So you want to write faster or implement some techniques that will leave your keyboard sizzling?
Let me cut right to the chase, because I know that you probably clicked through to this article in the midst of a wave of self-doubt about your present writing skills…or perhaps over that impending deadline. Am I right? It’s okay if that applies to you because I have been there. Don’t be ashamed.
Try these steps next time you’re sitting down to plan your writing:
Step 1: Freewrite.
Don’t judge, don’t edit, just write everything that comes to mind naturally. I recommend that you choose a topic you are proficient in. It might seem obvious to some, but to others (*points finger to myself*) it’s not. I took on all kinds of crazy assignments in the beginning. I wrote about boat wheels once. It was a recipe for writer’s block.
When I do freewrite, it gets my voice out onto the page first rather than someone else’s, which can easily happen when I try to do research before any writing.
Step 2. Write. Skip the Research.
Seriously, it’s that straightforward. Of course, I do my research and all, but I have found it more valuable to get the body of my thoughts out first. I just write. It actually makes the research a lot easier and quicker because, by the time I do it, it will be a matter of plugging in any sources, links, or names I need. No one has to know that I don’t know every fact to back up what I’m talking about. They just need the cold, hard facts in the end, but I shouldn’t spend the bulk of my time finding those pieces of information because what matters most is the content of the article most of which is already in my head (and yours).
Step 3: Now Do Your Research.
While you’re at it, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the keywords that go in line with your topic. Even if all you come up to write about is an article about “Not Knowing What to Write About,” just go with it. The Keyword Planning Tool and Soovle are two of my favorite resources for finding key phrases that people are typing in when searching for the answers that my article provides,
Step 4: Edit and Submit.
It helps to reread an article out loud to make sure that it flows, but I admit that I don’t always do that. I have even read my writing backwards because that’s the best way to catch grammatical typos. Ideally, your outline should be strong enough to make it so that you can easily check each sentence as you write it. That would cut out on much of the backtracking that occurs in the editing process.
Will any of these techniques help you the next time that you’re writing? Are they simple enough that you can start implementing them right away?