I am ruining movie night. At least according to one of my most loyal, beautiful and loving readers, who also happens to be my girlfriend. She agreed with my post yesterday: I begin writing my daily posts way too late in the evening. I am, however, becoming a more efficient writer. Here are 5 things I’ve discovered make you a faster writer — presented as tips. People love tips.
Tip #1: Find out where you are taking your reader
The first thing I’ve learned accelerates your writing dramatically is working with a rough outline. It’s much easier to write each paragraph, when you know, what the next paragraphs will be about. Let’s say your subject is Deep Sea Diving. I’ve found that an outline as simple as “What’s Deep Sea Diving -> How to get started -> Now you are ready -> Watch out for sharks” is all you need to get going, as long as you know your stuff.
Tip #2: Jump around
Another advantage of having an outline is the ability it gives you to jump between sections while you are writing. If you get stuck in the middle of a sentence you can simply skip ahead and start on the next paragraph. This technique keeps your momentum going. I also find it’s much easier to finish those sentences you are stuck on, once the other 95% of your text is done.
Tip #3: Kill your inner critic
Choke that second-guessing prick. Don’t think too carefully about each word. Just get going. It’s so much faster to go back and restructure the sentences you are not completely happy about once your first draft is done.
Tip #4: Kill your wifi
Yes this is turning dark. But it’s the last thing I want you to kill. I promise. Turning off you wifi not only keeps you from reading distracting emails, it also keep you away from that god damned internet. It’s tempting to go look for the exact wording of the Hemingway quote you plan on using in your article. But I don’t trust myself with Google for two seconds. And if you are anything like me, neither should you. It’s simply way too tempting to keep exploring that myspace Hemingway fan page once you are there. Use placeholder text instead and find the exact quote once you are completely done writing.
*Insert pretentious quote here*
Tip #5: Step away
If you hit some kind of wall and feel completely stuck try stepping away from your text. Go do something boring. Something like dishes! It will get you back on good terms with your girlfriend after you ruined movie night. And just as important: It will give your mind time and space to wander around and explore the best paths for your article.