15 Tips for Writing Faster

Turtle on wheels with a rocket at his back.

Bloggers know that more articles equals more traffic, but sometimes we get bogged down with blank screens and blinking cursors. This post shares 15 practical tips on how to write posts more quickly. All of these might not work for you — just use the ones that help and leave the rest.

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Choosing the Right Word

rendering of three cups game using black cups and a red ball

Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” But how do we choose the right word?

Sometimes a word just hits us and we know it’s right. But oftentimes, writers struggle to select the “perfect” word for a situation. What do we do then? Should we play the three cups game and hope for the best? What about eeny meeny miny mo? (You can read some writing and wonder if that isn’t how the writer chose the words he or she used.)

Actually, there is an easy and logical 6-step process to go through when determining which word to use:

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Concise Writing: Cut the Fat!

overweight woman on an exercise bike

Many Americans (including me!) have bad eating habits. Too much junk food. Too much food, period! We’re overstuffed. We suffer health problems and image problems. We must cut the fat.

When our writing becomes overstuffed, our readers suffer through pages of boring narrative. And we suffer, too — our success is endangered. We must cut the fat!

Obese writing is nothing new. In The King’s English, published nearly a century ago, author H.W. Fowler begins the first chapter with these words:

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How to Hook a Reader

six goldfish circling a fishing hook

If readers never come back to your blog, all your promotional efforts have been in vain. Not only must a blogger entice readers to venture into individual blog posts, but to return again and again. This is accomplished by hooking the reader.

We recently had a post on how to write a good blog post lead, but today we’re going to discuss how to hook the casual passerby into a regular reader.

How to get readers to return to your blog:

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Pruning Prepositions

Winter pruning of an apple tree with secateurs.

How many times have writers heard, “Using strong verbs and nouns makes good writing”? Yet, how many times have we heard, “Overuse of prepositions makes bad writing”? It does. Prepositions are essential to proper English usage. They show a relationship between words within a sentence. However, flinging them onto the page uncensored leads to sloppy, a.k.a. “bad,” writing. Prepositions must be controlled.

Gardeners prune trees to eliminate dead or diseased branches and prevent overcrowding, allowing healthy growth. The purpose of pruning prepositions in writing is similar: Continue reading →