a portly man, with clear blue gray eyes that are very good at expressing displeasure while simultaneously striking fear into the hearts of the entire band. There are three or four other staff members roaming the field, searching for imperfections. I am usually reprimanded once a week for my shoulders being angled, rather than flat-to-front during slides.

    I get home, and I have to watch my siblings for a little while. I fight for the computer with my 12 year old brother, who always has headphones in and believes he can make it in the world as a YouTuber. “I have homework.” I say, and he whines and whines and demands I turn it back over to him when I’m finished. The nine year old is tinkering with something and fighting with my seven year old sister at the same time. They run around the basement screaming their little heads off while the 12 year old replaces the computer screen with a television. Before I know it it’s 10:00pm, and I have to go to bed to start the whole thing over again in the morning.

  • Profound thoughts are unsettled in my head. They struggle to flow with the ink onto that blank sheet. Then — nothing. I have got so much to write but the words ‘just arent right’ to get them down to make the story happen. My personal struggle – fighting the pen; fighting the mind. Sharing my voice with community – writing here and other writing sites – has lowered my fear. Write more! Write better! Write lots! It all comes together ON PAPER !!

  • Bangalorekar Ranganath

    Thanks for this great stuff, any writer has to keep in mind, during his/her day-to-day writing.

    By the way, my Wrimo Novel ‘Whom to Marry?’ has a constant dig of the media and would contain bit pattern as follows at regular intervals:

    By the time she composed, self scrutinized and moved her report to the news editor; it was the stroke of six in the evening. Normally the news editor cannot be found in office during that hour. He’s there today, may be under top boss’s instruction, she guessed.

    As if it was a correct guess, the news editor Gnyanendra, peeping out of his cabin and by realizing that she was about to leave, signaled her to wait and walked towards her work station.

    ‘I must clear the file you’ve now submitted, before I leave. It’s big boss’s order. So from your side, let the selection of graphics be over and ensure that you stay on, till I finish news editing.’ – He told in a hurry and rushed back to his cabin.

    By then the snaps captured by photographer at the Mall were all transferred to Priyadarshini’s desktop computer. She went through those carefully, selected ten out of them as random choice in comparison to her report and saved those in an initial folder.

    In a press, it is common for a reporter to run through hundreds of photographs relevant to a report, and pick 10-15 out of them as a basic selection. He/she after that have to go through the report again carefully, to pass 3-4 file choice photos for publication.

    Being used to that practice in a whole year’s service as a press correspondent, Priyadarshini went back to her report again to have a final glance, in an attempt to decide which could be the final choice photos. On deciding, she marked the three ideal ones and passed for publication.

    That was exactly the time when news editor was ready to discuss his deletions, in the report submitted by her. That is always a crucial decision in the press. A discussion between a person who witnesses and narrates an event, with the one who has the acumen to declare what is reader’s friendly and what not.

    A scribe cannot accept deletion of a portion in his/her content so easily, and Priyadarshini is an exact match to that statement. She was not ready for the curtailment of 1000 words, out of her 2682-Word report. She was in a mood to accept a maximum of 250-300 word cut, in it.

    Jugglery went on for over half an hour. Acceptance of each other’s views was a must, for both of them. Outright discard of an event watcher’s views could be next to impossible, for a reviewer. Likewise there is no way to scribble whatever we want, presuming that it can escape a news editor’s attention.

    Finally 405 words were gone and 2277 got approved, in the report released for printing. It was 9.00 PM, when systems were shut down, Gnanendra and Priyadarshini told good-bye to each other, and it was time to return to their respective homes.

    Let me have your comments.

  • Sabidin Ibrahim

    Thanks Joe for another beautiful writing. They are simple but very useful advice. Hopefully it can bring discipline to the writing…Want to read regularly from you..

  • Mike Roberts

    Quantity: This is why things like Nanowrimo and NIaD are so great; you have to write so much so quickly that you don’t focus on quality…Just writing.

  • Moz Writer

    Each writer can choose what fit well to him. In my case, i think it is possible to be in middle of qualily and quantity. If i write every day one week, on other week i would prefer to check again want i wrote and edit. And we are allowed to choose any method of writing at time.

  • Mariposa

    Hello. I have joined with Nanowrimo for 3 years. 2 years I “won” by making it to the 50,000 mark. I still have yet to finish the novel I started and continued in 2013/2104. I think writing a lot each day really was good for me. I am surprised this year, as I am reading over and trying to edit what I have how much is really good (in my opinion). Some is really bad and I am able to see that too. I would challenge anyone to try nanowrimo, or do it on your own.

  • Mariposa

    (The last paragraph is not included in the 15 minute writing sprint, but I wanted to finish my thought. 🙂

    I do not work with many people. I also
    have not worked with many people in my life. Period.

    I prefer to work alone most of the
    time. But this is about who I work and have worked with I guess. We
    own our own cleaning business, so all our employees are part-time.

    Right now I am working with
    a young girl named Cara She is 15, a little fiesty and sometimes she
    has an attitude. What I like about her is that she is fast and she
    can think. She really wants to get the job done and is capable.
    Sometimes she slacks off and doesn’t do a good job. Or, there is dead
    time and she sits and does something on her phone.

    I like working with her, but some of
    the other workers do not. I think it is because she is 15 and
    immature sometimes. I see potential in her and her heart.

    Then there’s Laura. She is my nephews
    wife. She is nice and does a good job, but right now she is still in
    training and slower. She isn’t getting a long with Cara and says she
    is rude to her and ignores her. I’ve talked to Cara and she claims
    Laura is not nice to her. She said she tries to say things nice, and
    asks her to do things nicely. I know how hard it is to do this,
    thinking you’re asking nicely, when actually you are being bossy. I
    told this to Cara. I just asked her to try harder. Laura is in her
    late 20’s I think, so I don’t feel I can really challenge what she
    said.

    Then there’s Sandra. She is really
    sweet and does a good job. She looks like she is working fast, but it
    seems to take her a long time. She misses trashes and leaves things
    laying around consistently. I always check her work when I work with
    her, which hasn’t been like forever. She drives me a little crazy and
    annoys me, which makes me feel guilty because she is so nice. Maybe I
    still never got over the fact that it took her 7 hours to clean a
    house that was taking me 4 and the owners praised her up and down and
    maybe I was a bit jealous? That’s probably the reason. I do really
    like her and need to get over my attitude about her.

    My daughter Clare is a jewel and we
    work very well together. She is fast and does a good job. But then
    again she’s been cleaning since she was 10. Now she’s 16, so she has
    6 years of experience. She misses things sometimes, but not often.

    My other daughter, Samantha, is a good
    cleaner and does an excellent job. I don’t work with her often, but
    when I do I enjoy it.

    Then I work with my husband, which I
    don’t always enjoy. He doesn’t do things the same every way and likes
    to change the jobs out. I like to do the same thing every time and it
    really messes up my routine when he does that. I don’t work with him
    often, so we don’t have a routine. I am also very detailed, while he
    is not so that can cause problems.

    We worked with a “kid” named
    Michael. He seems a little “challenged”, but did a good job. He
    didn’t miss a corner or anything, but he was very slow. He always had
    a good attitude. He doesn’t work for us anymore.

    Then, there was Michelle. She worked
    temporarily with us. I can’t remember if it was only for offices or
    houses too. She was very good, hyper and I couldn’t keep up with her,
    because I was extremely tired the times she worked with us. I think
    she found a full time job somewhere.

    My husband has Morrie, Sandra’s dad
    work with him at the sawmill frequently. He is pleasant, but has bad
    eyesight, so misses a lot. I think he does an OK job.

    I also had a niece work for me once. I
    suspected she stole $60 from my wallet, but couldn’t prove it. I was
    going to test her by leaving a certain amount in my wallet again and
    see if it was missing after she worked with me. She did a good job,
    but because I knew she had stolen in the past, I suspect her and that
    makes me sad, because she probably didn’t even do it.

  • LaCresha Lawson

    I definitely want to be a better writer! Thank you so much!

  • Patience

    As with anything in life it is a balance between the two. The more you put out the more others recognize you as a writer, but if you don’t ALSO work on the quality you eventually get left behind others who develop the quality of their writing and its appropriateness for the audience they are growing (as individuals and by size) along the way. We have two feet to move forward, if speed is one foot we go in circles, until we use the quality foot to improve our direction!

  • Edwin Rydberg

    A very important post. This technique is sometimes called IFF or Intelligent Fast Failure and is taught in some design courses. It ties in very well to the notion that an average person needs around 10,000 hours of practice to become good at something. It’s not an intuitive technique but time and again it has been found to be effective.

    • Constance Cummings

      I have never heard of IFF , thanks for that

  • JUDE EMY UTI

    You’re absolutely right about Quantity versus Quality being a problem with most aspiring writers. I encounter that problem myself, but still haven’t been able to quench the smouldering fire of procrastination slowly burning into ashes. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, that’s what makes a better writer.

  • Constance Cummings

    If anything, this course is teaching me to write and let go of perfectionism and just write and write. And all these articles are like a lifeline, Thanks Joe

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  • Sarah Bourgeois

    I tend to spend ore time perfecting my writing; like most writers. This article really surprised me because all my life I was told that good writing is the key to a good career. Normally one would achieve that by writing and rewriting the same thing over and over in the hopes of creating a masterpiece. But here I learned something opposite of that. I learned that to write that masterpiece you first have to write thousands of garbage bags. This is an interesting concept but not an untrue one. Its the same for whoever wants to achieve something. An artist has to work towards that Mona Lisa the same way and even a Christian has to work towards that relationship with God. We’ve heard this over and over again in our lives but only now have I ever applied it to my writing. I think this will change my concept of writing and the way I write. I will write with passion instead of practice.

  • Leasa

    Hi Joe! Thank you for this exercise. I’m such a goof in that I hand wrote this exercise. Yes pen to paper, so I would need to type it to post it. Nevertheless it felt good to write unencumbered for those 15 minutes. Thanks again, Leasa

  • Leasa

    Hello Everyone! I write well, however it is a very slow process. I have balked at the idea of writing daily because I am arrogant. Not anymore! I realize, after reading this article, that I must get off my high horse and WRITE. Because of this exercise I have committed to at least 15 minutes a day. What does it matter if I write well yet produce nothing for anyone to read???? Gotta get over myself!

  • Leasa

    I really thought that I didn’t need to practice because I was already good, lol
    Silly Rabbit…

  • fireandparchment

    As they say, you really do learn something new everyday. I am new at this whole writing thing, and thought it would be better if I focused on creating the “perfect” piece at a time. I am so wrong! Practice makes perfect, and A LOT of practice is even better! Thanks for this post Joe!

  • Gina Davis

    There is one person at my job whom I cannot tolerate. And I
    have no choice, especially if it is someone you have to work with, you have to
    tolerate. I generally tend to get alone with most people, but liars, thieves and
    attention seekers, especially those who seek any kind of attention, even it if
    negative, drives me crazy.

    So I had an incident, the antithesis of disloyalty, when
    this individual was rooting for the other team, while sitting wit out team. The
    reason, because that was the school she attended. I have no problem rooting for
    the other team, if I am with the other team…by all means, go ahead… but how can
    you sit, in the midst of your colleagues and root for the other team because 20
    years ago, that is the school you attended.

    What no loyalty to your place of employment, the people you work
    with, the young people you have to work with, because you went to the school,
    they are competing against. Absurd! It sent me over the edge. I was not nice
    and despite being well educated and having a large vocabulary, I resorted to my
    youthful days, when you cursed out of frustration, and I provided her with some
    unkind, yet honest and from the heart “bad words.”

    Disloyalty, in the face of I want people to see me, I can’t
    take. I am loyal to a fault, to myself and others, but I am not pretentious –
    so I was reported – and I don’t have an issue with that, for it is usually me
    who deals with others and these issues. What I don’t understand is how can
    someone report half a story – yes, please tell anyone that you were cursed off,
    but to negate the why? Ummm, sounds like someone who is ashamed. For when I was
    approached about my behaviour, I will say yes, this is what I said and if you
    wish me to repeat it, I can. I will also tell the story from the beginning to
    the end. What took me there, asinine behaviour by an adult who is too cowardly
    to say why she was cursed off? Only the insane curse for nothing. As I shared
    why I was acting like some hoodlum, I was informed, this same individual acted
    the same in the presence of others, rooting for the other team and was asked to
    stop because it was disloyal to the colleagues. They were told, since they are
    not from this country, and I quote, “you found me here and I will be here when
    you go.” Which I think is worse than cursing someone off, because now you are
    telling someone that because they are foreign and contributing to your country
    that they have no value. What kind of foolishness is that?

    As I said, I cannot tolerate attention seeking people,
    especially if what they do is set up to hurt others, is disloyal and
    demonstrates a level of “stupidness” (I created a word) it makes you wonder why
    that person is even in your presence. Maybe this speaks more to my character
    and not the person of whom I am writing.

    • Emily West

      I’m writing more everyday. The days where I work twelve hours at my regular job sucks…it takes a lot of motivation to get up early or stay up late after such a long day.

  • Gina Davis

    I find that quantity works. When you stop, it is hard to start. Writing everyday is important to improvement. Finding time to write is the challenge.

  • Emmanuel Ajayi Adigun

    I found out that the more I write the better I get at it. Unfortunately I still correct my spelling and grammar errors. However these get fewer as I write more.

  • Peter Martin

    I had the basic idea, then a few plot twists popped up as I merrily wrote along – didn’t know about structuring, outlining etc.

    My first attempt at writing ran to just over 100K words of disjointed scenes, sudden changes in direction and plot twists, poor grammar, total lack of knowledge of dialogue tags, beats etc.

    But all my ideas were down there. I then wrote 5 drafts of the first version over seven months, another 400K words, another few plot twists and ideas popped up along with different insights in to my characters, who were still a bit two-dimensional.

    Now I’ve restarted the while thing and am 24,000 words in to Version 2, having learned more (and still learning!) about Hooks, Pacing, structure, character interviews and am still trying to get the hang of dialogue tags/beats, and struggling with descriptions to ‘set the scene’ – and still trying to find the best ‘Hook’ and I have 4 different ends

    It’s improving, but without that first 9-months and half-a-million words, My story wouldn’t exist It still doesn’t really, but hopefully it is now becoming a more readable version.

  • Becks Perez

    Peace and blessings.

    Comments on How to Become A Better Writer Faster

    W-rite everyday. I agree that “Good ideas are not enough. To be a writer, you have to write everyday.”

    R-emember always. Just try to write something better than what you wrote yesterday.

    I-nspire Others. Share your thoughts. Be a blessing to others.

    T-oday is the day. Start writing now. This is your day one (2/26/2016)

    E-xpect comments. Whatever comments you receive, be inspired to write and do not give up. Keep on writing.

  • Susan Smith-Harmon

    Here’s my 15 minute practice:

    The People I Work With

    The people I work with only exist in the virtual world. I’ve never seen them. I’ve never met them. I’ve never spoken with them. That’s because I work alone.

    I’ve been working at being a freelance writer on and off, for about a year now. I say on and off because I’ve mostly talked about, thought about and worried about becoming a freelance writer. It’s only recently that I’ve actually begun to do the writing part.

    I found this website on becoming a freelance writer through Pinterest. The blogger is a working freelancer and she started off by teasing that you don’t have to be a great writer to make a living doing it. Now, I’m a pretty good writer, so I thought, if a lousy writer can learn to do it, then why can’t I?

    The blogger suggested that I begin by taking assignments at a text mill or two. That would give me the chance to learn how to create content quickly and also let me try out many, many different types of writing.

    Now text mills pay next to nothing. I had read on many, many blogs about the perils of writing for them and how they don’t pay and they are degrading the pay scale for all writers. That’s probably true. But I was looking for a way to learn without emptying my savings account (which I’m currently living on) and without running up my credit card debt, which many so-called freelance writing training groups will be all to happy to do for me. Here was a chance to learn, to try on different assignment types, to get feedback on the articles I write and I didn’t have to pay for it. Instead, they paid me.

    I took note of a couple of the text generation sites the blogger claimed she’d used herself. Now she claimed that she had earned about $400/week writing for these sites. I have no idea how she managed that. The best I’ve done is about $40 in a week, but then I don’t usually get five days of work in. (May be why I’m still struggling, eh?)

    But for the past several weeks, my work has been to write as many of these assignments as I can. So far, I’ve done product descriptions, press releases, news recaps, blog posts – both informational and soft sell, travel information and the like. It’s been fun. Probably the most important thing I’ve learned in doing it is this: I like the work. I mean, I really like the work. The assignments that require me to recap or analyze a news event or interview and the ones that let me do some research about a geographic area are the ones I liked best.

    But that wasn’t the question was it. I’m supposed to be telling you about the people I work with. Since I work alone for nearly nameless, faceless contractors, I guess I have to tell you about myself.

    I have noticed a few things over these past few weeks. Namely, that I talk to myself and my cat, probably a lot more than sane, healthy people do. But then, I worked in radio for nearly 20 years before this. I’m used to sitting in a small room, staring at a computer screen and saying what I think out loud. Sometimes I took calls, but mostly I talked to a faceless, nameless crowd. It was sort of like freelancing for web-based clients.

    I’ve also noticed that the person I work with day in and day out (myself) is more cheerful these days. She doesn’t seem as depressed or desperate. She seems to know where she’s going and she seems to exude and aura of accomplishment. Well, at least compared to what she had done.

    • bindu bindu

      Hi.. i want to be a freelance writer but i don’t know how to start and where to? As you are experienced in it, i request you to please suggest me for starting my career in freelance writing. my email id: himabindu897@gmail.com

      • Susan Smith-Harmon

        Start with the text mills. They will pay you (a small amount) to hone your craft. They offer steady work and feedback. Two I’ve found to be reliable payers are Textbroker.com and GreatContent.com. Once you feel comfortable with your speed and abilities, look for longer term assignments and jobs through websites like Indeed.com and Flexjobs.com.

        Also, don’t undervalue volunteer opportunities. Lots of not-for-profit groups need writing help. You may not get paid for your work, but the credentials you will earn will be legitimate, and the contacts you make could be invaluable!

        • bindu bindu

          HI..Thanks for your valuable suggestion. Following your suggestion, i tried to find text mills website but i cannot find it. Please give me the exact link, as i want to start there.

  • heng

    how to writing to long letter the same to all of you ?

  • Manojkrishna Eswaramurthy

    Every day begins with the rays of new hope as I hit the beach for a jog. However my expectations turn up right opposite as I enter the office premises. It is the same boring security guard greeting me with a grin look whenever I try to smile at him, thinking it might cheer him up, but not. Moving over to the floor amidst the morning rush, all my hopes of a bright day turns down instantly as i open the mail box. There would be dozens of them to ruin my mood and on top of to it are my colleagues. The whole atmosphere inside the workplace resembles the morgue, with dead silence maintained by all. Anyone hardly lift their eyes off the monitor screen just to greet or have a small chat. All that one could hear is the random clicks of the mouse and the keys been hit on the keyboard. As the day progress I keep myself occupied with the work, which I prefer much rather than trying to open up a conversation with my colleagues and later to find just a monotonous reply from them every time. Of the all, the most annoying person on the floor is the manager. I am pretty sure that he has to get enrolled for a session on People Management. This is not the kind of atmosphere or the place where I wish to be employed ever, but fate has other reasons as to why i am here still. Everyone are self-centered and selfish about their own progress. I had always wished for a diverse workforce, enabling me to have a variety of conversation over the time and interacting with a lot.

  • Theresa

    Everyday is the same I walk up the driveway to the nursery school where I work. If other teachers/teachers aides are around they usually greet me politely and I put on my neutral “everything is fine, life is just going along” smile. Its a mask I wear and I can tell many of them wear the same mask. We all smile and go about our business with a sort of “life is life” attitude. Anything to avoid conflict anyway to plunge ourselves into working with the children in order to avoid focusing on our own lives. I punch in and go to my classroom where the day is already underway. I work the after care program at the school so my hours are 10 to 6 while for my co-workers their days have started at 7:30 or 8. One of the assistants in my room, an older Belgian woman smiles a tired smile at me and says good morning I say good morning back. My co-teacher an older woman from Trinidad, whose burnt out and is just putting her time in until she can retire in 3 years follows suit. I’m also greeted by the shouts of many of the students saying hi to me. I say hello to everyone. Some of the children come up and hug me and my despondance toward my work eases slightly, but its only short term. I love my students and I wish it could be enough for me, but it isn’t. I’m bored with my job. I want to write and do something more with my life than teach abcs and 123s to children who love me now, but I know in a few years will forget all about me, but I have bills to pay now and don’t have the luxury to write as much as I want, or daydream about finding a deeper meaning in life and a road to true happiness.

    • zaheer

      Thank you very much. Its really nice suggestions that I receive today from you. Quantity vs Quality. I also want to become a writer. But I am a housewife and I dont know where to edit my writing. But its passion to write every time in quantity and quality and inspire people with new ideas to search alot on now a days issues and aware people about that..

    • Nice description Theresa! Your writing captured my attention and hooked me until the end. You have a very personal, life like way of describing things that makes me feel like I’m a friend right there with you. You also have a way of making the ordinary interesting. Keep writing! I can’t wait to read your book some day!!

  • Marilyn Starks

    As a methadone dispensing nurse, I had thought that the clients I’d be working with, would have more issues than my co-workers. Wrong! The clients were demanding and always trying to put one over on me especially as the new kid on the block. However, I learned that the clients had nothing on some of my co-workers. .

    One counselor a bit scrawny, with a goatee that looked like the kid Scobbie Doo hung out with on the Saturday cartoons my sons would watch. A mister know it all and most of what he’s share boarded on anti-establishment topics. He shared he was a twenty year recovered drug addict and had been counseling other addicts for almost sixteen years. Never held his breath when it came to sharing how he felt about those who were his superiors. Always quick to put down co-workers as well.

    Some of his conversations with me, felt as if he were putting me down. I was just a nurse and did not have a history of drug use and oh, I did not have all of the letters behind my name as he did.

  • Ketsela

    Thanks Joe. Today I learned a very good lesson about quality and quantity. I am a kind of perfectionist. It has never occurred to me that it would hinder my writing ability and most of all affect the quality of my writing. I have many good ideas in my mind, I have started putting some of them in paper but quilted in the middle of some where for one or another quality reason. I usually tear the story I write if I feel it is poor in quality and get upset that I spend my time on something that is trash. But, today, I realized that such kind of experiences/practices are instruments that will make my writing good at the end of the day. Thank you very much.

    Ketsela

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  • Suzann Baldwin

    Perfect is never achievable. Good is. So is great.

    Writing every day is a must. Pick a time, then do it. Even if you’re having an off day, you give your mind the cue it needs to create.

  • Joni Jean Ontiveros

    Hmmmm? First and foremost thank you Joe. Your continued efforts to encourage me to write are paying off 😉 I enjoyed the comparison of quality vs. quantity. The mention of pottery reminded me of a story I once read about cracked pots. I believe that is my biggest hindrance, feeling like a cracked pot is not as useful as a whole one. Learning to write on a daily basis, I believe, will build my confidence and increase my desire to continue writing. I am at a point in life where I understand the need for practice with hopes for perfection, while understanding and accepting perfection, for me, will only come when I die. We all have a story, it’s just getting it out and onto paper that’s intimidating in my little world! After reading through some of the posts, I can see that there are a variety of levels and styles involved with this writing stuff…this is a good thing. I am looking forward to writing about my co-workers later. They are an awesome bunch of people and I am blessed…thank you!

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  • Lee

    I find a mix of quantity and quality is mostly helpful. Some days I’ll pound out 5 or 6 pages, other days I indulge my obsessive side and rewrite like a mad woman. The negative aspect is my tendency to start a new story after each rewriting session.

  • Kobe

    I teach fiction writing to beginning writers. I tell them I can give them all the tools, information and how-to for short story or novel writing but, I can’t teach them to write. The only way they learn that is to WRITE! It’s no different than taking piano lessons – you learn fingering, chords, scales, notes, flats, sharps, etc., but unless you practice at least one hour a day, you will never be able to play the piano. As said, writing is no different. Someone mentioned NANO – I try to do that every November during NANO month (see their website). It’s absolutely the best way ever to meet the objective of a novel draft. I’ve completed that challenge three times, and plan to do it again come November. Meantime, I make an attempt to write something everyday – I’m not always successful, as life does sometimes get in the way. Another suggestion is to join a writing critique group – it’s a great motivator.

    • Magsmaud

      I do like the idea of a writing critique group.

  • Magsmaud

    I tried to go for quality when I wrote my book. I wrote it in a rush toward the end because my dear Mother was terminally ill and she really wanted to see the finished article. I managed to get it published in time for mum to read it. My memory of her propped up in bed and chuckling away, reading my book is something I treasure. I nursed her at home and because she features in the book we had so much to laugh about so her final days were full of laughter. I took the death of my Mother very, very hard and couldn’t look at my book for several months. When I finally read it I was struck by how terrible it was and stopped anyone asking about it from buying it.
    I revisited the manuscript and began to edit and improve the content. Friends who read it told me it really funny and enjoyable – but hey, they were my Friends, completely biased. As I read through it I felt the first half of the book was over written. Trying to squeeze every ounce of meaning from every word. It was very laboured. The second half of the book was rushed and frankly an easier read. I had no time to mess about with trivia because as I have said My Mother was dying and she was the one who encouraged me to write.I think there has to be a compromise but when you read something you have written and it doesn’t ‘sound’ like you, a bit stilted with so many adjectives in each sentence you could make ‘alphabet’ soup- not good. Much better to dash something off when the mood takes you and worry about the rest later. I have yet to complete the edit my book manuscript because the publisher is asking an arm and a leg to re-print it.

  • Jason

    This is good. It seems that quantity is a way to spark all the ideas out. As you write more, your writing will be smooth. Thanks!

  • LaCresha Lawson

    I agree and find that hard to do with kids. But, I keep a lot of thoughts in my head and hope not to forget them…..

  • will hope

    This is what happening to me right now. I try to write something but than a voice comes to my mind and says it’s not good enough and it makes me evaluate it again and i end up with little or even no writing at all. I think your article is really true. We have to keep practice and never stop doing it if we want to be better. Thanks for the sharing. And I’m sorry for the bad English, I’m not a native speaker

    • collie

      You have an inner critic that you need to shut up. Don’t listen to ‘not good enough’. Not good enough for who? Write and be damned. Nothing wrong with your English either so stop apologising for it. Make the mistakes, write the rubbish. Think of it like mining, you have to get through a lot of dirt before you get to gold

  • collie

    I certainly don’t suffer from the quality issue. Wish I did in someway. I just write everyday. Struggle with the next step but once I get started I get finished. I find I am ready with a finished edited piece before anyone else is ready to read it. When I get to go back over stuff I can always find room from improvement. I would love to be able to re read something I write without clutching my head and saying ‘damn’.

    • Ariel Benjamin

      Yeah, I know what you mean.

      The funny thing is our emotions are so fickle. Like, there will be writing pieces that I disdained in the moment, but after I haven’t read for years I go back and read it and I love it! Even though I acknowledge some flaws, I still look at it and say, wow look at where my mind was and what it was telling me. Don’t listen to the cynical voice. Love your writing, and then editing will become a work of love too (and not of hate).

  • Ashli Spencer

    New Beginnings for me living free and no longer captive 🙂 started my new job I’m feeling a little out of place may be out of my element but the people I work with are so cool and chill. Never knew and sitting with the high-class 😉 haha. I’m the one that greets everyone as receptionist as the receptionist I get to see all. Coworkers always smile at me and make me feel important when they need my help and they always asked with a serious face or an eagerness most likely because their job is pretty important. Real estate brokers and leasing agents property managers always on the grind. I’m inspired and learning a lot I think it’s so cool just sitting there and no smile on their faces serious all the way and they see me and I’m like just smiling maybe say hi and their wives change as they leave the office I always tell them to have fun!!! 🙂 and they chuckle and say okay or OK or alright. It’s entertaining sometimes I feel insecure though like a lingering tragic event wants to happen and sometimes when I talk a couple people there intensely staring at my face. Women and men with Expressions that make you wonder what are they thinking. LOL. But I act like nothing and I tell myself it’s not all about you Ashli 🙂 laugh out loud.2nd job,, my Career I don’t have many co-workers in the massage therapy field but the ones I have worked with most are weird, huh different demeanor with dire and cautious attitudes or there are the nice ones gentle and thoughtful their expression as much of concern when I talk about my pain in my body and they always try to help me fix it. Grateful.

  • Ashli Spencer

    I’ll express my opinion about quantity and quality. I feel it necessary sometimes when I write and sometimes it doesn’t always make sense to people who read it so the quantity is good because I needed to get it out and the quality may not be something that you can understand but it is still a good quality. Now when it comes to Quality less is more for an audience especially when you have so much emotion and drive behind it but it still needs to be understood by the General Public so quality or quantity really have no greater than the other they’re equal in all aspects of writing depending on the type of writing you’re doing

  • Ashli Spencer

    I’ll express my opinion about quantity and quality. I feel it necessary sometimes when I write and sometimes it doesn’t always make sense to people who read it so the quantity is good because I needed to get it out and the quality may not be something that you can understand but it is still a good quality. Now when it comes to Quality less is more for an audience especially when you have so much emotion and drive behind it but it still needs to be understood by the General Public so quality or quantity really have no greater than the other they’re equal in all aspects of writing.

  • Kenneth M. Harris

    Prosthetics and Orthotics

    I believe that most people know that prosthesis is for a
    missing limb, and an orthotic is a person that wears a brace inside their
    shoes. I was informed a long time ago to not label an orthoses as a brace.
    However, most of the students that have gone through this program have
    told me that their patients only understand the word BRACE. However, within meetings and teaching, they use the word Orthotics. I am employed in a Prosthetics and Orthotics MPO Program. There are four certified prosthetist-Orthotist instructors. Two
    are full size older gentlemen who wear a lab coat and is usually mistaken for
    doctors. There is one young gentleman who covers his jeans with a lab coat.
    The young lady only wears her lab coast if she is lecturing. The two females work on-line. This is and always has been a passion for all them, which is similar to our passion
    for writing. I believe that all of us get along well because we have various personalities and diversities. You usually discover that you are more similar than you think. It’s a wonderful field. I have learned that people who wear prostheses and orthoses wants to be treated like a person and not an amputee. lord knows this isn’t perfect, but I wrote it! KEN

  • Ariel Benjamin

    Good stuff. That pottery teacher is inspiring. This is still a struggle for me.

    I have to get out of being angry at all the poor content being pushed on people daily and the fear of not wanting to be that. Wish I had time to do these practices but I always read these at work! You have helped me to start writing every day though and the freedom and confidence is coming back!

    Do you guys feel like Creative Writing programs at top universities contribute to the “perfectionism disease?” My creative writing program made me feel cramped. They teach amazing editing techniques, but my professors never emphasized the importance of retaining that diligence and freedom. As a result I noticed many writers in my class struggle with intense block because they’re so editing-obsessed.

  • Roy Gomez

    Yeah, have mastered the perfectionist thing; now anxious to embrace the relaxed approach. You know something good is gonna come from it. Great question.

  • Lou Pare-Lobinske

    “It’s not how fast you mow, it’s how well you mow fast.” 😉

    Seriously, though, I think my focus is on doing it – doing it well, perhaps, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m coming out of a thirty-year case of writer’s block, so I don’t care as much how good it is, as long as I do it.

  • Zerelda

    Don’t spend too much time perfecting the first page before the second page is written. Etc. 🙂

  • Robert Niemann

    Is it too late to publish my 15 minute exercise?

  • Hi Joe,

    Thats “write” out of the box. Really a brilliant way to draw a contrast between Quantity and Quality via a parable. You strike genius with a few words and nail down the message well in the minds of the readers. I am a first time visitor here but intend coming back to read your stuff more often. Till then as you say…………Happy writing

  • Coderider1

    i write furiously once I get going. The inspiration and the words flow faster than I can type. I’m a total Pantser and often don’t know where the next paragraph is going. My first book I wrote in about 3-4 months. On my latest book, I completed the first draft in 35 days. I slow down when I get into the revising/editing stage.

  • Sherwin

    I always end up with the writers block and never put pen to paper. I am trying to figure out what to say an who are my audience. i guess i am afraid of being wrong, of being recognized as someone who is not polished in the way he communicates. All i want is to start writing but i don’t know how should i get there.

  • Sarojini Pattayat

    a writer should write…that’s all…
    thanks for so much inspirations.

  • write drunk, edit sober. great wisdom to live by, ie write like you’re on a mission, then clean it up. Always have something in the works, write everyday even if it’s a blog.

  • kenza

    Thank you so much for this PERFECT and well-done article. And thanks a billions for your kind pieces of advice. I usually do focus only on QUALITY ! But from now on I wil never do ..

  • Decided to take your advice starting today! Here’s my 15 minutes of writing about work. Disclaimer, I did go back and edit after the time was up…

    For being in the tech industry, I work with a surprisingly old demographic of individuals.
    Each building at my company is known for certain things. Mine? I refer to it fondly as the engineering prison. Am I an engineer? Nope. Couldn’t be further from one.
    Daily I find myself surrounded by mostly white males who look to be my father’s age. They sport t-shirts, jeans and running shoes or a tucked in collared shirt if they really feel like getting fancied up. Other than a small group of six new hires straight from grad. school, everyone has been here before I was born or even started school.
    At first this was disappointing.
    Two and a half years later, I find it oddly comforting. When I go to the other buildings full of vibrant lounges with machine-run baristas and fancy gadgets and people my age dressed with the latest fashion, sure it’s fun and exciting and new. After a while though, I appreciate the calm maturity of my building.
    I don’t have to have someone my brother’s age bossing me around. I can wear those bold army print heels without fear of what my peers will think.
    What an interesting place the building 5 prison is. Sure the lights sometimes don’t come on and it’s dark and silent like an empty nester house but I sort of like it. Even the actual engineers I work with aren’t all that bad. While I can’t relate to anime references or jokes about Python and Java they’re all nice and usually helpful.
    Best of all, my building is the only one nerd enough to offer yoga classes in a conference room during lunch hours. While I wouldn’t have pegged engineers as the type to enjoy this sort of yuppie activity there are a fair amount that show up every Tuesday and Thursday.
    At first this seemed a strange concept—doing yoga in a dimmed conference room with mats interspersed among chairs and tables. However, I’ve grown to enjoy the relaxing routine.
    One of my coworkers usually goes with me. A cheeky, relaxed grin on her face when we’re done, pearls and earrings still on over her yoga pants and t-shirt; she’s a ridiculous sight. Then again, all of us are.
    Every once and a while someone will mistakenly start to come in to the room assuming they have a meeting there. They’ll sheepishly back out as they notice the awkwardly tangled and twisted bodies on the ground and the glares.
    Do I have conflicts with these yoga-loving, casual, silent brood of engineers? Of course.
    Anyone you spend your entire day with five days a week for a couple years, you’re bound to have conflict with. But eventually it all seems to work itself out.
    Just like the sleepy atmosphere of the building, those heated, stressful meetings are lulled away. Not always, but usually.

  • Sharon Shelton Corpening

    I was a broadcast and print reporter for 20+ years until I left the newsroom to go to film school. Altogether, I’ve been a pro writer for more than than 30 years. I can tell you the daily grind of writing on deadline is a fast-track to skill mastery. Now that I’m trying to stretch myself with short fiction and non-fiction books, I freeze. Granted, I’m writing business plans for 3 brands at the moment (I need to get them off my plate so I can restructure my freelance website. So I guess that takes precedent). But, I’ve got some kind of mental block when it comes to books and fiction. I have so many ideas for scripts, books, and short stories stockpiled in my brain, I can’t decide which one to write about. So I shut down and do something else while kicking myself for not applying the skills and discipline I already have.

  • Angelia Hunter Irizarry

    I agree with the article. I’m currently writing a series and have five books completed. So, now I’m going back through and editing and revising and I can see the difference from the first book to the fifth. For me, I will continue writing quantity as it appears to be helping me to fine tune and sharpen my skills. If I was trying for quality from day one, I’d be stuck focusing so much on that I wouldn’t get any writing done and I’d be totally stressed out. Great article!

  • Sam Carlson

    I focus on quantity, with the realization that when I go back and proofread, I’ll quickly get the quality correct. Most of that is grammar and sentence structure. I find it a lot easier to get the quality part correct after I’ve written something to correct. It’s a whole lot harder to get the quality correct if I have written nothing to correct. Now, keep in mind what I’m trying to do. For my job, I describe things for catalogs. I’m often limited to a set number of characters, and/or a set space. For that, I write haphazardly and then go back and condense what I wrote; then I worry about sentence structure; and finally, the grammar and spelling. It’s the condensing that takes the most time.

    For the book I’m working on, it’s different. The book is a color photo pictorial, which I call a “Color Photo Spectacular.” So the first thing I need is the photo. Since my hobby is photography, I have thousands of them to choose from and I don’t need to pay anyone any royalties. Then I must caption them, and with no small caption. Each caption is more like an essay. There will be one photo per page. I select each photo based on its relativity to what I’m trying to convey in that section of the book. Then I scan it using my photo scanner, do any photo-editing as necessary, give it a filename and a tracking number (so I can find it easily) and then save it to a hard drive. I may or may not bother with the caption at that time. I may scan and save 15 or 20 photos a day and not caption any of them. On other days, I may scan nothing but will caption a few of what I’d scanned previously. I know full well that some of them will wind up on the cutting room floor. Until I send it in for publication, I know I have plenty of time to correct errors and make changes. Since there’s no deadline as there is for my catalog writing, I don’t put any pressure on myself about what to do or how fast I do it. This is a labor of love, so if I never get it done, it’s still been a lot of fun trying!

    Oh, and I WILL get it done! The most time consuming part is the scanning process. After I’ve selected which photos to scan, it takes about 10-15 minutes per photo to scan, create filenames, and save. This, too, is a lot of fun. Last night, I scanned a few pics I took in August, 1972, when I first started out in photography. They brought back a lot of great memories, and, sadly, brought about the realization that neither my photography skills nor my equipment back then were not up to par for publication in a book. But, by August, 1973, they were!

    Now, let’s get back to quality vs. quantity. I write a lot, and the result is that I didn’t have to change a thing to what I wrote for this discussion, except for where I fat-fingered the keys, and where upper case letters were corrected due to my left shift key wearing out. This is where practice makes perfect. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you won’t have to make corrections or changes – the quality will just automatically flow!

    • Sam Carlson

      So, after pressing send and then reading this one more time, I found an error in the second to last sentence in the second to last paragraph. The word ‘not’ should NOT be there! Sheesh!

  • Lavlesh Mishra

    Hi there!
    I am the smallest one in this world of writing. Whenever I think about writing, I always used to prefer quality that makes me too slow to move on into it. Now you gave me a lesson a good lesson to go through. I will definitely try it.I was wrong footed as a beginner, I think. Thank you so much.

  • Lu Wang

    You are totally right. Worrying about quality more than often holds me back on starting to write. Really should just let my thought flow in the first place!

  • chidera Duru

    after reading this, I scribbled down some words and they made sense. below are some of the words and how they formed an amazing story.

    “The coming of my American suitor was like the coming of Christ. It was at hand. Mama
    announced it with the same tone she talked about rapture during her morning
    cries. ‘Prepare to meet him,’ she said to me, while slicing okras in the living room.

    My hands crossed each other on my chest. ‘When?’

    ‘Didn’t you hear me the first time? He could be here anytime.’ She stood up from our well worn sofa, picked up the waterproof bag that she had brought back from the market and went into the kitchen.

    Chi, Uche and NK circled me like moths around an electric bulb. Chi perched beside me on the armchair.

    ‘Jesus, I can’t believe this. My own sister will soon be an American citizen.’ Chi giggled.

    ‘And think of it. You can arrange for Uche to come over the moment you are settled.’ Nk gasped.

    Uche sat cross-legged on the floor in front of me. His countenance betrayed his effort
    to conceal his exhilaration.

    ‘But he hasn’t seen me yet. You don’t know if he will like me.’ I tried to be modest.

    ‘Why won’t he?’ Mama emerged from the kitchen with a tray full of pumpkin leaves. She sat opposite us and began to slice. ‘I did not give birth to any ugly daughter. It is not ugliness that has prevented your older sisters from getting married.
    It is stupidity.’

    NK and Chi frowned.

    ‘But you are different.’ Mama sliced swiftly, without a board. I always imagined the knife
    cutting through her hand, drawing blood. But it never did, not once since I
    have known her.

    There was a knock at the gate, a loud banging actually.

    ‘Should be your father…’ Mama said, almost in a whisper.

    Someone, most likely Uche, went to open the gate. I was half conscious of the things
    happening around. My thoughts drifted to America, that country of soaring
    possibilities, where whatever people did, no matter how menial, produced crisp
    currencies.

    I smiled.

    ‘Ebere!’ Papa’s voice practically pounced on me.

    ‘Papa!’ my response promptly collided with his call. ‘Welcome, sah!’

    ‘Where is your mind?’

    ‘At America…’ Uche was laughing.

    Papa’s lips stretched a little wider, but that was not a smile. Or was it?

    Nk and Chi had gone inside the room. When I got up to join them, Papa said,

    ‘Nne, get me water to drink,’ as he sank into the chair where I had been sitting.

    In between dunking a silver, steel cup into our drinking water bucket, and delivering it,
    two hands holding the slim cup, to Papa, I imagined what Johnson looked like.

    ‘Your mind is really far away,’ Papa remarked.

    ‘Oh,’ I gasped. ‘What?’

    ‘Get me another one…’

    I probably didn’t return with another cup of water, and at night, I curled up beside chi
    in our bed, the bulb dim with a low current light and the fan moving almost in
    slow motion; mosquitoes hovering over my ears, I thought of Sunday, the day I
    would finally meet my American husband to be. It was my hardworking nature that
    got me such luck. This was Papa’s opinion. The man who had arranged the
    marriage had admired how I ran errands for Papa at his Cement shop, how I paid
    the carriers who took bags of cement to our customers without arguing.

    I would have rolled from one side to another, but I was pinned to my position by Chi’s
    immovable body, snoring gently beside me. I did not sleep that night.

    Sunday came swimmingly.

    ‘Show some flesh. Americans don’t really like conservative girls…’ Nk advised in the afternoon, while I tried out different clothes, discovering that I had nothing befitting to wear.

    ‘Wear this.’ Chi was willing to let me wear her new pumps, something only the prospect of an American in-law could make her do.

    I finally wore ripped jeans and Ankara top. The pumps fit, too. I tried to make it chic.
    Then I set out.

    I did not go with Nk, although she would have wanted me to. ‘It is better to meet him alone for the first time,’ Mama had advised.

    As I sat in the waiting room of ABC transport company, Egbu road, Johnson’s voice reechoed in my ears. I loved his language, its timbres and lilt, the way the words
    glided out into my ears. It was agreeable.

    My phone rang. I answered.

    ‘Yeah, where are you?’

    ‘Um, inside the park, you?’

    ‘Come outside!’

    ‘What?’

    ‘Come outside. I am not inside ABC park.’ The ‘r’ in park was ostentatious.

    He hung up.

    I found my way outside. Then it was my turn to call.

    ‘Hello, please where are you?’

    ‘Across the road. Just look across the road.’

    I looked across the road. There was a middle aged man standing next to an old woman.
    Apart from them, every other person was essentially in a hurry to walk past or
    cross over.

    ‘I can’t see you…’

    ‘Oh, I can see you. Are you the one on Ankara top?’

    ‘Yes!’

    I looked across the road. The middle aged man waved. Something moved from my heart to my waist and sunk into my hip bones. My heart raced. This could not be him.

    The middle aged man started to cross the road, the old woman tagging along. I held my
    breath.

    ‘Ebere?’ he said when he came close to me.

    ‘Yes,’ I nodded in unbelief.

    ‘Pleased to meet you…’ he brought out a hand to shake me. I regarded the hand coldly.

    ‘Oh, I get it. We should hug, not shake…’ he came closer and hugged me with his side.

    You know that smell that you perceive in your old grandmother’s house, the smell of a moldy room, of old, brittle papers and family history. That was the smell that oozed
    from him.

    ‘Meet my mum.’ He turned to his mother and said something in their incomprehensible dialect. His mother grinned and nodded in my direction. Her front teeth were all gone.

    I nodded.

    Then we stood still for an awkward minute or so. Why, this man was almost my father’s
    age. And what was wrong with his left eye? His eyelid looked swollen and
    covered the eye. His skin was pale, his teeth sticking out from his mouth even
    when it was closed. He was tall, slim, but without the kind of firm body that
    characterizes African Americans.

    ‘So, we should go and meet your parents or something.’

    I nodded. He and his mother led the way, instead of me. They looked like displaced refugees. Something like a jute sack rested on his mother’s head. Who where these peasants?

    ‘You are supposed to give us direction,’ he turned to say. I could sense in his demeanor, an undercurrent of impatience.

    ‘Of course, yes…’ I quickly rearranged my face into something warm, cheery.

    I waved down a taxi and said, ‘Drop.’

    ‘No, no… not drop. Drops are expensive. Or will you pay?’ He said with a nervous smile.

    I swallowed.
    ‘I will pay.’ I was firm. I discussed the prize with the taxi man and I got into the passenger’s seat.

    They got into the backseat.

    ‘I’m so tired. We practically stood all day. ABC fare is unaffordable. We had to board molue.’ He was speaking from the back.

    I could hardly breathe. Such hardship!

    ‘Is there somewhere I could change dollars?’

    I ignored the question, a suffocating pressure filling my chest.

    The taxi man replied to his question. I can’t tell what he said. And the rest of the journey was a blur to me.

    When we alighted from the taxi, I counted five hundred naira and paid. He did not
    protest. He simple looked away, as if scanning the environment.

    It was Uche who opened the door for us, his eyes roaming about, sizing up the strangers and
    then me. There were questions in them.

    ‘Where is Papa?’ I asked him just to navigate my discomfort. I knew Papa was in the living room waiting.

    When we got in, Papa looked at us, mouth agape. He shook hands with the visitors with
    exaggerated hospitability. It was Mama that I pitied. When she came out of the
    room and saw the visitors, she greeted them and then, bewilderment lodged in
    her eyes, she turned to me.

    ‘Where is Johnson?’ her voice had the weight of a whisper, a desperate harsh whisper.

    When I pointed at the middle aged man, she sank into the sofa mournfully. Chi and NK
    looked like they had seen a ghost when they saw the visitors.

    ‘Good day, ma. Good day, sir,’ they chorused, they eyes frozen oval shapes.

    I went into the room, allowing them to discuss this and that. When Chi and Nk came into the room, they did not say a word to me. It was as if they avoided me. I changed my
    clothes, picked up the dress I would wear to the shop tomorrow and went to iron
    it.

    The next time I went to the living room was like an hour later. Mama had a hand wedged under her chin and Papa sat pensively.

    ‘What about Johnson?’ I asked.

    Mama shook her head. ‘They have gone.’

    That was it. The coming of my American suitor and his departure were like rapture. They happened unannounced.

    • Oh, this is hilarious! It means she is going to marry a man whom she has no idea about?

  • Nisheena Smith West

    As the old saying goes “Practice makes perfect”… You can’t get better if you don’t practice!

  • P.Shyamkishor

    Your advice is perfectly right.It is only by continuous writing that one can become a writer.To master the craft of writing we need to write a lot.In the beginning we feel disappointed about our writing because they lack in order and flow.But if we continue with our writing, it will gradually gain order and flow.And when the writing gets order and flow we can confidently focus on perfection.As we progress in our writing, we will realize the fact that we are not only becoming a writer but also a good writer.

    Your article is very encouraging and helpful for those who want to become a writer.I request you to write more such motivating articles.

  • Jamie Miller

    Great article! Now I’m perplexed because I write with quality, not quantity. Its better to write succinctly, creatively. In this busy world who makes time to read “quantity”?

  • Shirley Good

    The people I work are very intelligent. They always know exactly the right thing to say and that leaves me doubting my abilities. On ,my journalism course, I submitted a pitch for assessment and was told it would never pass muster because I had a spelling error in it. I was told that editors just throw badly written pitches away because they can’t rely on the finished article being perfect. This knocked me back quite a lot because, I think I have some great ideas and I am not always perfect. My proof-reading is not 100%. Whilst I can proof-read other people’s work, I am an academic and taught history for many years, I overlook some of my errors. I am particularly hard on people too, who make errors, am I just getting my own back!. I never actually thought about this until now as I am writing this nonsense, or is it self-counselling. Oh dear! My problem is that although I have a PhD I am a vert good speller. I recognise a spelling mistake immediately because I am an avid reader, but I overlook them in my own work. Anyway, getting back to my the people I work with. Since I became a freelance writer, I have worked with many people, academic and journalistic (is that really a word?). I hate elitism in writing. I had to live with it in academia, and I though I would escape it when turned to freelance writing. After all, if they pay me they must like what I write, right? But like all things it is not as simple as this. Take content writing for example. I actually enjoy content writing, even the low paid content mills (write 5 articles a day). I love challenges, but now I am wondering if they like this kind of work because it is cheap? I am currently writing travel and have been invited to apply to Rough Guides with the prospect of writing for them. I am very excited about this but as yet have not even put pen to paper for the 1,000 word article on a place I know well. This is because I am not convenient it will be good enough. That’s my 15 minutes up and I have corrected as I have gone along so I expect this is cheating. Ces’t la vie

  • I want to focus on quantity but find myself editing and rewriting instead of focusing on the joy of writing. You words have helped me a great deal. Thanks for the advice!

  • João Inok

    I agree with you. I have encounter a problem. So, I was very excited writing my stories and I had this friend, he also wants to become a writer, but you know he studing the English Grammar, then, when I showed him my papers he just focused on mistakes, mispellings or others gramatical staff, therefore, for a six months I stop writing I was so down… Now I diceded just to write what ever I come up with and wait when finished to show him so that we can correct all the mistakes or erros…
    And thank you mate, your articles have been a real help.
    .

  • S.Ramalingam

    When I was working as a telephone operator in the department of telecom,I used to work 07 hours 20 minutes in two spells.Each duty would commence as follows: 0640 that ended at 1400 hours, but we would be relieved twenty minutes earlier at 1340 hours, when all those performing 0640 would be relieved in toto.Those who perform 1340 hours duty would be relieved at 1540 hours, for a 40 minutes relief time and their duty would be over by 2100 hours.Again those who came for 1640 hours duty would be relieved at 0000 hours and the 1540 s would be releived at 2300 hours.We the telehone operators would be having telephone supervisors to supervise us, by way of allotting us the boards to man, to relieve us for a short and long spells of relief.Among the telephone supervisors, One person by name Govindarajan was very punctual, duty conscious and above all conscientious and God fearing.He never had been biased at anybody.If any body violated his duty, by coming late, by availing excess relief, he would never fail to warn them to behave themselves.He was rather simple and used to wear only dhoties even for coming to office.Despite of being strict, he never got antogonised with any body.We used to be punctual in coming for duty, in availing relief and in perforimg our duty.Even a person with bad character well behaved with him.So if the person at the helm of affirs is strict and well behaved, the same was reciprocated by his subordinates.In fact, we had no problem at all when he was on supervisory duty.He was such a tactful person.

  • Violet Flora

    Does it matter what you write each day? I’m asking because I completed a 120,000 word story in 2 months a year ago, and then after editing it a few times, I thought it was done. I even completed a sequel. But about 3 months later, when my computer crashed and all I was left with was a pdf copy of the first story in my email, I had to re-write it in order to have a word copy because writing the sequel made me want to change a few things in the first novel. While re-writing the first novel, I started to see that my characters were shallow. So I spent a month character building, and that lead me to world building (because it’s a dystopian world… I know it’s been over done, but it’s an idea I had). So everyday I spent building up the world, including timelines, and characters that may or may not even make it into the story, but they are there in my mind to help with the story. After doing that, I spent another 6 months re-writing the story, and it now totals 190,000.. It’s way too long to be published. I am well aware of that. So now I’m re-writing it again. I will be re-writing the sequel too. I am also working on a prequel to help make my story shorter. But does this all count? Or do you mean that we should write different stories everyday or every few days?

  • D.j. McNair

    I D.J. McNair I work with some nice people I work modernized people whom don’t know much about there surroundings and the few who do they just conform instead of have the urge to change the issue they rather endure it which is where my conflict comes in at because I’m the cage free bird among the caged and some are even in a cage that is open but rather stay because of the comfort zone they rather stay in which makes it from time to time frustrating to me but doesn’t get the best of me I wish I could say a word and get them to snap out of it. Maybe in due time I’ll gain that knowledge also I noticed my freeness confuses them there are like , so how are you going to live without money as if it’s Not possible and how am I going to be happy as if there is No way , see society has gotten them so condition that they cannot see it no other way which is a shame it is a lie and it saddens me and makes me weak funny because (of course I’m about to say it ) it gives me strength at same time. So the people that I work are typical being of which I would call a Sheep just going with the flow whichever way that patrol dog (police) directs them with second thought of is this what I Want to do or is this what I Love why am I doing this? Is it really for my happiness like true happiness or is for the money? To fit Society Standards.

  • mohan v

    I do write for quantity but without quality quantity will be a total waste.

  • Melanie Wardlow

    Hi I am taking writing courses to stretch my writing muscles. I am treating the classes like I am back in college. This is also helping me become a better writer.

  • Hala

    I focus on quantity. I keep telling mysef to write more and more, that I just need to write, and that i’ll check and edit it later on.

  • Debbie

    Thanks. It was worth reading. I put it to myself that from today I will be spending quality time writing every day.

  • Courtney Edwin Gary

    Quality=Quantity squared. We have to put it down before we can think about it in it’s real form. The more we write the better.

  • Courtney Edwin Gary

    I have a saying…Practice makes perfect, but, a perfect practice is rare.

  • SRhymes

    I have been writing poems as soon as I could start forming sentences. My mom kept all my poems and short stories. When I decided to become a published author she took out the box piled so high with my writing the lid would not close. She was the one who said I was always writing every day and every where we went. Now I never go any where without a pad and pencil. Now I am a grandma and my mom a great grandma, I have decided to follow my mom’s lead. When I am with my granddaughter I make sure she has her special note book I take care to treasure and keep. She’s only three and she asks me for her naoto book when we are together. And together we are off in our special writing world.

  • Joe, you echo my favorite authors! Adding; if you have time to write, you have time to read. Emerse yourself into the craft, shutting off your phone, avoiding Facebook, making a space just your own, to write. http://laterwritenow.blogspot.com/2016/11/advice-on-writing-from-successful.html

  • Juanita Ellingson

    I have found writing everyday has been the better direction for me anyway. I always thought I couldn’t get it down until I had it all figured out in my head. Things moved a lot faster and I improved a lot more when I just wrote. Thanks for this post!

  • Leanne

    Wow! I’ve actually been focusing on quality for so long that I haven’t written as much short stories as I’d imagined! I guess this article was an eye opener!