Alisa Bowman from projecthappilyeverafter.com shares some tips on writing fast.
So you haven’t quite monetized your blog. That means you’re still working 8 or so hours in the non-virtual world for that paycheck. You may also have many other time commitments. They are called marriage, parenthood, friendships and Twitter.
With all of these variables vying for the same 24 hours, how do you follow Darren’s advice and blog at least every day?
You have a few choices.
- You could stop sleeping.
- You could give up the family and friends.
- You could learn how to write really fast.
If you’re tempted by option #2, I can’t help you, but I wish you the best of luck with that. If you want to know more about option #3, keep reading.
I first learned how to write fast when I was on deadline as a newspaper reporter. I, at times, had just ten or so minutes to crank out at least 800 words. These days I blog 4 to 5 times a week at projecthappilyeverafter.com, twice a week at Capessa.com and two more times a week at savorthesuccess.com. I also write guest blogs and magazine articles, and I ghost and co-author books.
All told, I’m typing somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 words a week. Yet, I spend only 6 to 7 daily hours in my desk chair. Over the years I’ve developed this 6-step system for writing fast.
Step 1: Know what you want to say before you sit down. As soon as you finish any blog, start thinking about your next one. Think it over as you walk the dog, while washing dishes, or even while staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. What will it be about? What do you have to say? Go over lines in your head. For instance, at 3 a.m. last night, I heard the line, “Throw up on the screen.” You’ll hear it again, too. Real soon. Promise.
Step 2: Pick the basic format you will use to organize your blog. Most blogs fall into one of the following organizational templates:
- Q & A – Someone poses a question and then you answer it.
- Tips: You start with a couple paragraphs of explanation followed by a list of tips. This “how to write fast” blog follows this format, only the “tips” are “steps.”
- Story: Once upon a time something happened to me, I learned someone from it, and now we’re at the end.
- List: This might be a list of great websites, great books, or great people to follow on Twitter.
- Quiz or Test: You pose a series of questions or offer a check off list that allows the reader to figure something out.
There are other formats, too, but the key to writing fast is knowing and perfecting a few. That way you can create them quickly and easily.
Step 3: Throw up on the screen. (Told you.) Start writing and don’t stop until there are no words left in your head. Don’t stop for typos. Don’t stop for grammar. Don’t stop because you lose your train of thought. Insert quick notes as you write, such as CHECK NAME SPELLING, FIND URL, or WHAT IS THE WORD I WANT HERE? I use that last one quite frequently.
Step 4: Read your blog from beginning to end. Fill in holes. Tinker. Replace your all caps notes with real text.
Step 5: Read out loud once or twice. This will help you catch typos, pinpoint really awkward writing, and help you tighten things up.
Step 6: You’re done. Post it.
I just followed these steps for this article. So far I’ve been writing for 10 minutes.
What’s your best advice for speeding up the writing process? Leave a comment.