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I’m always on the go. If I’m not rushing to a meeting with a client, I’m rushing to a meeting with my staff. If I’m not buried in work, I’m hurrying to see family and friends. Yes, indeed; my life is pretty busy. Add in the articles that I write for the blog, guest posts and… well, you get the idea.
I know I’m not alone. I know some of our readers personally, and I know most of you are like me, constantly juggling your time. You’re trying to stuff 30 hours into a 24-hour day and getting frustrated because time won’t cooperate with you.
Are You Sacrificing Quality?
Quality writing takes a ton of time, research, planning and – let’s face it – a lot of inspiration. Some writers I know need to be “in the zone” before they can even begin to write. Has it gotten to the point that you groan when it’s time for another article to come out? Is it a frantic race to publishing time, or a slow, pleasant stroll? Here’s the big question. In all your juggling, are you *gasp* sacrificing quality for quantity?
No one wants that: your readers, least of all. You certainly don’t want to put some half-baked, unedited, obviously-unloved piece of content out there. So what do you do? Well, if you think about it, there are really only three things you can do when pressed for time:
- Put off writing until you have enough time
- Invite guest bloggers to write for you
- Find a way to write more efficiently
In looking at the possibilities above, I’d suggest you find a way to write more efficiently. Look, I know we all wish we had that magic wand to wave and presto, our next blog post just appears. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.
6 Tips to Streamline Your Writing Workflow
Is there a secret formula to writing faster and creating better blog posts? No, not really. However, what will work is adopting habits that make the writing process faster and more efficient. Here are seven tips that can go a long way toward streamlining your writing workflow:
#1: Prepare a content calendar
The task that eats up most of my time is thinking about what I’m going to write. Keeping a content calendar will help you cut your writing time in half. Tie this idea into monitoring your social media streams and blog comments. When an article topic catches your eye, write it down and put it on your calendar.
#2: Keep a notebook handy
Have a small notebook with you all the times and write down any ideas that hit you. Often, ideas will come to you at the most unexpected times. It can be while speaking with a client or while reading a comment from a blog post. Creating a topic list will shave lot of time off your workflow. If you have a smartphone and don’t particularly care to carry around actual paper, you can use apps like:
#3: Give yourself a deadline
If you’re new to writing, give yourself a deadline to complete each article. The more you write, the better you’ll get at gauging how much time you’ll need to finish a given topic, and make adjustments as needed. The important thing is to set a deadline and stick to it. If you think you can finish a meaty post in an hour, make sure you stay on task and stay in your seat until it’s finished. Which brings me to tip number 4.
#4: Stay focused
After giving yourself a specific number of hours to write your article, sticking to your deadline is the real challenge. You’ll need to cut out all distractions. Get off Facebook and away from Twitter. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent mode and do everything in your power to stay focused until you’re finished. You’ll thank yourself later, and a happy you is… well, a happy you.
#5: Write Write Write
After you have all your facts checked and your research done, you’re ready to write. Let it flow. Write, write, write! Let your thoughts run their course. Don’t edit or check for spelling or grammatical errors. Just write. Nothing will distract you more from staying in a good flow than editing in the middle of your writing. Save that until the end.
#6: Edit only after you finish writing
Once you’re happy with your article you can go ahead and edit. Make sure you read your article aloud. Doing so will allow you to see if your writing makes sense and flows the way you want.
*Bonus Tip: Read your post out loud, amazing the mistakes you can hear when it’s not well written.
You can also do a final fact check as well as choose any images you may want to include. Make sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. It’s also a good idea to take some time away from the computer and come back later to review your article again with a fresh perspective. Better yet, ask a trusted friend to proof for you. Having your work reviewed with a fresh pair of eyes will do wonders for your writing.
There you go, six tips that can help you write faster and create blog posts. Do you follow a different workflow? I’d love to hear your thoughts.