We all want to write faster.
When you start off as a writer, chances are you will take a million years (well, not a million exactly but if you do, there is still hope) to complete a single article. It can be very frustrating to keep writing since you produce much less work during your working hours.
You will probably feel worse when you hear people talking about how fast they write and how many articles they complete in a day.
Chances are you genuinely want to improve your speeds and in the process increase your income because the bills won’t pay themselves and there is more to life than working just to pay bills. Thankfully, it can be done. You will need to look at how you approach your work and tweak a few things.
- Do an outline
Before you start writing an article you already have an idea as to what your article will look like. By this I mean what will be in the body.
Think about a title and then break the article down into subheadings that will capture what you want to write. Then you can begin filling up the gaps with relevant content. This will save you a lot of time since you already know where it is going.
- No multitasking
On a regular day you would probably have a pot boiling as you listen to music and catch up on the latest news and tidy up after yourself and you take pride in your multitasking abilities. It is indeed commendable but you can’t really sustain your writing like that.
When it is time to write, drop everything else and keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Ask those that have written romantic poems and songs and even letters to their loved ones and they will tell you that you get a much better result (and reward) with concentration!
- Criticize less
You are your biggest critic and that is quite okay. You will need to keep it in check though because it may be reducing your speed. If you look closely, you will find that you spend a lot of time criticizing your first draft instead of writing all that is on your mind before you lose the train of thought (the assumption is that you had a train of thought).
Write all that is on your mind (pertaining to the article in question of course) and then do the editing when you are done. You will have a quality piece from the depths of your mind within a shorter time.
- Get it all out
Sometimes you sit down to write and it doesn’t flow. Words sound jumbled up in your mind and writing them down doesn’t seem to help. Don’t let this deter you. Keep writing anything that comes up and at some point something useful will come up.
Technology has affected every part of our lives and the world of typing is no exception. There are different kinds of software that you can use to convert your ideas into written text. A good example is the Dragon Naturally Speaking software.
All you need to do is to speak your mind and the software will turn it into text.
It may take a while before the software completely recognizes your voice and there will be a few errors but it will definitely give your fingers a rest even as you continue working.
- Develop a routine
Your body appreciates routine and so does your mind. There are certain things you find yourself doing right before you start writing to get you prepared.
For some it is clearing up the working area and for others it is a cold glass of fresh juice to get their creative juices flowing. Find out what gets you into the mood for writing and do it.
- Give yourself timelines
The thing about not having someone breathing down your neck is you tend to think that you have a little more time on your hands (even if you don’t) and you start by wasting it instead of putting it to good use.
Look at the amount of work that you need to do and then give yourself a time limit to complete it. Set the alarm and start typing so that you meet the deadline. Imagine that there is someone waiting for that work and they will not be happy if you deliver late so as to keep the adrenaline flowing.
- Have a dedicated working area
After writing for some time you will realize that you write best in certain environments. It can be a quiet room, a room with soft music, at a desk with no interruptions at all, at a coffee shop or in the great outdoors together with nature.
If you work from home, choose a specific spot and keep it conducive for work. If it happens to be close to the TV, keep the TV off as you work to avoid distractions. You can even keep your door locked to keep people from disturbing you (those who work from home and have families need this most)
- Get passionate
Passion does more for your content than hard work. They are however not interchangeable so you need both. When you are passionate about something, information will flow much easier and writing about it becomes easier and faster. Passion will cause you to take greater strides as you enjoy what you do.
- Zone in
There is a point that every writer gets to where they know that it is time to write and they will produce quality. This is the zone. When you get to the zone words just flow. You are on a roll! Find out what gets you there and try to replicate it as often as you can.
- Break a little
It is very tempting to work nonstop so as to make more money. It is however important to give your body a break. Take a few minutes every day and take a real break (no cell phone, no internet, just silence). You can even take a 30-minute power nap to refresh your mind.
Practice makes perfect so start practising these tips in your writing. You will see your speeds improve and your earnings increase too. Tick tock!