Writing Surly, Writing Fast

The StruggleI’ve mentioned previously that writing is a slow process for me. It takes me a week or more to churn out a 600 word essay for this blog. I am looking for ways to write faster because it is getting more difficult to put out a blog post per week. 3 weeks ago was the first time I didn’t have a post to share with you. (Of course, I still had a Seinfeld question to tease you with. No way was I going to miss that.) Fortunately, I think I found a way to write faster in general: writing surly.

I realized that being angry gets me to write faster after a conversation with my old high school buddy, Shawn. Shawn is a professional writer who is kind enough to help me hash out topics when I ask for his input. Shawn also recently wrote an article for Made Man’s on the versatility of the pea coat, which I think is spot on. I recommend you check it out here: http://www.mademan.com/the-207-word-endorsement-the-pea-coat/.

Shawn suggested I submit an article to Made Man’s as well. That was flattering, but the writing tone on this blog doesn’t fit into the websites’s mens lifestyle category and its ‘top 10 list’ conventions. Besides that, most 20-something y/o bros don’t really want to read about why you should make your bed. (Even though it would probably help them out.)

While thinking about the audience, I decided I could write about the benefits of NOT owning a home. This was a particularly sore and raw topic for me because I had just sold my condo. The experience was awful and felt like the financial equivalent of being molested (sorry for the TMI visual).


Writing about the experience was cathartic. I put a lot of emotion and colorful language into the first draft. Shawn’s comments were:

Palpatine“I like the anger and f bombs too.”

Normally I struggle to keep writing because I tend to edit a thought before I type it out. That’s like pushing a boulder up a hill.

Writing angry was the opposite. I didn’t need to second-guess how I felt. I just let go and the words poured out of me. The boulder was rolling down hill.

George is really giving it to T-Bone
George is really giving it to T-Bone

The challenge for surly writing switches to editing because it’s hard to know when (or how) to stop. It’s fun to watch or listen to a friend go off on an animated rant from time to time, but that can quickly turn into an obnoxious tirade. No one wants to hang out with a curmudgeon for too long.

My takeaway is that when I’m in a time crunch I should write about topics that make me surly. I will try to use this tactic smartly because I’m playing with fire. It’s good to know how to start a fire, but you also need to how to contain it and more importantly, how to put it out.

So I apologize in advance if you start seeing some NSFW language creep into the blog. Let me know if the f-bombs are too much because I don’t want it to devolve into South Park.

Eric Cartmen

Thanks for reading.


P.S.  if you want to read my harangue on home ownership the article has been submitted to Made Man’s.  Hopefully it will get published.  I’ll provide a link if it does.


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