Have you ever written anything? A thank you note, a high school English paper, a blog post? Then you know the pain of the slow slog to a minimum word count. It’s excruciating. And if you are the blogger for your medical practice, you may face that slog more often than you care to admit.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were some tricks to solve that problem and allow you to write fast, insightful, witty articles?
There are. I use them and I can promise you they work. Today I’m going to share my super secret method to help you write fast. Okay, it’s not that secret. But enough people struggle with this that you would think it is.
Tip Number 1: Know what you want to write about.
I can promise you one thing. If you wait until three hours before your deadline to decide what your topic is, you are doomed. The best way to stay ahead of this is to keep an editorial calendar.
This is how I do it. First I keep a folder labeled “blog post ideas” in my favorites tab. Then, when I am surfing the internet, I add things to that favorites file. Then, every month or so, I sit down with my editorial calendar and look at those ideas. I choose the ones that make me excited and plug them into the editorial calendar. I add appropriate links and a quick list of points I want to make to the calendar as well.
It’s always a good idea to leave room for flexibility in case something important is in the news or you have divine inspiration on a different topic. But at least with the calendar you will always have a source of good ideas.
My editorial calendar entry for this article included some links to other articles about the slow-writing problem and these bullets:
- write an article super fast
- importance of editorial calendar
- edit brutally
- choose an awesome photo.
Nothing fancy, but it was enough to jog my memory about the topic when it came time to write.
Tip Number 2: Ruminate.
This is THE most important step in my “Write Fast” protocol.
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, because ruminating is obviously slow. But here’s the thing. I try to look at my topic a few days to a week in advance, read the articles I’ve linked in my editorial calendar, and do a little more research. Then I think about it for a few days. Particularly in the shower – that’s where the very best ideas happen. Shower water is like a magic potion for writers. True story. This rumination time is critical and will often generate a nearly fully formed article in your head before you even touch the keyboard.
Another rumination tip is to browse photos for your article. Sometimes a photo will give you inspiration for how to approach your article. For this article, I saved several photos to a gallery in Dollar Photo Club. I found them searching terms like “fast,” “speedy,” and “slow.”
Tip Number 3: Write it fast, then walk away.
Sit down and spill your brain.
Do it fast, don’t edit, don’t hit the backspace, don’t reread.
Just get your article written as quickly as you can. If you have done tips number one and two well, this will be a breeze. After you have written your draft superfast, do not read it, just walk away. You need to get a little distance from your fantastic idea so you can do a great job on tip number four.
Tip Number 4: Edit brutally.
Come back with your editor hat on. It’s best to wait a day or two before you edit so your mind is clear and you are objective. One of the most important things you can do when you edit is to read your article out loud. You will hear so many little things that flowed like creamy melted chocolate in your head, but out of your mouth it moves more like molasses.
Tip Number 5: Add the finishing touches.
This is where you do things like add links to articles you want to reference, do some on-page search engine optimization, and add a photo. This should be quick, because you already have most of this stuff waiting from the rumination phase. When you are done, go ahead and publish. You did it!
Today you are going to put some things in place to make the process easy.
First, create a “Blog Ideas” folder in your favorites. Remember to add to it whenever you are surfing the net and see an idea that could be blog worthy.
Second, create an editorial calendar. You can use a WordPress plug in, or just an Excel spreadsheet or Word document. Add any ideas you already have. Then once a month, open up your favorites folder and add more topics to your calendar.
It may take a little time to develop these habits, but it’s worth it. You’ll be more cheetah and less sloth.