I felt Nicki’s pain. Sometimes as writers we get so caught up in being perfect or having that perfect post that we never hit publish.
In the past it taken me days to write one post but now I write much faster. Here are a few things that helped me with long posts.
Get Research Done Ahead Of Time
Some articles or blog posts involve research or contacting sources. If you’re sitting down to write without having any of this information it’s going to take you hours to get it and organize it. Something I do to make sure this doesn’t happen is create an editorial calendar and get some of this stuff out of the way in advance. When it comes to my personal writing I usually rely on myself because it’s anecdotal but when it comes to writing for my clients there is usually some research involved. I would hate to be writing for hours with a deadline approaching so I take care of most of it before hand.
Create An Outline If Needed
I outline all of my blog posts. I feel it’s the best way to write. Take this post for example. Part of creating my outline is deciding what my advice (the bold parts) will be. I usually write these out first and then create my introduction and ending around it. This way I already know what I want to say when I begin writing my introduction. It makes editing a whole lot easier because I don’t have to go back and take out non relevant information.
Focus On The Task At Hand For A Full 20 Minutes
When I first decided to stop spending so much time writing my posts I blocked out chunks of time to dedicate to writing. I would write uninterrupted for 20 minutes which usually meant I got most of the post done in that time. This helped so much with my productivity and with learning to structure my posts so that I get it done in that time frame. It was a game I had with myself.
I would love to tell you I stick to that always but that would be a lie and I don’t lie to you. As a matter of fact I stopped writing this to watch a movie but overall it’s taking about 20 minutes.
If You Can’t Write About It After 5 Mins Table It For Later
I have a few posts in my drafts because I’ll start to write about a subject and get stuck. This is the point where I have no inspiration. If I’m not inspired to write about a subject I don’t do it at that time. Although I create an editorial calendar for the month I sometimes switch things around because I feel inspired to write about a subject a week earlier or on a particular day something else is on my heart.
Look At It From A Different Angle
Unfortunately the above point doesn’t really work when you’re writing for a living and not for your blog. When it comes to my clients I can’t just table their posts for later, especially if they gave me a specific topic to write on. In this case I usually approach the topic from a different angle to get myself a new way to write it. For instance I may have to write about how someone will benefit from attending culinary school. One way to approach the topic would be to use bullet points and statistics but this is very impersonal. I may instead choose to write it from past student’s perspectives. This would give the subject a fresh spin and help get my creative juices flowing with inspiring stories.
In the end you have to do what works for you but I do hope these suggestions helped.
I would like for you to discuss in the comments and on Twitter. How long does it take you to write a blog post? What advice would you give to writers who take a very long time to write?