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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to Write Faster Part One

I had a fellow writer request I talk about this and I am asked about this often. I will tell you that when I first started writing, my articles took hours to write. I never thought I would ever become a faster writer. Then, as time passed me speed increased. Also, as that time passed, I learned some tricks and techniques to increase my writing speed. I do want to note though that speed should never trump quality. Some articles need that extra love and will just take longer. However, I want to say that on average, an online freelance writer should be spending an average of 30 to 45 minutes per article. This time includes your research and/or fact-checking, the writing of the article, your proofreading and editing and sending the article to your client. I know this sounds like a lot of work to cram into 30 to 45 minutes, but it really is not once you learn the art of online writing.

First and foremost, make your research count. If you are doing separate research for every single article, you will naturally take longer to write each article. What I like to do is use one research session for multiple articles. This can and has been done thousands of times. Your topic will depend on how far you can break it down. For example, I can turn a good research session on heart disease into close to 100 articles (seriously, do some research), but research on ovarian cyst ruptures will only produce a handful of articles. So, from a single research session on ovarian cyst ruptures that took me 15 minutes because all I did was fact check because I already know the topic, I was able to write five articles that were credible, accurate and written with authority because I wrote them from the perspective of a health care provider (will get to this tip later). I spent about 2.5 to 3 hours writing, proofing, editing and submitting those 5 articles. Now, the heart disease research obviously would take me a lot longer. Thankfully, I know a lot about it, but still have to check my facts and triple check stats and read over studies. This is a larger project that I would spread out and write a few heart disease articles here and there and keep the research in a file. This way, I am remaining productive and getting my other work done too.

Write what you know. I know you've heard this 1,000 times and for good reason. When you write what you know you save time and you write with authority. Your readers can sense that authority and it gains their trust. And again, it saves you time. As many of you know, my background falls in health and medicine so this is what I mainly focus on writing. I can write an article on colon cancer symptoms in 20 minutes and spend 10 more minutes fact-checking (incredibly important regardless of how well you know the topic), proofing, editing and sending to article to my client. I just spent 30 minutes crafting an entire article from start to finish.

Work on your typing speed if it already is not fast. If you are picking and pecking at the keys, you will be slower. Just open up an empty file and start typing what you see around you, what's on TV, about your kids or pets, or anything. Just type. Practice, practice, practice. I was horribly slow with typing when I first started writing and as time passed and I practiced I got faster and more accurate.

I am going to end this here for today. There are more tips that I will share throughout the month, but I am against a deadline that I need to knockout tonight. Stay tuned for more tips on all things writing.

Image Credits: Roz Woodward

5 comments:

Sylvia Ney said...

I’m so glad I found you through the A to Z challenge. I look forward to visiting again.

pbquig said...

Thanks Robin, great hints, this is what I need. Except typing speed, before attorney was a medical transcriptionist and believe typing fast does make a difference, but the other hints were what I needed, especially about research as I embark on my 26 legal series for the YCN challenge.

Pam

Sarah Allen said...

Great ideas here. Thank you so much for sharing, I really need this right now.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

CL Beck, author said...

Love the tips you've given. I've read it a second time, and know I will refer to it more in the future! Thanks for posting it.

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