Host your own writing marathon: 11 simple tips
You have so many things you need to write. The list keeps growing:
Update your bio
A series of blog posts leading to an offer
A new sales page to sell your latest package
Scripts for your video content
Copy for a course
A book… you know… someday
I get it. It’s hard to make the time to write when you have so much already going on in your day-to-day.
These writing projects can often feel like extra work.
You know it’s outside of what’s making you money in your business right now. But with those things written, that you’ve been putting off—imagine what new doors could open?
Yes, building your body of work feels like a dream, so WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SALTY CHOCOLATELY DOES SITTING DOWN TO WORK ON A BIG PROJECT FEEL SO HARD?
Hell is a stupid blinking cursor. It can feel easier to close a blank document and do something else.
Sitting your butt down to write is hard. And, you can do it.
A few times a month, I host virtual writing marathons. They’re three hours long and writers are often shocked at how much they can crank out in that time:
2,500 words in a draft sales page
Two months worth of content
3 blog posts, 1 email newsletter, and a LinkedIn bio
A brand new about page
A sales page and an email for a brand new offer
Batching your writing sessions is a fantastic way to get momentum. And that momentum can keep you going to write more.
You may even unlock some more ideas that were bouncing around in your brain.
Here’s how to plan your own batch writing session.
Pick a date and mark it on the calendar.
Choose a date where you’ll have no interruptions and based on what day of the week you find it easiest to focus on your work. Putting yourself and your project first is an act of self-care. Your writing marathon date is non-negotiable. Treat it like your sister’s wedding or an appointment with your hairdresser.
Block 3 hours.
If you’ve never written for more than a few hours at a time, start with2-3 hours. If you’re a seasoned writing marathon pro, you might be able to handle more and you could block an entire day.
Plan your writing session.
If you were running in a marathon, you’d plan what you were going to eat, what you’ll wear, and your running playlist. All these components are important for planning your writing marathon too. A week before your writing date, plan out what you’ll write and where you’ll write.
Decide where to write.
If you’re feeling fancy, you could check into a nearby hotel or Airbnb where you can skip the distractions of WiFi and just write. It may be your dining room, your office, a co-working space, or a coffee shop. Choose a place and make arrangements if needed.
Curate a playlist.
If you enjoy writing along to music, make a playlist just for your writing session. This is also wonderful because when you cue it up, it’s a reminder for your brain that you’re about to begin writing.
Set your expectations.
Know that you might set out to write your blog posts and feel the pull to write a new sales page for your offer. Follow those hunches. Aim for writing quickly—not perfectly polished prose with impeccable grammar. I encourage all of my MOFO writers to write a sh*tty first draft (SFD).
Get your document ready.
Whether you’re getting ready to batch write a month of blog content or a single page on your website, set up the document. Pop open a fresh Google Doc or Word Doc and add your titles or a rough outline if you’re feeling inspired.
Eat for a marathon. Caffeinate if you like, eat a solid meal, and try not to over-hydrate—running to the bathroom six times during your writing session might be an annoying distraction.
Set your writing scene.
30 minutes or so before your scheduled writing marathon, clear your workspace, keep a notebook handy for new ideas (momentum, remember?), set out your writing fuel—drinks or snacks. Perhaps you’ll light a candle, close your eyes for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. Close the 300 or so browser tabs you have open and get ready to write.
It's now your scheduled writing time. You've blocked your calendar, removed all distractions, have a full belly and a big cup of coffee and are ready to write. Write quick and dirty on your topic. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or even sounding remotely smart. Just get all your thoughts on this topic on the page. Do this for all of your topics. If you have time leftover, revisit your favorites and start editing.
Immediately post writing marathon.
You could be completely spent or wildly energized by the writing session. Either way, try to plan some rest for your brain afterward. A relaxing evening, a bath, or your favorite way to unwind. If you feel compelled to edit what you wrote, by all means, edit away! And if you don’t, that’s also great. Just let it sit for a few days and revisit it later.
Pop the champagne! Because you just sat down with intention and cranked out a piece of work—or many pieces of work! And you spent 3 focused hours on YOUR WORK. Revel in your badassery and schedule your next writing session while you’re high from the last one.
If you want to write with friends and get instant feedback on your writing, the doors are now open for the MOFO Writers Membership. Learn more and apply over here.
If you enjoyed this article and set up your first writing marathon—awesome! Let me know how it goes!
You might also enjoy these as you begin your batch writing adventure: