Overall I consider myself a slow writer. Well slowish.
When I first started blogging, it bothered me how long it took me to write a post. It used to take roughly three hours to write a 1000 word post. Admittedly I was new to blogging and rather nervous, so I am sure that didn’t help much.
Consequently, I have been working on cutting done the writing time for each post. At the moment, a post takes about two hours to write, though to be honest I have also cut down on the number of words per post as I felt 1000 words may have been a bit long for some readers. (Since I wrote this, I’ve changed my mind and am now writing longer posts again).
Sometimes I succeed in cutting down my writing times, other times it takes longer than I would like.
Even if you are not a writer or blogger, you may need some help improving your writing times, particularly if you write a lot of corporate reports or papers for your company.
Here are my tips on how to be a fast writer.
Use a timer
Put yourself on a timer.
If you want to complete a task in two hours, put the timer on and work like crazy. You might go over the set time the first couple of times, but don’t give up. Keep working on improving your time, making sure the quality of your writing doesn’t suffer.
Related post – How to Stop Clock Watching
Have an idea
It helps to write faster if you know what you are going to write about in the first place. Have some ideas already thought out.
I have a brainstorming folder on my laptop as well as a hard copy book. I’m always jotting down ideas that pop into my head into one of these resources.
Then it’s a matter of choosing which idea I will use when I sit down to write.
Related post – How to Get Brilliant Ideas Out of Your Head
Write an outline
This one makes a big difference.
When I am writing a blog post I always start with an outline. My outline is usually my heading and a list of sub-headings, then it’s a matter of filling in the blanks.
Don’t edit as you go along
If you start censoring yourself as you go along, it will take a lot longer. Start censoring and you will start questioning yourself. Questioning leads to doubting yourself.
Don’t edit your first draft, just get all of your ideas out.
Don’t spend too long editing
This is where I usually come unstuck to be honest.
I tend to edit, edit and over-edit.
I turn into a complete nightmare when editing a short story. Let’s face it, there is always a word here and there that can be tweaked, to the point where you end up picking your original story to pieces.
It is not always the writing that takes time
When it comes to blogging, it is not always just the writing that defines how long it takes you to hit the publish button.
With blogging, sometimes it’s getting all the links, formatting and photos right that can take a long time.
While some people may see link posts are an easy form of posting, they are not as easy as they look. Checking each and every link and making sure you use the correct spelling for the blog and blog author can take a long time if it’s a detailed post.
The same can be said for writing reports and papers. Having been a personal assistant, I’ve seen many people frustrated by formatting and design problems. Anyone who has ever struggled getting a graph or object into a report properly, will understand what I am talking about. It can add a significant amount of time onto your project.
Related post – The Mind-Boggling Truth about Starting a Blog from Scratch with No Prior Experience
Since I have hardly perfected this process (the thought of the 20 minute article below really appeals to me), I thought I would include some advice from more experienced writers.
Pick the Brain – How to write faster and easier
Problogger – How to write fast
Lifehack – How to writer better and faster
Copyblogger – How to write an article in 20 minutes
After reading through these links myself, it seems like I’m on the right track.
You can become a faster writer. The key is to find a process that works for you.
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