Welcome to another blog post! Today, we’re talking about writing productivity and how you can make words faster. Ha! Grab a pen and a notebook, or print this and use it as a guide. Ready? Let’s dive in.
So many people struggle to come up with content for a blog or write words for an article they already have an idea for. There are a few ways to break this down so you’re not scrambling for an idea at the last minute or get stuck staring at a title with no idea where you’re going with it.
These tips can help.
1. Make a List of Several Topics Every Month (or every quarter)
Before you ever put the first word on the page, make a list of topics you may want to write about this month or this quarter. Set aside an hour or two to do nothing but brainstorm and/or research. Write out potential headlines for those topics. This will keep you from having, what I like to call, Topic Tension. In other words, it gives your brain something to focus on rather than scattering a million ideas in a million directions or freezing up on you completely.
2. Set Aside Time to Research
This can be an hour or two, but you should choose one headline from your list and go print articles. Repeat this step as necessary. Collect relevant links so you can add them to your article or post. People like to know that you’re knowledgeable about the topic in your prose, and providing links to other resources can reinforce that.
3. Read, Highlight, and Read More
Dedicate time for reading on your chosen topic. Take your articles, move away from your computer, and get to highlighting specific points you’d like to make. If there’s something you don’t understand, make a note of what else you may need to look up once you’re done reading. Don’t stop in the middle of absorbing information to look up something else.
4. Back to Research
If you did step two properly, you won’t need this step, but if there was something else you found interesting, this is where you do the research on that. Print, read, and highlight specific points.
5. Prepare to Write
Open a blank document, refer to your notes, and type out the key points you’d like to make while writing. Rearrange them as needed.
6. Set a Timer and Write
This can either refer to an actual timer or a block of time. You need to set aside time to write because, once you’re in the groove, you need to focus until you’re done. I’ve edited many books and articles in my time, and I can always tell when something is written in one session or many and can darn near nail down the breaks the author took when writing a book. There’s a disconnect from the previous section that only comes from stepping away.
7. Put it Away and Write More
Put that completed article away while you work on another one. Once the second one is done, go back and read your first article again. Rearrange things as needed. This should be a cyclic thing you do daily: Write another article or two and read the article(s) from yesterday before submitting anything to your editor.
8. Read Articles by Others
One of the best ways to become a better writer is to read great writing. Get out there on the internet and read articles written by other people or read books. Pay attention to the construct and words used. Study the way that person uses punctuation. Even if you’re just reading for leisure, you’ll get something out of it. The best writers I know are voracious readers. It’s just something you have to do to sharpen your skills.
If you do the above, you’ll be writing high-quality articles in no time, and you can put money on the fact that you’ll be more productive. Our brains like to have direction. Without it, creatives tend to freeze up and become useless.
Do you have any tips to add? We’d love to hear your input! Feel free to drop us a comment or share our post. We’d love you for it.
While you’re here, check out some of our other articles. We promise you’ll find a ton of useful information.
Thanks so much for reading, and write on!