The speed of writing often depends on the journalists from competing media can get sensational news, another blog may be faster to beat the theme from Pokemon GO, the client will choose the more agile of the author. And that’s not to mention the copywriters-freelancers, the speed of which largely depends on earnings. So to help all writers, we decided to translate the article of the famous American journalist and creative writing coach Daphne gray-Grant, which gives a few tips for optimizing your time in writing lyrics.
Ask a few journalists, how many words they can write per hour. In return you will get something not entirely distinct, based only on approximate estimates. I know, because I asked reporters this question. From a dozen of my friends, whom I know as very productive writers, nobody could clearly answer my question. The answers were very different: some have argued that write 200 words per hour, others 1500.
The amazing thing — many of them said that the editing takes them much more time than the actual writing. Some said that if you put the hard deadline in 1 hour, then the number of digits doesn’t matter — they write the text of virtually any length and complexity.
Each of us has their own reasons for wanting to write faster. For many freelancers it’s just a matter of money: the faster you write, the more you earn. Other employers expect you to do more work in a short period of time. Third, the main incentive will be the book they want to write as soon as possible, using only their free time.
In all these cases, as in many others, writers can use my seven tips on how to learn to write faster. Here they are:
- Clearly know the goal before I start writing
If the customer does not give you a clear idea about the required length of the text, set a goal for yourself. The difference between writing 500 words, and 5,000 words is about the same as that between the scorching sun in the South and chilling cold in the Arctic. When traveling, you have to know what clothes to take with you? And with the texts — not knowing the purpose, it is difficult to optimize the time to achieve it.
- Don’t text near the computer
Even if you are going to conduct a preliminary study of the topic. Start with thinking of the future text. Better to do this by doing some simple physical activity — walking, Jogging, Yes even cleaning the house. Don’t expect thoughts about the text will come is not a miracle! Consider a few points that you would like to develop in the text, and start thinking about a possible structure. For example, I consider the thesis to the texts on the road Bank, a bakery or mail.
- Do your research
If you have thought about the structure of the text, you will know what information you need and in what quantity. It should not be too much, so you don’t drowned, or too little — when you don’t know what to write about.
- Make a mind map
I’m a real fan of mind maps. To make a mind map as effective as possible, I suggest to put at the center of the sheet, and the question that is answered by your next text. If you write a text about a new product of the client and just put in the center the theme of “Product X”, then quickly realize that it’s a dead end. Place better in the center of the map the question “Why is product X so need you?”. Our brain loves questions, because they force him to seek answers.
- Group similar tasks
Do not turn the text into a confusing lump of writing, information search, deliberation and editing. It is most effective to do these types of work separately from each other, otherwise your head will be chaos and you will write forever. Think about — study — writing draft — edit. And the only way.
- Stop to edit while writing
It’s a bad habit so many people. This is a big mistake, because you can’t see the text in its entirety, and besides, still distracted by secondary tasks. There are a few useful tips that I usually give to my clients who are suffering from the temptation to constantly edit the text at the time of writing.
If you know how to touch-type, then just close the monitor paper. If you do not see what’s there and where it is written, you will not be able to edit.
Use the timer. Get it for 25 minutes and do one task. It will make you not be distracted by minor things and complete everything as quickly as possible. Write for 25 minutes, then changes written. But don’t do it at the same time.
When you write a text and I doubt the correct spelling of a word, name or any fact, just do it in brackets special notes. They will help you in further editing immediately see the points that you would like to clarify, but not to break away from the writing of the text.
Use the online service of Write or Die. Just set the time and number of words that you need to write, and click “Try”. If the program will notice that you far too long to write nothing, the screen starts turning pink — if you don’t keep writing, then very quickly the screen will turn completely red and start to utter a sound to annoy you — crying baby or a screaming car alarm, for example. It helps to be as productive as possible when writing material.
When your inner voice is screaming that something must be corrected, do not ignore it — just tell yourself that you will listen to all comments during the editing.
- Keep stats
Frankly, I was shocked when I found out how little professional writers know how many words they can write per hour. Yes, of course — every new text is like another. But if you organize your creative process, you will quickly be able to tell the exact number depending on the complexity of the text. For example, the text I’m writing at a speed of 750 words per hour, and a complex — 300 words per hour. The actual figure doesn’t matter much, but it is very important to know and to observe it in dynamics. So I’m taking my statistics texts: take a piece of paper and write there the name of work, date, word count, writing time and time for editing.
A knowledge of statistics helps to evaluate the time in following orders and gradually improve your results.