The Big Benefits for Writing Fast
Yesterday, I shared a process you can use to outline your online articles.
One of the big reasons to do that is that it will help you write faster. And, learning to write fast — without editing as you go — is one of the greatest things you can learn as a writer.
When you switch off your internal editor and just write, you’ll tap into better writing, bigger ideas, and more inspirational moments.
Writing becomes what it should be — an almost magical process where you communicate ideas in a way that moves your reader and makes a real difference in his outlook on the topic.
Switching off your internal editor is difficult. Getting out of your own way so you can really write is a very important skill to learn.
Think for a moment about playing a sport … let’s say basketball. Imagine trying to make a lay-up using a running, internal editor like you do with writing. You’d find yourself pulling up in the middle of your drive toward the hoop because your dribble was too high or your angle of approach wasn’t perfect. You’d go back to where you started from and begin your drive again.
In a game that would be ridiculous! You’d never do it. You’d just keep going and try to make the shot as best you could, despite your mistakes. You need the same attitude when it comes to writing.
Write fast now. Plan to edit carefully later.
Shutting down your internal editor is something a lot of writers struggle with. Over the years, I’ve learned a few strategies that work well for me. And today, I’m going to share those with you.
Build your muscle.
Writing uninterrupted is similar to strengthening a muscle. If you practice, you’ll get better at it.
Start small. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write without interrupting yourself until the timer goes off. Do that on every project for a week. Then next week, bump the time up to 15 minutes. Keep building up the amount of time you write without editing, and it will get easier and easier to do.
Welcome the pauses.
It’s usually when you have a break in your thoughts that you go back and start editing. It feels more productive than waiting for the next train of thought to develop. But editing will keep the next train of thought from arriving.
Instead, just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Keep your eyes closed until your thoughts take shape and you’re ready to write again.
If you’re having a really hard time stopping your internal editor from hijacking your writing flow, turn your monitor off and write blindly for 10 minutes. (This only works if you know how to touch type.)
The first couple of times I tried this, I found it absolutely paralyzing. But once I came to terms with not being able to see what I was writing, it really worked. The internal editor switches off because you can’t see your work-in-progress to review. You remove the temptation.
Learning to write fast — and without editing as you go — will have the biggest impact on your productivity as anything else you’ll ever learn.
Today your assignment is to review the outline you created yesterday and to write — as fast as you can — a first draft of your online article. Aim for 600 to 1,000 words. Feel free to let me know how it’s going in the comments.
Then tune in tomorrow — I’m going to share my favorite editing techniques for making your writing effortless to read.
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