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How long does it take to write a post/essay?
- How Life Sciences Actually Work: 2 weeks non-stop, so around 100-150 hours of combined thinking and writing
- How to make friends over the internet: 12 hours over 2 days
- A single Quarterly links post: usually 15 hours over a few days
- Doing Good Better post: >100 hours over 6 weeks
- Why You Should Start a Blog Right Now: 5 hours at once initially + several hours over next several months
- Research Ideas: 10 hours over 1 day
- Every productivity thought I’ve ever had, as concisely as possible: 50 hours over 6 months + 5 hours in edits over the next year
- Where Does Talent Come From: 15 hours over 2 days
- On Friendship: 2 hours
Many of my posts start as a bunch of bullets that are accumulating in some text file, before reaching the critical mass and making me realize that I should finally write the post. Many of them are me just being hit by an idea (usually upon reading something on the internet) and starting to write immediately.
I also have many unpublished drafts which took anywhere from 1 minute to over 30 hours.
So, you want to write something…
Almost all the writing I’m most proud of was started early in the afternoon and finished at whatever the natural stopping point was, generally between 6 PM and 2 AM.
I have more than 100 text files in my “drafts” folder. Some of them consist only of a few lines; some are hundreds and thousands of words long. How many of them will I finish? 10 would be an optimistic prediction.
Behind every draft is an idea and all of them were created when that idea was burning in my mind. I had to take it out and put it into writing. However, a month, a week, a day later, the idea is no longer burning. Its home is now a text file that will live on my hard drive but to which I will probably never return. Perhaps I will open it, take a look at whatever I wrote and think “man, I should’ve just written it up then”.
If you have an idea burning in your mind – write now; everything else can wait.
(if something seems like to could start burning at some point but right now it’s too vague or uncertain, feel free to dump notes in the text file. But never start writing a coherent text and abandon it halfway through.)