Fastest Way to Build Your Writing Muscles for Speed and Quality

Cindy Cyr back again reflecting on my experiences to help you enjoy living the writer’s life faster and easier.

Building on yesterday’s discussion on using peer reviews, today I want to talk about one essential training technique I would do again …

Only much differently.

Why?

It improved my writing muscles both in quality and speed tenfold within only a couple months’ time.

I’m talking about writing … consistently.

While I did write consistently every day (and continue to write daily even now), here’s the thing …

If I could go back and change one thing … I’d devote time each day to coming up with a fresh idea to submit to my Circle of Success peer review group from day one.

Let me explain.

In the beginning, I’d spend time writing each day, but often I was only working on one headline and lead for weeks at a time.

That meant I only received feedback every couple of weeks – or maybe longer. In fact, I remember working on a spec assignment for a month before I ever received a peer review.

The problem with only working on a single idea is that, in order to write faster and really improve your writing skills, you need to practice coming up with ideas and get feedback on them more often.

Seeing others pass me by, I began submitting mini ideas to my Circle of Success peer review group five days a week.

Committing to spending no more than a half hour a day, I picked a topic, wrote a headline and lead, and submitted it each day for a quick review.

Within two months my writing muscles had expanded significantly. The speed at which I could write allowed me to take on more clients. Plus, with increased skill, I felt more confident, which led to higher paying clients.

Here are four tips to get more out of this daily writing exercise:

  1. Put a time limit on it. By committing to find an idea, write about it, and stop at 30 minutes, you’ll get much faster at writing.
  2. Pick a new topic every time. Start on a fresh idea each day. Not sure what to write about? Look to news about your niche as inspiration. Pick different products on a dream client’s website. Or, choose a spec assignment to get you going.
  3. Do it daily. Just like exercising your body on a regular basis improves your health, exercising your writing muscles will develop your writing skill.
  4. Focus on one strategy per week. To get an even bigger benefit, pick a different writing strategy to focus on for the week. For example, you could focus on making sure your headline incorporates the Four U’s (i.e., Is your headline Unique, Useful, Urgent, and Ultra-Specific?).

I can’t stress enough how writing every day has helped improve the speed and quality of my writing. And, I’m not alone …

Ask any successful copywriter and they’ll tell you “writers write.”

So, commit to writing every day!

Now that I’ve shared my tips for writing faster and better, I’d love to hear about any writing exercise you’ve used to help you strengthen your writing skill and pace. Share your comments here.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about another thing I should have done much sooner, which helped my income soar.

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Published: May 12, 2015

13 Responses to “Fastest Way to Build Your Writing Muscles for Speed and Quality”

  1. Cindy,

    Thanks for sharing your useful tips.To sharpen my writing skills I regularly write letters to the editor. For instance, to day I'm published in the New York Times's letters to the editor section (May12).

    Ben Miles

    Guest (DrBen)May 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm

  2. Thanks so much,Cindy, for sharing tips on how to increase your writing speed! All so practical, yet all so good. Before I begin each day, I say a little prayer before working on specs. I choose a different spec each week. I don't turn them in. Yet. As I get better and better, I'll begin submitting. : )

    Guest (Kathleen)May 12, 2015 at 4:56 pm

  3. Hi Cindy, your piece was soooo easy to read. And so clear. I don't write every day, so thanks for the prompt.

    By the way, we met at Bootcamp in 2007. Great that you're doing so well. Mohan, Dorset/UK.

    MohanMay 12, 2015 at 6:31 pm

  4. I found that time of day greatly influences my writing: mornings are great for creative, inventive new ideas. Afternoons better for routine like activities. Know your brain, sort of.

    Guest (Roy Klinkert)May 12, 2015 at 7:04 pm

  5. Thanks Cindy for the info that you've shared so far. I must confess that I am feeling a little bit lost. I was under the impression that I would receive writing assignments to get me started. I have no clue where to start; however, I will be using the tips that you provided in your letters. Thanks again.

    Sophia May 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm

  6. Cindy,

    Thank you for an excellent article. Of the four tips, the first (Put a time limit on it) and the third (Do it daily) are tried and true, and I can attest to both.

    However, tip numbers two (Pick a new topic every time) and four (Focus on one strategy per week) were new to me. I felt like I had fallen into a freezing cold river that woke me from a stupor and then found my pockets filled with nuggets of gold. Very cool.

    Again, thanks.

    Sean AlexanderMay 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm

  7. Reading Cindy's tips and seeing people respond to them makes me feel like I am part of a family and we all want to help each other. It has made me feel much more comfortable knowing people do want me to be successful and are there for me. God Bless You All.
    JAN WEBNER

    JAN WEBNERMay 19, 2015 at 2:16 pm

  8. Recently I heard a great idea of how I can improve my writing skills just by rewriting my favourite books. Yeah, it's time consuming but it works. Also, great tips on key elements of writing can be. We all know about these but usually the well-known but essential-to-writing things are omitted while we are trying to pursue big ideas.

    Guest (Tessa Edin)December 2, 2015 at 8:33 am


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