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Write Fast, Write Well

Monday November 10, 2008 , 3 min Read

Most writers who write articles for web content want to produce good quality copy and they want to produce it quickly. Therein lieth the rub. For most of us, writing quality original content takes time. As a craft, writing is sweat-inducing. It's supposed to be. It's supposed to be hard. Writers fret over every word, phrase or punctuation mark. However, by actually slowing down, writers can produce better well-written content and produce it quickly. The key to a fast production rate is to take it one step at a time. Plan, focus and learn to be systematic.

The 45 Minute Article Plan ahead. Have your notes at hand. Your notes should include include a beginning, a middle and an ending or "summing up."

Do a first draft in point form based upon your notes and in the order you want the article written, leaving out the pretty shiny words. Just slap the words onto the page. At this stage, perfection isn't important. You need basic information in this draft. It's meant to be "in the rough." In time you'll learn to do this in 10 to 20 minutes.

Your next draft will expand on the points made in the first. Smooth out the rough edges, create a concise flow in the text, correct phrasing, punctuation, grammar and syntax. Let this draft brew in a metaphorical pot for a few days. When you come back to it, you'll be reading it with fresh eyes the way an editor would. Proof read again and you'll have an article. If it's approximately 500 words in length, it should take about 15 minutes for planning, research and note-taking, 15 minutes for two drafts and 15 minutes for cleaning it up and calling it finished. Even when you call it finished, let it sit a a day or two longer before a final read-through.

If you want to write an article in 15 minutes, write what you know – things off the top your head. If it's a subject that already interests you, there will be very little fresh research, if any, because you've already done it. Always let it sit for a day or two and come back to it with a fresh viewpoint. You'll find it easier to notice any flaws.

Keep a notebook with you at all times. Ideas pop into your head even when you're out and about -- at the convenience store, while at the beach or simply listening to radio commentary.

Build a file of quirky or interesting titles. Titles can be the basis for an article. Over time, add notes to those titles. Eventually, you'll have enough ideas and thoughts attached, you'll be ready to whip up that article very quickly.

Build print files on subjects that interest you. Subcribe to a good daily newspaper, preferably a national paper, to keep you informed and up-to-date on what's happening in the world or what's being generally discussed.

Most prolific print writers will tell you experience reaps rewards. Write everyday. Be disciplined and stick to a working schedule. You'll become a better writer in time and more able to produce good quality work quickly, efficiently and creatively.