In today’s fast-paced world of information on the go and ever-diminishing attention spans, you may feel like the art of writing just isn’t keeping pace. Forming coherent sentences. Stringing them into paragraphs. Linking those paragraphs into some semblance of order to create an article or essay. It all just takes too long, right? Not necessarily.
Here are a few tips for ways to write faster but still maintain some pride in your work and properly convey your ideas.
- Be Ready to Write: It isn’t always easy to just sit down and start banging out page after page. Often, you have to be in the right mood to write, otherwise you just feel like you’re sitting there wasting time. Being in the proper frame of mind, focusing, and avoiding distractions can make your writing session more effective, allow you to write better, and write quicker as well.
- Research First: While you may not be able to gather every shred of information you need before you start writing, having your facts in order and your research done ahead of time may help increase your writing speed. Having to stop constantly to look something up or gather fodder for your writing can slow you down and stunt the creative process.
- Outline: Outlining your ideas and how you would like the general structure of your writing to go before you begin can help make your ideas easier to form and string together in an easy to read manner. Think of an outline as the blueprint to create a structure, except in your case, you are writing instead of building.
- Jot Down Your Thoughts: As you write, you may find that ideas will come to you that are linked to the topic on which you are writing but not necessarily relevant to the particular sub-topic on which you are currently working. If possible, taking a brief moment to jot down the main points to your idea or ideas can make it easier to come back to them when the time is right and may keep you from forgetting them completely.
- Using Down Time: You may not always feel like writing, so when you’re tired or just not in the mood, consider brainstorming ideas for the future. Compiling interesting subjects and ideas for future work can be easier than writing the actual article, and then when the mood hits, you’ll have topics set and ready to work on, avoiding those down times when you just sit there and ponder what to write next.
- Read Directions: When writing for yourself, you may have the freedom to write how you please. However, when completing assignments for others, there may be important guidelines to consider before you begin. Ensuring that you read and understand these directions can save you time, keep you from having to backtrack to modify your writing, and allow you to write faster.
- Write and Then Re-write: Pausing to check spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. can slow you down, break your train of thought, and cost you valuable work time. Consider letting your thoughts flow, get your ideas down on paper (or on the computer), and then go back later and adjust your work accordingly.
- Leave on a High: You probably won’t always be able to finish what you begin in each writing session. A great way to help yourself stay motivated, and thereby increase your productivity or ability to write faster, is to leave on a high note. Doing so will hopefully encourage you to come back and pick up where you left off, rather than sitting glumly, wondering how to get started again.
- Break up Your Subject Matter: Breaking up the scope or range of your subject matter can make you more efficient and productive as well as tighten up your writing. If you are considering writing an article about home energy savings for example, you may consider breaking your work into several articles or at least dividing it into categories. Saving on home energy use can span a variety of areas – outdoor factors, geographic location, inside issues, appliances, HVAC, etc.
- Choose Your Times: Knowing when you work best can be a huge factor in your ability to write faster. Choosing your writing times wisely, and when you’re at your best, could make your writing better and make the writing process easier and faster as well.