Quality vs Quantity in Writing

When it comes to writing, I often implicitly think that there lies a value in quantity. It is better if I write more often; it is better if I write longer articles; it is better if I write more articles. However, I think the ultimate goal of my writing should be quality. Even if I just write occasionally, I would have written many volumes of books cumulatively. However, most of this writing would probably never be read by anyone but myself.

In contrast, if I would create just one article of quality, this article might be read by thousands or millions of people. Therefore, it shouldn't matter how many articles I produce, it should matter that I progress on the path towards creating quality writing that matters.

If, of course, on this path I produce lots of writing that will never find a huge impact, so be it. The important paths is that I go towards the correct direction but also that I do not pressure myself to create many long articles. I may write very slow but if I create something of very good quality that will be worth it.

One aspect of this is research. If I just write about whatever comes to my mind, I can write a lot very fast. However, when I want to make a strong argument, I often find myself to do a lot of research and produce sentences at an alarmingly slow speed. This makes the writing often feel forced and painful, whereas just writing from the top of my mind feels natural and joyful.

One good strategy for this may be to separate research and writing. I could set myself topics I want to write about and then collect research about these topics. Once I feel that I have sufficient information and a good understanding of how I want to present this information, I could sit down for a session to write. These sessions may only be a few minutes but ideally should not be interrupted by additional research.

I think such a way of writing may produce the best quality, since there is substance for the writing but it also flows naturally rather than feeling like a stitched together carpet of facts.

Again I must not rush myself for this. If I need months to collect the research on an article, so be it. There is no need to hurry.

Man with Notebook

Categories: contemplations