How to Write Good Articles More Quickly

While I am sure that people like Tom Clancy and Stephen King have the luxury of time when it comes to producing their novels, the rest of us generally are not so lucky. In order for a freelance writer to make a decent income, he or she must be reasonably proficient at writing good articles at an expedient pace. After all, writing more is one of the easiest ways to maximize your freelance income. All else held constant, the more you write, the more you get paid.

Even when it comes to maintaining your own blogs, you don’t want to be sitting in front of the computer for hours on end just to produce a short blog post. There are only so many hours in the day and you want to make use of these hours in the best way possible. So, how can you go about writing more quickly? Here are a few quick tips to help put you in the fast lane. Meep-meep!

Eliminate as Many Distractions as Possible

It may feel like you are getting more done, but the reverse is actually true. Multitasking doesn’t help you; multitasking stunts your productivity. If you want to write as quickly as possible, you have to make your best effort to shut out all other distractions.

In general, this means that you’ll want your home office to be a separate room with the door closed. While working, the only application you should have open is your word processor of choice. Turn off the Twitter, stop checking your Facebook, and cast your email inbox aside. The fewer distractions you have, the easier time you’ll have focusing on the task at hand.

Keep the Outline Time to a Minimum

Depending on the type of article, you may or may not want to start with some sort of outline. Just as you did back in school, it could be worthwhile to lay out your main points before you get down to the actual task of writing itself. For instance, I wrote the section headers for this post before I started writing the body text.

This may be useful, but don’t get too caught up in the details. Spending too much time with your outline is not a good idea, since you could be spending that time writing. Just get down to it.

Do It All in Just One Go

Following up on that same note, I highly recommend that you complete your first draft in a single sitting. This is true whether you are writing an editorial, ad copy, a product review or anything that is reasonably short in length. Obviously, you won’t be finishing a complete book in one sitting, but you may aim to finish a whole chapter or a whole section in one sitting.

The benefits of this tip are two-fold. First, you can generally achieve a better “flow” when the text is all written at once. By breaking it up into separate sittings, your writing could end up sounding disjointed. Second, it is much more effective to get a first draft completed and then to go back to edit as needed. With separate sittings, you could end up spending more time re-reading what you wrote the last time you sat down.

Practice Every Chance You Get

As simple as it may sound, this is the single best way for you to write good articles more quickly. The more practice you get, generally speaking, the more proficient you’ll become. It will become easier for you to write, because the words will “come to you” more quickly.

Remember not to confuse efficient with effective though. You still want your writing to be good, but you will soon be producing articles at a faster pace than you ever thought possible.