Becoming a writer and becoming a productive writer are two different things. The fact of the matter is that the only writers’ online that make any money are those that are both fast and good. You can be fast and create terrible copy that no one wants, and you can be slow and create great copy but you won’t make any money. The magic formula really is Write Fast + Write Well = Make Money.
What is your writing job today? A sales page? An article? Whatever you are writing today you need to make sure that what you write supports the subject at hand. So how to begin?
The first thing you need to know is how many word the copy is going to be. 500 words is pretty average on the internet but it can be shorter or longer.
The next thing you want to do is look at the subject at hand. If it’s a topic you are very familiar with, your job just got easier. Start typing – yes that’s right – just start typing for a full five minutes. Don’t look at the screen, don’t worry about spelling, paragraphs, grammar, etc. Just type what comes out of your head. You will be surprised at just how much information is stored up there. This is especially true if you’ve been writing for online for a long time.
Set a timer and when it goes off stop. Now start to put your ideas into form. Organize them, create your paragraphs, and headings, bulleted lists, whatever you need to make your article work. You can add more content if necessary, or remove some if you have typed too much. You’ll be surprised at just how much information you can put together if you just let things flow.
Remember to take frequent breaks. Studies show that those who take frequent breaks outperform those who work for hours without stopping. Get up from your computer and get a drink of water, stretch, or go for a walk around the block twice every hour, or, at a minimum, once every 50 minutes.
Use time blocking. Organize your daily schedule in blocks of time, and include one or more for writing. Set an intention, or goal, for each block. Nothing else happens in your writing time block other than writing. You also can set goals for each time block.
All that is great, but you may not always be familiar with the topic at hand. In those cases you’re going to have to spend a little time researching. This is where having really good research skills can come in handy because you want to minimize the amount of time you spend learning about the subject at hand. Do some skim reading, make a few notes, and then start writing.
It’s a good idea to always find out from the client what they will require you to write on before you accept the job, because the cost needs to reflect your research time and writing time, and if it’s a subject foreign to you, then you’ll have difficulty being productive.
Finally, make yourself accountable. Set a deadline for the completion of your first draft and for the publication of your book (or for finding an agent or publisher). Then schedule time into your calendar for the necessary tasks, including writing, so you meet that deadline. Don’t create a deadline that is a year or two years from now. Push yourself to get your book written and published fast! You’ll get more done if you push yourself.
That’s it – becoming more productive isn’t nearly as difficult as you might have thought. Why not give it a try?