There’s one thing that every freelance writer wants to know, and it usually has something to do with how to write articles faster. The faster you write, the more articles you finish, and the more money you make.
That isn’t to say that every article can be written quickly. In fact, there are several articles I’ve written that have taken a really long time. Some have taken me less than an hour, though.
When it comes to how to write a professional article, the same rules that apply to most of writing also apply here. So all those things that got you through writing essays in school?
They still work.
Knowing how to write an article for publication is functionally the same as knowing how to write anything else. You need to establish your workflow and create a process that works for you.
And if you want to know how to write articles faster, I have a few tips.
How to Write Articles Faster
Whether you’re writing articles, blog posts, essays, or even fiction, there are certain steps you can take to make your writing process much, much faster. Here’s a list of things I do to write more in less time.
001: Collect ideas.
I like to have a well to pull from. So, whether it’s ideas for a blog post or ideas for potential articles I want to pitch to editors, I keep a notebook full of ideas. I have them ready to go for whenever I need them.
The thing with being a writer is that you can’t always write when you feel inspired. But that doesn’t mean you have to tackle every idea the minute it strikes you.
Keeping a list of ideas at the ready means you always have something to write about. And if you flesh out those ideas a bit as you write them down, it’s a great way to have a reserve of ideas for whenever you need something to write.
This helps you write articles faster because it means you don’t waste time searching for something to write about.
002: Turn those ideas into outlines.
Once you have an idea you really like, make an outline.
This blog right here? I have 5-8 draft posts with the post outlines ready to go. I do that so I can sit down and bash out a post quickly, and that makes it so much easier to always have something to write.
I’m a big fan of outlines. I outline everything I write. And I do that because it helps me to know what ground I need to cover in my writing. Then I can see what information I have at the ready, and what information I need to research.
Plus, a good outline helps you break down the writing process. I don’t always feel like writing, and some days, I have to make myself write section by section. Eventually, I get my head in the game and I can keep writing.
But being able to tell myself that I’m just going to write one little section first helps me ease into the task.
003: Research before you write.
Once the outline is ready to go, I research. And I start with research so I have all the information I need to work with.
I am the first to admit that the writing process isn’t linear. You go back to the outlining stage if you don’t find the research you need. Sometimes, after you edit, you have to write a whole new section to fix the logic of the piece.
But even so, I like to do one thing at a time. It’s much faster and more efficient to work in stages. If I’m trying to research and write at the same time, I know I’m going to waste time and never get into flow.
So, I research before I write. And research always helps inform the overall piece, so it helps me know where I’m going with the writing in the first place.
004: Write first, edit later.
I have a whole post on why you should write first, edit later. I won’t beat a dead horse.
But I will say that the part of your brain that writes is different than the part of your brain that edits. Writing is the process of getting words on the page, and editing is the process of taking them away.
If you’re trying to do both at the same time, you’re just spinning your wheels.
Get all the words out first, and then go back and edit them. It may feel like you’re spending too much time or going over the same thing again and again. But it will be faster than staring at a blank screen, typing a few words, then deleting them all.
005: Keep your head in the game.
Know your industry or niche. Do some research and consume the news.
This seems basic, but the more you know about what you’re writing about, the easier it is to keep writing. Every industry has blogs, podcasts, and magazines associated with it. Taking some time to study up about what’s going on once a week will make a world of difference.
And I’m not saying you have to take a ton of time here. Maybe an hour a week? Or a podcast on your commute? Keep it simple.
006: Refine your process.
Writing is more than just putting your hands on the keyboard. The environment you’re writing in is important too. Maybe you need a coffee shop writing routine, or maybe you need to set the stage at home.
Whatever it is, I recommend getting all the tools you need set up before you sit down to write. When it comes to knowing how to write articles faster, it helps you have an environment where you can sit down and work.
Music, coffee, maybe lighting a candle? All great ways to signal to your brain that it’s time to sit down and work.
What Helps You Write Articles Faster?
What tips do you have for writers who want to write faster? Do you outline everything too? Are you tired of me preaching the gospel of write first, edit later?