Does it happen that you get an epiphany and want to share it with the world? Do you save the idea as a to-do in your task manager? The next day or on the scheduled day and time, you get to writing it, but you feel uninspired and stuck.
But since you have already committed to the topic and have invested in the idea. You force yourself, chug along with the topic, and feel the pain of not being in the flow; you feel stuck! You question your worth as a writer, and as a communicator, you ask yourself why can’t you write like others and churn one great article after another.
Try using the five-second rule
The moment you get a spark of the idea, stop whatever you are doing and get to writing it down. The trick is to write it down before the idea leaves your mind. If you wait for more than five seconds, procrastination will set in, and that moment of inspiration has become a drab, boring to-do item in your task list.
Once the moment of divine inspiration is gone, you are climbing uphill. Your words don’t feel like they are flowing anymore; you keep checking your AI writer for help with words.
What is the five-second rule?
The five-second rule is that if you don’t do a task within five seconds of it coming into your mind, you will procrastinate and probably never get to do it again.
Avoid adding spark ideas into your task manager; if you cannot write it down right away, it is better to let the idea go away.
Some more rules to help with this writing workflow.
- Ensure you write at least five hundred to a thousand words on the topic. This means you have some meat to feed the topic.
- Write the content in such a way that it reflects a theme you have already worked on. This will add to your knowledge graph and help you create longer content like e-books, courses, chapters for your novels, etc.
- Make sure to add wikilinks and backlinks so you can find connections between your notes.
Not ready to publish
Okay, this content written under inspiration should be good to publish because what you have just written in the moment of inspiration is from the core of your being, aka subjective knowing. But if you want to polish it further and add depth to your topic, check your notes for connections. What else have you written which could add more clarity to this topic? Connect them, Edit, and Publish.
This is not something new; it is the Zettelkasten system, except what I have added to the existing workflow is the Five-second rule, which is the key to beating writer’s block.
Goals Vs. Systems
Another fundamental principle is playing here—the Goals VS Systems. Adding the writing task to your task manager becomes part of your “Goal.” The five-second rule is a system for beating writing done, the systems will eventually lead to accomplishing goals, but since this process is counterintuitive, we often keep making goals and fail to achieve our goals. To achieve our goals, we must forget them while doing the work.
- Incidentally after writing this post, I discovered there is a popular book on the five-second rule - Check here on Amazon
- The book hasn’t got great reviews so you could instead watch the ted talk on the five second rule by Mel Robbins