The 33 Minute Blog Post. Don’t Try This At Home.


This is the 10th post in a series entitled “Reflections On Being A Writer In The 21st Century.” You can read the other posts in the series here: 

Some people sweat over the posts they publish for a long time.

Not me.

I write ’em quick and get ’em out there.

This is because I am a copywriter who worked in advertising agencies for two decades and although I had different titles, I never stopped writing copy.

When you write advertising copy all day long for 5 or 6 days a week for 20 years, minus vacations and days when you called in sick, your mind functions in a different way from other kinds of writers.

You talk to the people you need to talk to. You get the insights you need to incorporate into whatever you are writing. You go get a coffee and think about what you’re gonna do stylistically. Then you get back to your desk, open a file and start writing.

You don’t give a shit about typos or grammos or spaceos or another other o’s. You just write it out.

Your instincts will tell you when you are approaching the end and your experience will tell you how to wrap it up.

While you are writing the ending of whatever you are writing, you often times come up with a great selling line for whatever you’re writing about. And that’s a delightful bonus.

Then you stop. But you’re not done. You need another coffee. But decaf this time. You’re actually just making an excuse to put some time between what you just wrote and how you’re gonna tighten it up and fix it.

This is time well wasted, and the more time you can afford the better. You go chat with your art director. You stop by and exchange a few quips with your Creative Director. You go take a leak. You check out the layouts of the work you did earlier. All that stuff.

But all the time, you’re still thinking about what you just wrote. It’s all there on a page in your head. You can see the stuff you want to change. You catch that typo in the second paragraph, and you come up with an even better way to write your selling line.

Then you head back to your desk. Open the file again and read it out loud. Fixing things as you go. Then you read it again and fix a couple more things. Then you read it a third time, like you’re doing a narration of it.

Finally you’re done. It’s the right length to fit the layout your art director figured out.

Nobody will screw with it because it’s idiot-proof. Plus nobody really wants to argue grammar or syntax with you. They never win.

You send the file to your art director and start all over again, with whatever is next in the pile. And so it goes.

So with this as my background you can see that I’m not gonna sit here and sweat over a blog post. Especially on a Friday.

This is all about getting your ideas out there. And it’s something a lot of people shy away from. I‘m told that way less than 1% of the people on sites like LinkedIn actually ever publish anything.

Too bad, because everybody’s got good ideas. They shouldn’t be afraid to express them. They should just go for it.

What’s the worst that can happen? No, really. Some idiot  you don’t know will give you a bad comment? Well that’s scary. But what about all the other people who will applaud you for at least giving it a shot? Hmmmm.

Have a great weekend. Total elapsed time here: 33 minutes 18 seconds.  Don’t try this at home unless you have a bottle of Tylenol close by.

Have a great weekend. And of course, if you like what you see here,
I would encourage you to like comment and share it with your network.

JIM JAN 2016

I’m Jim Murray, the guy who wrote this. If you like it,
feel free to share it and follow me if you’re not already doing so.

All my professional & contact info is on the other end of this link.
Please feel free to check it out.


13 thoughts on “The 33 Minute Blog Post. Don’t Try This At Home.

  1. Hi, Jim. I’ve been following your work for some time (call me one of those sleepers in your network you wrote about a few days ago), and I wanted to reach out and let you know this post resonated with me. I’ve been struggling to take the approach you describe here — sitting down with an idea or experience in mind and, as Medium blogger Richard Bartlett put it, “writ[ing] a little story about it.” As you say, the rewards of publishing far outweigh the risks. And while there is a lot worth thinking about in arguments pushing writers to “find a niche” and develop some consistency in their content’s message, I find more often then not that such concerns, if taken into consideration too soon, can block writers from getting down to business.

    I take a lot of encouragement from this post. And I’m glad to be following you here on WordPress. Looking forward to your next post. I’ll have one (or more) of my own to add to the conversation.

    1. Thanks Patrick. I totally get how difficult this can be as an intellectual process. The best advice is to teach yourself by doing. There is great joy in just the act of putting your thoughts down. And what happens is that even if it’s not great to start with, you have started the process and that’s everything.

  2. I like this because it makes a good point. Sometimes I feel I should just go with my gut feeling rather than go back and make alterations. I find my original idea loses its intent. Sharing.

    1. Going with your gut, at then end of the day, is what we all do anyway. Fear is the mind killer as Frank Herbert said. When you’re writing there’s nobody there but you. That can be a much tougher audience than anyone else out there. Sell that person and you’re away to the races. Learn by doing. Cheers, Jim

  3. Yes I am often not impressed by the limitations of LinkedIn either. There are people I connected within on LinkedIn who hide behind their expert title and fill their entries with jargonized word use , irritating acronyms, and unoriginal thoughts. Having been a professor , I realize how poorly academic writing Inhibits clarity of expression .

    1. Thats a brilliant insight. “I realize how poorly academic writing Inhibits clarity of expression”.

      Cheers, Jim

  4. This was awesome and exactly what I needed to read at this god-forsaken hour. I am hyped-up on coffee at 4am, dwelling over my last blog post and sure I’ve made it obvious that I’m new to this blogging/copywriting thing. I could use all the help I can get. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

    1. I have been there more times than I can count. In one of my other comments I offered this advice.
      The best advice is to teach yourself by doing. There is great joy in just the act of putting your thoughts down. And what happens is that even if it’s not great to start with, you have started the process and that’s everything.

      Cheers, Jim

  5. Jim – I keep thinking about this post, and how you gave us glimpse into your deliberate and bold process. For now, I’m trying this as a journal with pen and paper. I’m also re-reading the classic book “If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland. She urges people to break through their shell of timidity, cliches or whatever is blocking what is true and alive underneath. Clearly, you did that many years ago … and now inspire and mentor others to write in their most raw and honest voice. This a much better use of my time than sifting through LinkedIn and Facebook!

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