• Mauro Herrera

Sometimes It's Planning Time And Sometimes It's Doing Time

Have you felt that if you don't post often on Medium, your stories get lost in the algorithm?

This is the famous Momentum. When we keep a good rhythm, our articles seem to be seen by more people. It wouldn't be crazy to think that Medium favors the most active users.

Does that mean that quantity > quality?

Not at all. You won't gain much by throwing a bunch of garbage out there. At the end of the day, readers value content that is useful and entertaining.

However, if you limit yourself to writing one killer article a week, you won't see such good results. Consistency is rewarded here.

At times, we may feel pressured to write even when we have no ideas, or we will be punished by the algorithm. For that, I have two things to tell you:

If creating content becomes a stressful and distressing situation, you're not doing it right. And secondly, you can organize yourself in such a way that you can maintain the Momentum without putting your sanity at risk.

Split your work into two

I know what your usual writing routine is like. You sit in front of your laptop, answer some emails, check the Medium notifications, press the Write a story button, and you are left looking at the blank canvas. I know because I always did that.

I found that it's not good to mix the moment of brainstorming with the moment of actually writing.

This can become a very frustrating time. In the long run, writing becomes a negative experience and becomes more difficult.

For this reason, I separate my work routine into two parts: planning time and doing time.

What do I do in each one?

What is Planning Time?

This is the "easiest" but also the most important part of my work at Medium.

I spend a whole day, usually at the beginning of each month or week, brainstorming ideas.

Sometimes headlines come to mind, sometimes just a vague idea, sometimes questions, problems to be solved, etc. Everything can become a viral article.

Where do I get inspiration from? From everywhere. I read the news, I watch YouTube videos, I check social media. You will be surprised where you can find ideas.

At the end of the day, I make a list of all these possible story ideas. I like to plan ahead the whole month, so I try to find 30 articles. Sometimes I plan a week or two.

To each item, I add keywords, source links, etc.

Now is doing time

Now that you have the month ahead of you, it's like traveling with a map. You don't waste time looking for what to write about, you just choose an item from your list, help yourself with the info you researched and let the magic happen.

Throughout the month, you'll inevitably have new ideas, so add them to the list. The more the better. Every once in a while, there will be an event that everyone is talking about which you will want to take advantage of the current conversation. You can collect ideas for the next month.

In this way, writing becomes much more fluid and natural exercise.

I have found that in those days of creative blockage, I find it easier to think of 100 possible stories than to finish one decently.

So this is also a way to not feel stuck, it's a great creative exercise and it keeps the little hamster on his wheel inside your head running.

Tell me about your writing routine. Do you do something similar? Where do you get inspiration from?

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