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How to Become a More Efficient Writer.

By Jonathan Carnino

Many writers, at all levels, struggle with being able to put their thoughts into a page, efficiently. With an established deadline, writing efficiently becomes very important, maybe even necessary.

Furthermore, if you work as a freelance writer or blogger, the faster you write means the more jobs you can take on or blogs you can write. Time is money!

In this blog, we will outline some tips on how to become a faster and more efficient writer.


1. Find your angle

Professional journalists are accustomed to writing under pressure. Finding an angle is one way they save time.

Finding a new narrative angle may take some detective work, but the 1–2–3 method is straightforward. It begins by selecting a topic (1), then going to a sub-topic (2), and finally nailing down to a certain point of view. Look at the broad picture first.

After you've decided on a strategy, fight the urge to take a more general perspective while writing. It's easy to change gear when composing and wind up with no idea where you're going. A reader could be perplexed by this and you'll also lose valuable writing time as a result of it.

2. Momentum is crucial

It's also vital to keep the momentum going once you've had that moment of enlightenment and the cogs start to turn.The easiest approach to keep that momentum going is to just keep writing.

Stopping to research every name, date, or statistic off the top of your head will slow you down and divert your attention away from your work. Instead, use fillers like "Over X individuals used Instagram advertising in 2014."

It's more vital to get the content done and stay on topic than it is to finish the nitty-gritties.

Another method for maintaining your momentum when writing is to keep a list of any interesting thoughts that occur to you.

3. Don't try to say everything

Don't feel compelled to write down everything you know about a subject. In fact, thinking about what you'll leave out might be beneficial before you start writing.

Knowing what to leave out can not only make your life simpler, but it will also produce a more satisfying and pleasurable reading experience for everyone else.

4. Make edits later

When it comes to editing, save it until you've finished your draft.

The continual switching between the creative and critical sides of your brain may severely hamper your productivity.

Even if you spend only a tenth of a second on each switch, repeatedly switching back and forth for each phrase may cost you up to 40% of your productive time.

By stifling that flow of creativity, you're losing precious writing time while still producing a subpar product.

5. Create a research strategy if you don't already have one.

It's easy to put off the moment you have to begin writing. To prevent your research from becoming a procrastination method, be precise about it. So don't just read anything and everything that comes up while researching your topic.

Instead, begin by laying out the argument or question you want to address - and test every resource you use against that aim: ‘Why am I reading this?’, ‘How can I utilize it?’, and ‘How does it help or refute my position?’.If you can't come up with convincing responses, stop reading and start writing - or move on to a source that will assist you in developing your case.

6. Create an outline

Thinking like a social media manager is a great approach to narrow down your thinking.

Before you get started, consider each of the three primary points you want to convey. Consider these questions with regard to each point: what would I say if I had only one tweet to summarize this idea?

You may also take a more common approach to making an outline by following these steps:

1. Identify your topic or thesis statement.

2. Decide what topics you'd want to cover while writing your paper.

3. Make sure your ideas are in a sensible, numerical sequence and that each point leads back to your primary idea.

4. Create transitions between paragraphs.

Remember that your outline is only intended to give you an idea of how your paper will go; it does not have to be overly formal or precise.

Here is a rough idea of what you outline may look like:

  1. Intro

    • Introductory thoughts

    • Thesis

  2. Body paragraphs (can have multiple)

    • Main point

    • Examples

      • Example 1

      • Example 2

    • Analysis

      • Analysis of Example 1

      • Analysis of Example 2

  3. Conclusion

    • Paraphrased Thesis

    • Closing thoughts

7. Space out the time you write

It takes a tremendous amount of focus to write (yes, even for those of us who are compensated to do it). Working in brief, intensive bursts can help you avoid the brain-ache. Using a stopwatch to track this is an excellent idea.

To begin, turn off all distractions (Twitter, email, Slack - you know what they are). Then make a promise to yourself to write for 25 minutes straight with no interruptions. Take a five minute break before resuming. Continue until you've completed your task.

You'll be surprised at how much you can write in such a short time when you write like this. It's especially beneficial to me when I'm not under any pressure since it prevents the progression.

7. Don't set expectations too high for yourself

Writing - excellent writing, at the very least - takes time, as any competent writer would agree. Don't beat yourself up if you find yourself still taking a lot of time to write. Practice, practice, practice - and soon, you too will be a quicker and more efficient writer!