Want to really know how to write faster? Shut yourself in your office, or better yet, the drippy room in the basement with no distractions. Don’t let yourself leave until you’re done. Problem solved.
Until very recently, that was my general practice. But during this time of sheltering at home, that’s nearly impossible. If you’re a busy, business-owning-mom like me, you might have the following issues, all before 8:00am.
- Your spouse has claimed the quiet basement space for a “conference call”
- Your kiddo is hurting your brain asking questions about electricity and parallel circuits
- In the background are 32 kids on a Zoom call all talking at once
- The cat is trying to bring a dead squirrel in the house
- Your young bird dog is whining like a toddler to get outside and play with the cat and the dead squirrel
- And you need to finish writing content to publish on your website
The kicker is, I only have one kid. I know some of you have all this plus a few more kids, each on their own computer asking school questions.
It’s no wonder we haven’t been able to think too clearly and put out the content that we know our business needs.
What could help you write faster?
I started to think about what could help me here. I’ve written on content creation before, but I want to focus on speed in this article. What if I could write faster, and didn’t have to fuss for hours just for one blog post?
Writing for me has gotten easier since I started writing regularly last fall. But I haven’t seen my writing time per blog post go down. If anything, it’s gone up.
I already do a few things that I know help with speed, but I’ve realized those gains and they’re just not enough.
- I do make a list of blog post ideas and keep it handy
- I do have a few different blog post templates at the ready. I should use these more, but sometimes I just feel like writing without them.
- For nearly every post, I get an outline of main points done first, before I start to write
- I’ve tried using Google’s voice to text, and while it works really well, I don’t think I’m any faster writing that way.
Beyond that though, I don’t have many tricks. I thought I would see what expert writers had to say. So below is a round up of what I’ve found with some notes about what I’m going to take away from each article. I’ve also included the links so you can dive deeper into the ideas of each writer.
Writing faster round up
1| Danny Margulies
Here’s where this idea started. I found Danny’s article, and he was talking about some really smart ways to go about how professional writers could boost productivity and earn more. He has some very interesting tactics and made me wonder what else I didn’t know.
Here are his main points:
- Let your brain do the work – think about your post and then leave it for a while and let your brain work on it. I use this one for problems or complex questions, but I hadn’t tried it for writing. #1 on my list to try this week!
- Decide what emotions you want your readers to feel. Hmmm, mostly, I think about what I want to share or teach with everyone, not how I want people to feel. I’ll work on this one.
- Write a fast draft that you’ll have to completely revise, just to get the ideas out of your head quickly. Then, let it sit overnight so you can look at it fresh. Love this idea and I will use it.
- Plan on writing quickly. By setting that intention, the idea is that you’re more likely to make it happen. I have tried this, but haven’t yet figured out how to make it work, unless I shut myself in the drippy basement and have to finish to get out.
Overall, I think these suggestions are brilliant, and will really help me. I especially like the idea of letting my subconscious do some of the work. I know that tactic works for other things, so why not writing?
Here are the rest of the articles I found. Honestly, there are great things to take away from each, but if you’re going to read any of these articles, read Danny’s.
2| Heather Ford
This article is a great article for those who are starting out blogging. Heather talks about the tips that work for her and they’re all ones that will be easy to follow.
Her top tips include:
- Blog post templates – a must when you want to write fast. Love this one. But she also makes a great point, that you need to create templates for your blog graphics too. Canva is a brilliant tool for this.
- She makes quick drafts well ahead of time, as she’s making a list of what to write about. I think this would tie in really well with Danny’s advice to let your brain work on your writing. I’ll try this one.
- Work in batches. I go back and forth on this one. I see the value of batching tasks. But I also like the idea of small daily progress. One thing I could take away is to batch some of the surrounding work, like keyword research, outlines, drafts, headlines, graphics.
3| Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting at The Write Practice writes about book writing in this post, but I think the tips apply to all kinds of writing. His position is that practice is what makes you faster. And I hope that’s the case. It hasn’t happened for me yet, but I do hope to get faster as I continue writing!
Here’s what Joe recommends:
- Don’t look at your screen while you’re writing. What?! Wow, that’s really hard, and I don’t know if that’s something I could do. According to Joe, this will help you trust yourself and not think so much about every word. He gives many practical ways to do this, so maybe I’ll give it a try, but whoa, this is different.
- Focus on the feeling of writing – what it feels like to have your hands on the keyboard. My mind drifts pretty easily, I’m not sure if this would help me write faster with practice. Trying it right now, I was in la la land immediately.
- Write first and edit later. I’ve heard this one, and I try to follow it, but it’s tough!
4| Dean Rieck
I figured that anyone writing for copyblogger knows what they’re talking about, so here are tips from Dean Rieck.
- Select one narrow topic. He says that trying to include everything you can think of results in unfocused writing. I can definitely relate to that. Often, as I write, the scope of my posts gets bigger and bigger. Keeping a narrow focus will definitely help.
- Gather your facts. To me, this is part of my outline process. Get the facts down without “writing” so that you have a clear idea of where your article is going and what you want to include.
- Structure your posts. Dean actually created a model to work from for his article. I think that using templates and pre-though-about structures help too.
- Eliminate distractions. As-if. But he’s correct, get rid of as many distractions as you can, both in the moment, and prevent them in the first place.
- Make a quick draft, and then leave it for a while before coming back to edit. Here’s another tactic that lots of people use. I usually don’t leave enough time for this, but I’m going to start. With next week’s post of course.
Have you picked up some tips on how to write faster?
I’m definitely going to be trying many of these tips. I’m not so sure about not looking at what I’m writing though. Does that mean it’s probably the one I need to do most? That’s how it often works.
Do any of these tips speak to you?