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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

How I Write

I have a few rules & habits that help me with my writing and specifically to write more efficiently, more often whilst not compromising on the quality of my content.

These rules & habits have especially helped considering that I publish through so many different channels: this blog, my newsletter, the PublicBeta blog, Medium, Svbtle and everywhere else that I guest-post from time-to-time.

Here's the random list of things that help me:

1. Using Markdown

I write using Markdown, because I don't like removing my hands from the keyboard whilst writing or when I'm in the zone.

2. Avoiding Planning

I (mostly) never plan to write and mostly try to produce the content well in advance of any "deadline". Instead I write when the inspiration hits.

3. Take Notes

If I can't write when the inspiration hits, I use this cool little app to effortlessly collect my thoughts. Later when I review those little notes, I write whatever sparks my interest. (Which also means that some of those notes never turn into actual articles.)

4. Get it into Draft

When writing longer articles that I anticipate revising a couple of times before, I use Draft to help me make progress on those improvements to my content. If it's shorter form content, I write in whatever application or interface that seems best at that moment.

5. Writing For Myself

I mostly never write with an end-goal in mind. First and foremost I write for myself. So if it helps me to communicate these thoughts, I assume that others (whether it is 1 or 1000) will find it valuable too.

6. Be Open To Prompts

I'm open to any kind of prompt that might inspire me to write. Sometimes when I've helped someone via e-mail and I get a "thanks that was very helpful" response, I use that validation to publish a post about that. This post about kickstarting your blog was one such example.

7. 1000 Words

I try to stick to writing at least 1000 words a day. Sometimes that means that I just have an open Draft and I just add words, phrases or paragraphs there as thoughts pop into my mind. Most of the things I've written there has never been published, but if I can get the bad words out of my head, I'm bound to stumble onto a few good one's soon. :)


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