A few years ago I had the pleasure of receiving a writing training by Dutch writing guru Joep Luycx. I don’t believe short texts are always better. Nor that we should always try to write and publish more. But this method definitely helps you write a powerful, concise yet fun to read story or blog article in under 30 minutes. Write what you mean.
Note: this method works best if you first learn by writing by hand, on paper. Later you can keep using the method but now on your favorite device.
Topic, three thoughts, reader
First, choose the topic you want to write about. Decide on three things you would want to say about that topic. Write down a draft title and three draft subheadings. Next, picture a person you know and trust and imagine you’re writing a personal message to them. Now, go.
Five lines times three
Put pen to paper and start writing. Make your three main points and explain or elaborate on them in five lines each. Doesn’t matter one bit if it’s good, if it sucks or if it’s bland. Aim for short sentences. Mute the little criticism-devil in your ear for one minute. Shut it!
Remix to refine
Done? Now comes the remixing and refining bit. This is where it gets really fun. Start a second draft and exaggerate everything you’ve written in your first draft to the extreme. Then start a third draft and dramatically play everything down, stating the exact opposite of everything you’ve just written. Then turn it back upside down in your fourth draft.
Finally, choose the best bits and wordings for your final draft. Don’t forget to replace all words with more than three syllables for shorter ones. Wherever possible. Write a heartfelt closing line.
Got it? Now go try it. See what it can do for you.