What not to do when you write an email
👉 (luckily I stopped myself today)
Writing starts with thinking…and thinking starts with writing
I opened up Substack today ready to pen this email…then sensibly, I stopped.
It’s a habit that’s easy to get into but it kills your productivity and writing effectiveness: starting at your keyboard.
The best and fastest writing starts with thinking about what you’re going to write, not by jumping in and writing.
Scribble down the main message you want to get across and the key ideas that make up that message. Get down any specifics you want to include like the quote I opened with.
When I say “writing starts with thinking” I mean that a few minutes organising your ideas first will save you 10x that time when it comes to writing the email, And it will be a better read.
And when I say “thinking starts with writing” I mean that the best way to think about something is to scribble down notes. Our brains just aren’t big enough to hold complex ideas in working memory so by jotting them down we get to see them properly and explore and improve them.
Once you’ve scribbled down your message and main points you can “storyboard” your email by putting the individual ideas into the right sequence.
That’s when you move to the keyboard.
Now you can get writing with a solid structure and the main ideas in front of you.
Now it’s going to take you much less time and way fewer rewrites.
Next time you’re writing an email, hold back from jumping to your keyboard. Grab a pen and paper and just scribble down your main ideas.
You’ll be surprised at how much faster and better your writing becomes.
PS that quote at the start is from me. It just jumped into my head as I started writing my ideas for this email down, but I’m quite proud of it now I see it :)