White is such a charming color, isn’t it? Some gals choose it for their weddings, and we all wish we had that suspiciously white smile. As a writer, however, there is nothing more discouraging to me than to have a staring contest with the blank, often white, page… and lose. I think many website content writers will agree with me that fast writing is indeed the answer. Ergo, my topic for today — fast writing, the whys, the hows.
What Do I Mean by Fast Writing
No, it’s not about typing.
To avoid any confusion, I’d like to specify what I mean by fast writing. We are not all created equal and that refers to our typing speed as well. While it can be taught, it is safe to assume we all type with different speed and accuracy. Therefore, I am excluding that element from the fast writing equation. I am only talking about the speed with which you complete a writing assignment and the amount of time it takes you to begin in the first place.
Remember, You Love Drafts
Fast writing is the mother of drafts.
And while I am a strong believer in drafts, I am sometimes terrible at them. And by sometimes, I mean always. So let’s just agree you need them but most importantly, let’s delve into why you need them.
When You Write Fast, You…
— Bypass your biggest critic, your conscious mind, and access your subconsciousness. It’s like the land of unicorns over there, and there is no judge to “filter” what comes through the loophole.
— Get something, anything really, on paper. As soon as you write something down, you have conquered your first constraint, the blank paper. I don’t think there are any website content writers out there who have not had to fight the blank paper syndrome at least once in their l̶i̶v̶e̶s̶ day.
— Bypass your other critic, perfectionism. And perfectionism as we all know but hate to admit breeds procrastination. It’s like you are about to write a piece but you are so careful about each word you write down, it simply has to be perfect, that suddenly your avoidance coping mechanism kicks in and everything else seems so much more interesting. Even knitting.
— Kiss pressure goodbye and get to actually have some fun with your writing. Forget all about SEO and keywords even, but know your goals. You’d be amazed by the number of side ideas that will come flowing out of you once you lose all restraints.
It Is True That with Fast Writing…
— Not everything you write will see the light of day. But it is very important that you write it (because nobody else will, if we are being dramatic). Knowing what you don’t want in your piece of content is just as important as what you do want in it. What you wish to avoid in your articles is sometimes your best starting point, too.
— You will also probably need a lot of edits. Don’t be afraid to literally grab some digital scissors and cut the fat. Some ideas will stay, others will have to go (or keep them for another time), and third ones will need rephrasing, but that is all perfectly okay. Hey, nobody said fast writing gives you the perfect end piece.
— You will need to keep your SEO goals in mind. If you are a proud member of the SEO website content writers club, you know what I am talking about. We often get trapped in the mindset of working a content idea around a set of keywords and that is pure limitation. Fast writing gets you out of that trap but it is you who needs to make sure it is all there in the final version.
A Brilliant Thing I Discovered
The so-called “TK” is a writing tradition used by many book authors. It stands for “to come” spelled in a cool typo way with a K so it stands out in a body of text. As book authors are often pressured by deadlines, fast writing is a huge thing for them. This is why, when they reach a point they are not sure how to develop, they simply put a TK in there and move on with what they are sure about. It serves as a reminder that they need to come back to it later. It is so simple and so brilliant at the same time.
You can use it for names, titles, places, entire sentences even. Although, for sentences and paragraphs, I also put a few keywords next to the TK if I already have some hazy idea about it.
This is how my examples look like:
She reached for her purse and took out a TK.
It was funny and sad at the same time. The fell-spilled-object TK. They all laughed nervously.
Using the TK or your own version of it will help you lose your train of thoughts every time you hit a TK on the road. 😉
Keep your shoes and nothing else.
When you walk into the palace of fast writing, leave all your criticism, self-criticism, self-doubts, doubts in general, and your fears at the door. Hang them somewhere and don’t look for them until you’re ready to leave. You need to keep your shoes on though because the story of the path you’ve walked (your life journey, if you will) is what gives you that unique angle that no other writer could ever have. As website content writers, we all have our doubts and conquering them is a story for another time. The point here is, detach yourself from everything that keeps you stuck in one place. Spread your wings and fly away.
Oh, and by the way, I wrote all of this at once. Sure, it took a while, but it was worth it. Following my own advice and all that. As for you, try it. Pour yourself a big cup of coffee or tea (or wine if you don’t work in an office), and go wild!