Now that we are officially knee deep in summer, most bloggers aren’t going to want to be trapped behind their laptops all day long. You likely have kids home on summer break, or weddings and reunions to attend, or maybe you just want to spend more time in the sunshine than on your couch.
Unfortunately, the workload doesn’t disappear when the weather gets nice. Now is the time to streamline your writing process and become as efficient as you can be. Slow and steady might win the race, but it also burns daylight. You can still be a thoughtful writer who produces quality work without spending your entire summer chained to your computer. I have put together a list of ways to reduce your time spent writing, leaving you more time to enjoy your friends, family, and fun summer activities.
CARVE OUT TIME: Having set writing hours allows you a window of time to really focus on you work, ideally with limited distractions. Also, determining an end to your work day gives you a deadline to push towards.
FIND YOUR SPOT: In the same way that having specific writing hours helps to focus your efforts, having a designated writing spot puts you in work mode. Adjust your environment to whatever best suits your process. If you can, make arrangements with any other people who share your living space that you are not to be interrupted while you are working.
LASER BEAM FOCUS: Before you begin writing your post, write down in a single sentence what the main idea of the article will be. Then only write information that demonstrates that main idea. Instead of writing everything that pops into your head and then editing the post down afterwards, you can pre-edit superfluous ideas before they have even been written.
ADD FLESH TO THE SKELETON: Another way to keep your writing on track is to work from a rough outline. First, make a list of all the major points or chronological steps that need to be covered in the post. Then go back and turn those bullet points into paragraphs by fleshing out the ideas. Stick to the program, and don’t go off on time-wasting tangents.
DON’T EDIT WHILE WRITING: While a bit of pre-editing can speed up your process, editing while writing will slow it WAY down. Once you have determined the main idea of your post, write the entire post before losing that focus. Once it is done, you can go back for final proofreading and editing.
BOOKMARK YOUR RESOURCES: Add these two links to your browser dashboard: Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. If you have any other writing resources that you regularly use, add them as well. There’s no need to do a Google search for “what are other words that mean the same thing as fabulous” when you can just hit up an online thesaurus in one click.
IMPROVE YOUR WPM: There’s no doubt that being a more efficient typist helps improve writing speed. If you are still a pokey hunt-and-peck typist, do a Google search for free typing games. Practice a few times a week to get your fingers moving more quickly across the keyboard.
Do you have any secret tips for blazing through a blog post? I’d love to hear them!
If you are looking for more writing tips and exercises, check out my e-book Mad Writing Skills: A Non-threatening Guide to Grammar and Writing for the Creative Blogger.