Whether you write for a living, you run your own hobby blog, or you’re a student swamped with essays, you’ve probably asked yourself “How can I write more? How can I write faster?”
Some people seem to think that writing above 45 words per minute is a gift and that people who can consistently write 80-100 wpm are simply destined to be typists or transcribers. But what if I was to tell you that with the right tools and tricks, and enough practice, even you could write at 100 wpm?
Some Untapped Tips & Tricks for Writing
Whatever you’re writing, there is a knack to the act of writing in itself. I can’t tell you how to write a moving short story, how to sell your product to your audience, or how to explain your trek across Morocco. I can tell you, however, how to get words written down.
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- Write what you love. They say write what you know, but it’s just as important to write what you love. If you don’t have passion, readers will be able to tell.
- That said, it is still important to write what you know!
- Make time for research. Actually set aside a time when you aren’t necessarily able to write, such as during a morning commute, or drinking your coffee, to read research and make notes.
- Make time for brainstorming. Again, make time for brainstorming that is separate from your writing time. Especially if you want to brainstorm a load of different post ideas at once. Let the creative juices flow.
- Make time for writing. Choose a time of day that suits you and sits yourself down to write. Even if you don’t feel like it, just do it.
- Dictate, then edit. Sometimes it’s easier to talk than write. There’s nothing wrong with using a speech-to-text tool and editing later.
- Time your writing. You don’t want to write too much. Only let yourself write for, say, fifteen minutes at a time.
- Time your reading. Make sure it’s easy to read quickly. You want your readers to enjoy the experience, not work for it.
- Know what you want to say. Choose one point to make or one question to answer. And make up your mind about the answer before you begin writing!
- Don’t limit yourself to the extraordinary. Maybe your outfit today was too simple for OOTD or your travels were limited to sitting on a train or life just isn’t that thrilling today. It’s OK: just share that too. A short post about less extraordinary things is often still appreciated by readers.
- Let go of perfection. Don’t worry if your blog isn’t a work of art. It’s yours. It’s wonderful. So click “publish”.
Also Read: Tips To Write A Great Blog Post
Tools of the Trade: Physical
Of course, we can’t rely on tools. A pretty brush doesn’t make a great painter. And a nice keyboard won’t write your blog post for you. But the right tools can definitely help.
- A good timer. Whether an app on your desktop, on your phone, or a physical timer, make sure that you have a way of counting down your writing and reading time. Avoid ones that are bright, or very loud, as they can be distracting.
- A keyboard that suits you. The QWERTY keyboard layout is outdated, and it’s been found that people switching to the DVORAK or COLEMAK layouts adapt quickly and eventually type faster. Another solution is a single-handed keyboard, like a mobile keyboard. Whatever makes you comfortable.
- A comfortable desk. Make sure you are sitting somewhere you are physically comfortable. Consider a new chair, desk, or cushion to help you settle in.
- A mouse that suits you. Make sure your mouse fits your hand well, glides smoothly, and is for your dominant hand. If you usually use a physical mouse or you usually use a touchpad mouse, consider swapping and seeing how you do.
- A pencil and paper. Yes, they can help! Some people work better when they can make physical notes.
- A smartphone. Switching screens repeatedly can be distracting. Consider using your smartphone browser to load up sources or references, so you can write faster.
How to Write Faster
Writing faster is as much an art as writing itself. When you know what you want to write, sometimes the last hurdle is actually putting pen to paper – or fingers to keys. Follow these tips to keep your hands typing at top speed, from start to finish:
- Make sure you’re comfortable. As above, make sure your keyboard, mouse, and seating all suit you. But also make sure you don’t need the toilet, keep snacks and drinks with you at all times, and take painkillers if you need them. You have to get in the zone.
- Eliminate all distractions. A key part of getting in the zone is eliminating distractions. Download an app to block distracting websites, and try and work in silence, or with white noise or very quiet music in the background.
- Turn spell check and automatic corrections off. Those changing words and squiggly red lines can be way too distracting. Turn them off until it’s time to edit.
- Set a target. Whether it’s a time or a number of words, set a target and stick to it.
- Don’t wait for inspiration. When you feel yourself getting stuck, just keep writing. It may feel clunky and awkward, but the faster you get through the sticky bit, the sooner you’ll be on a roll again.
Tools of the trade: Digital
As with the physical tools, these won’t write your post for you. But they can really elevate your writing.
- A grammar tool. Simple proofreading is not enough, and spell checks can leave you hanging. A good grammar tool, such as Grammarly, will help you ensure your post makes sense.
- Including references can be a bit tricky, but with the right referencing tool, like Cite It In, you can provide consistent academic-looking references.
- A word counter. If your writing program or blog platform doesn’t include a thorough word counter, then consider using one like Word Counter.
- A writing community. Communities give you a place to talk about your writing and brainstorm with like-minded people.
- Plagiarism detection. Even if you didn’t mean to, you can end up plagiarizing just by accidentally writing something too similar to someone else’s work. Run your post through at least two separate plagiarism detectors, for example, Copyscape to make sure it’s original.
- Analyse your headlines. Use a headline analyzer, such as the one offered by Coschedule, to make sure your headlines are going to stand out to search engines and
- Editing tools. If you need to make sure your post is perfect, consider tools like Grammarly to check everything over.
- Proofreading tools. If you want to go beyond just editing, consider hiring a proofreader, or using a service like Fiverr, to check your post thoroughly.
The order of things
When you are working on a lot of text, whatever the text may be for, there is a set order you need to follow to make sure that you are working at your best and fastest:
- Have an editorial calendar. This will help you know what days you will publish a post, what days you have a post for, and what days you are still working on.
- Research. As per above, set some special time for researching.
- List 5-10 concepts. You want to focus on one concept, or one question, at a time. So make sure that it’s the right one. Use your research to write down a list of concepts. You don’t need to use them all right away.
- Find an inspiring, comfortable time and place.
- Plot out your text. Pick one of your concepts and write out a template you want your post to follow. Imagine the headers and key points and write them out.
- Calculate the words. If you have a word limit, assign a number of words to each header. This will keep your post short.
- Fill in the blanks. Write about each header until you hit your word count. Some may be slightly over, some may be slightly under. That’s fine. Focus on quality and just use your assigned word count as a rough guide.
- Summarize. Ideally, summarize twice: introduction and conclusion. If you summarize your key points at the end, this makes for a perfect introduction and conclusion to your post.
- Call to action. Add one or two lines at the very end asking your readers to like, share, or comment. This is sometimes the nudge readers need to get them interacting with a post!
- Proofread and edit. Finally, once everything is done, turn your spell-checker back on and start the process of proofreading and editing.
As you can see, writing a blog post isn’t an easy affair. But it isn’t all down to raw talent either. If you use the above advice you can develop your own personal system for writing blog posts fast. And the more often you write, the more in the swing of it you’ll get. Before you know it, quickly writing high-quality blog posts will be second nature to you!
Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com