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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Lead On!

follow_the_leader

One of the writing “Facts of Life” is that every story, article, book, or blog post must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The most important paragraph in any piece of writing is the first one, called the Lead. Jumping directly into the body of your piece is likely to elicit a “Huh?” from the reader, followed closely by a click on the browser’s exit button. The lead coaxes your reader to continue reading the remainder of the piece, which, if done well, will “follow the leader.”

Your opening is more than an introductory handshake to set the tone — it’s a commitment to your reader that your prose will entertain, intrigue, inspire, and inform him. Think of the lead as a seconds-long commercial to entice your reader to “buy” the remainder of your story. A tall order, yet with the number of techniques to choose from (see list below), the challenge of writing an opening is not an impossible task. It can even be fun.

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Writing PIER-fect Posts

Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park - photo by Linda Fulkerson

Several years ago, I attended a CLASSSeminar training with Florence and Marita Littauer. They taught us an easy-to-remember outline for presentations that can be adapted to blogging as well as speaking — the P-I-E-R method. The word PIER is a tool to remind the presenter of the four major elements each aritcle, presentation, or speech should contain: Continue reading →

That Man Is a Pig!

pig

Don’t try to figure out which man my title refers to — it’s simply a “figure of speech” I used to introduce you to today’s topic . . . Figures of Speech, which are a great way to enhance your writing. Continue reading →