Pick Two

The audio version of this newsletter can be found here.

Pick Two

All of us, no matter who we are, want our products and services to be three things: good, fast, and cheap. It’s not possible. So we pick two.

This applies to writing as well. We all want to produce high quality texts in a short amount of time and while expending the least amount of energy. It’s not going to happen. Thankfully, the solution is easy: pick two.

Fast and cheap: This is a good option for first drafts, when you’re overthinking the writing process, or when you’re procrastinating. Choosing ‘fast and cheap’ means you are going to sit down and write without worrying about quality. In this way, you can complete a piece relatively quickly and without expending too much energy. Once you’ve got that first draft, then you can revise it so it meets your standards.  At this moment, though, your focus is on getting results.

Fast and good: This option is for the writer’s equivalent of the final sprint towards the finish line. Your piece (or a section of your piece) is nearing completion and you want to get it done as soon as possible. So you set aside a block of time for revising and editing, during which you will do nothing but focus on quality. It can be a very intense experience and it requires a fair amount of energy, which is why it won’t be cheap. But it will be worth it.

Cheap and good: Slow and steady wins the race. This is the option most suited to medium- or long-term projects. Time isn’t of the essence, but consistency is. You achieve results by doing a small amount every day. Writing this way will require patience and dedication, but it’s an inexpensive way of producing a text. That small amount you do every day will add up to so much more. Since you have the time to craft the piece, you can relax and focus on getting the words right, instead of getting them done right now.


Whenever you’re feeling frustrated with your writing because you want it all this instant, just remember that the solution is easy. Pick two. Then get to work.


This week’s prompts

Use the following prompts to start a new piece, continue an existing one, or to just have fun with words.

1. Oh no you did just not
2. “This will require the removal of my earrings,” said…
3. The purple blanket covered…
4. The system stalled…
5. Time flew by and…

Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to drop me a line any time at zee@twomarshmallows.net. You can also follow or contact me via Facebook, Linked In, YouTube or Tumblr.