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How to Shorten Your Writing Time

31st August 2012 Posted in Blog, Writing 7 Comments

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No matter what sort of writing you might do, being an efficient writer isn’t a bad goal. The less time you spend writing, the more time you can spend doing other things you love.

When you’re a professional writer, the less time you spend actually writing means that you make more money in the time that you do spend at the computer. Or, it can mean more time to spend on other projects and reducing the stress of an ever-growing workload.

To ensure you’re spending as little time as possible writing, here are some ways to shorten your writing time:

  • Make an outline – Before you even begin to type, do your research and make an outline of what you want to say. Over time, you may find you can write without an outline, but especially for complicated pieces, an outline will give you a path to take and it will help ensure you stay on the path. Outlines are also a means of getting buy-in from your employer or client.
  • Write a horrible first draft – Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Just get started. Write a horrid first draft just to get it done. Stalling because you’re worried about perfection is not going to minimize your time at your desk.
  • Give yourself extra time – Funny enough, if you give yourself more time than you need for your writing, then you won’t feel rushed. For some, this might lead to procrastination, but for others, the calmer pace means you will have the energy to do better work in less time. Delivering before the deadline is always a good thing.
  • Hire or team up with someone else to proof your work – Instead of spending your time editing your work, have someone else do it. The finished work will benefit by being reviewed from a different perspective.

    The more efficient you are as a writer, the more you can do with your life. Like write even more, or have some time for self development.

    What tactics have you found that shorten the time you spend actually writing? Please share a comment.

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    1. By Andrea Bishopon 31st, August 2012 at 2:15 pm

      These are great tips! Thanks. I think the things that help shorten my writing time are:
      1) Knowing the subject matter beforehand.
      2) Writing to an audience.
      3) Skip the intro paragraph or just write a one sentence summary. Write the guts of the article, then come back and polish the introduction.

    2. By Shairaon 1st, September 2012 at 8:31 am

      Thanks! Excellent tips!

      Will keep this in mind while writing articles for clients:)

    3. By Zvi Eynanon 2nd, September 2012 at 11:44 am

      I like these tips, but writing a horrible first draft does not sound good

    4. By Nick Stamoulison 10th, September 2012 at 1:33 pm

      The first step is to know what you will be writing about. Once you have a good topic, the rest of the work should flow much easier. If you write a blog for example, keep a journal of “topic ideas” that you can go to whenever you are feeling stuck.

    5. By editoron 11th, September 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Nick. An outline – especially for longer pieces – is also helpful.

    6. By Stephen Lennartzon 11th, October 2012 at 5:19 pm

      A ‘killer’ editor will take your writing to places it has never been and save you valuable time. It took me 15+ years to learn this important lesson. ; )

    7. By editoron 12th, October 2012 at 9:32 am

      Thanks for the comment Stephen. Good editors are invaluable to writers, I’ve learned a lot from a few that were exceptional.

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