The Three Bucket System

I asked Jeff Goins a complex question(s) back at Reddit. He kindly replied with a wealth of information. To sum it  up, my questions were:

  • How can I write everyday?
  • What system can I come up with to make it happen?

Turns out, I was asking the wrong questions.  Again, I was thinking quantity over quality. Jeff shares with me the three buck system he uses to produce worthy content on a regular basis.

I hope this helps you.

Jeff Answers:

Hey Josue! Great question.

I don’t think writing every day is particularly difficult. What IS hard is writing something that you’re proud of, that you don’t feel is total crap.

And the truth is this is REALLY hard. If you have taste, then you’re probably constantly struggling with how the words in your head never seem to end up on the page the way you imagined them. I know I struggle with that.

So the question isn’t just how to write every day. It’s how to produce worthy content on a regular basis, right?

So this is my system. I call it the Three-bucket system. Here’s how it works…

What we call writing is really three different steps:

1.) Ideation (coming up with ideas on what to write about)

2.) Drafting (putting the ideas down on paper and placing some structure around them)

3.) Publishing (sharing your idea or story with the world)

This goes for fiction or nonfiction.

The hard part for most writers is when they sit down to write, they try to do all three things at once: coming up with an idea, drafting it, and then publishing it. That’s really hard.

What I recommend doing is having three different buckets for your writer (I use Evernote to organize this):

1.) Have a file of ideas that you capture throughout the day (not just when you’re officially “writing”).

2.) Have a folder of working drafts that you touch at least once a day.

3.) Commit to regularly publishing or sharing something on a regular basis (preferably at least once a week).

So practically, what this looks like is every day when I sit down to write, I move one item from the “Ideation” bucket to the “Draft bucket.” I also edit a draft (something that I’ve already been working on and move it to the “Publishing” bucket. Finally, I move something (again, this is something different, not the same piece) from the “Publishing” bucket (which is basically my queue for my blog and other outlets) and share it.

That’s my system. Hope it helps!

I find discipline is like a muscle. You get more by working what you have every day, or as often as you can. – Jeff Goins

Like most of you, we all want to influence, build a community, and have our voice heard. Discipline is the key. Consistency, persistence, and being intentional. Passion with out all of those things is just noise.  So, thanks Jeff. We’re still learning here. Writing stories that come from the heart. Nothing wrong with that.

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