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How to Write Better and Faster

How to Write Better and Faster

    I remember when I was younger and how I truly hated writing. If I had a paper due in school I would wait until the absolute last night before it was due to start writing. In doing that I would always set myself up for failure. My papers ended up being a mish-mosh of ideas that didn’t make any sense, spelling mistakes, and usually a paper that didn’t meet the length requirements.

    I then thought that writing was this sacred act that only “writers” could do, that it took a ton of time to get your thoughts down on paper, and that you had to have an advanced degree or tons of experience to know how to do it. Well, if you take a look at any of the millions of blogs online today you can see that my thoughts were nowhere near the truth. Writing is a pretty natural act that many people do on a regular basis.

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    In fact, to write well and to do it quickly doesn’t take some sort of magic. Most anyone can do it by following some simple guidelines.

    Warm-up

    We’ve talked before about the importance of writing every single day if you want to be a writer. Well, writing every single day doesn’t only put you on a fast track to actually writing something good, it helps you warm up for other types of writing. Think of it as a way to get the “junky” writing out of the way before you get to the good stuff.

    Know what you want to say

    The key to writing faster is knowing what your main idea is. A main idea should be something that you can explain in one sentence and doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand it. That is, unless you are writing about rocket science.

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    For “standard” types of articles and blog posts, being able to explain your main idea in one sentence will suffice and leads you to the next step.

    Outline your ideas

    Now that you have a main idea you can outline “sub-ideas” and explanations that lead you to that main idea. Knowing what you want to say is very important, but coming up with ideas and explanations to back up your ideas can be even more important.

    Getting your article’s flow out in an outline form is a good way to see how your sub-ideas work together to explain what you actually want to say.

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    Let it sit

    I’ve found that one of my biggest hurdles in writing is forcing myself to do it when I am “tapped out” of any good ideas. This is when I need to step away from the article or project and let the ideas “simmer” for a little while.

    I always find myself refreshed and ready to write when I do this. So, if you are staring at a blank screen, step away from the computer. You can always come back to it and when you do, you will have a fresh perspective.

    Write till your fingers hurt

    Now that you are warmed up, have a main idea and outline, and aren’t burned out from writing, you need to get as much down on paper as possible. This is what some call “free writing”. Don’t let your fingers stop moving while you are doing this. Get out as much as you can regarding what you have outlined or even write more things that weren’t in your outline.

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    This is where you write something pretty crappy. But the idea is to not self-regulate your writing at this point; it’s to get out of your head as much as possible and then critique and edit afterwards.

    Edit and restructure

    Now that you have a bunch of writing down on your screen (unless you use paper) you can start to pick things apart, move them around to better match your outline and help further explain your main idea, and make your prose have a more logical flow. This is also a good time to spell check, find weird grammar and logic mistakes, and maybe even rephrase things with better choices of words.

    When choosing words remember this: not too many people care that you are a “big time writer” and know a whole bunch of different, awesome words. What they do care about is being sucked into your writing and also being able to understand it. Don’t use big words for the sake of using big words. Always try to err on the side of making your work understandable, not fanciful.

    Cut, cut, cut

    Now that you have all those words you can start to cut out the “fluff”. This goes back to the last point; most people don’t care about how long your sentences are, but sure as hell care if they can or can’t understand what you are trying to say. So, find the things that are needless in your writing and cut them out completely.

    And that’s about it. If you want to write faster and better follow these steps and see what a huge difference they will make in your writing flow. If you only take one thing away from this article, remember that writing faster and better is easy to do as long as you know what you want to say. Get a good main idea and the rest will fall into place.

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

    3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

    Do you want to program your mind and hack your body to stay in a positive state, a state of action taking throughout the day? I suggest you read on.

    We will look at 3 keys to success that successful people are doing that you can model to program your mind to be in the state of succeeding from the moment upon waking, and make decisions throughout the day that will lead you towards your desires.

    The Biggest Obstacle to Success: Going on Autopilot

    One of the biggest pitfalls in the modern society is to fall into the trap of going on autopilot, to be walking dead and do what everyone else are doing. Most of us are too busy reacting and responding to the environment and what’s happening around us.

    While we should act and take charge of our own world and our own reality. We forget to stay focused and we forget about our goals.

    Learn to be conscious. Being more conscious in your day-to-day decisions will lead you to take the appropriate actions to reach your goals.

    Have a purpose with life, act according to your values, and don’t let people tell you what to do or how things should be.

    When you start to make more conscious decisions, you will start to think about if this is going to take you closer to your goals or drift you further away.

    Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Why are you reading this? Nothing else to do? Or are you reading this site so you might pick up a thing or two to consciously incorporate in your life to improve yourself that will move you in the direction you want?

    What are your goals? Be healthy? Lose weight? Be fit? Get the dream job? Have the dream house? Live the dream life? Make a certain amount of money? Start a family?

    If you truly want to pursue these goals and actually see them come true, you need to start taking actions consciously.

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    3 Keys to Success in Life (That You Can Start Doing Now)

    There are 3 things we have to consciously start doing:

      Now I’ll show you how you can achieve each of them in details.

      1. Write down Your Goals

      The first thing you do in the morning will determine what your day is going to be like. Program your mind to be in a powerful state from the moment upon waking, and you are guaranteed to have a productive and great day.

      How you can do this is by writing your goals down, every morning. Then, once you’ve done that, circle the most important goal,  the goal that in the long-term will have the most impact on your life.

      Now ask yourself this question: “What actions can I make today that will change everything and take me closer to this goal?

      Write down all the actions you can think of, circle the two most important ones and start doing them. Don’t stop until it’s done.

      This is an extremely powerful method of getting in the right state first thing in the morning. Instead of wandering around half-dead and spending 30 minutes to wake up, you are hacking your mind to be productive.

      Another powerful reason for writing down your goals is that by reading them it makes us feel good, write them as if they’re already accomplished. You’re already there.

      Re-reading and re-writing them every morning will ensure you to be in a resourceful state where you act based on your goals. You will make conscious decisions throughout the day that will support your goals and take you closer to them.

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      Goals that are not written down are merely wishes. Learn how to set great goals here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

      The power of writing goals as if you’re already there takes us to point number 2.

      2. Create a Powerful Belief System

      Ask any successful person what their number one rule for succeeding is. They all have this in common:

      They believe in themselves and what they’re doing, and they are not afraid to say it.

      If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?

      When people ask you about your goals in life, don’t be afraid to say it out loud. If you have high goals, they might laugh and look at you funny. But if you’re insecure about your goals, you will make insecure decisions that will lead you nowhere.

      Go against the grain, stand out. After all, how many people in the world today are actually living the dream? Now, how many of these people will respond something in the likes of “I don’t know” if you ask what their goals are?

      Be determined and believe in yourself. People will respect you for having the guts for going after what you truly desire.

      I once heard a story about a guy that worked in a video store. Every day he would bring two magazines to work, one was an entrepreneur magazine and the other was a magazine loaded with expensive and fast-riding cars. His boss would ask him why he was bringing these magazines to work every day and his answer was: “I’m picking out the car I’m going to buy.”

      The response from the boss was like most average minds saying he was killing himself thinking like that, he would never ever get that car and would just end up disappointed when it never happened.

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      Turned out, the guy later quit the job at the video store and followed his dream. Some years later he return to the video store to return a video, and he did so in the car he picked out from the magazine.

      The same people were working in the store as the day he used to work there. Now can you imagine the looks on their faces when he turned up in the car they said he never ever would get?

      Priceless. And it all started by creating a powerful belief system.

      The first step to living and achieving your dream is to believe it and imagine it. When you believe in your mind that you’ve already achieved your goals, you will develop a sense of certainty. That certainty will lead to action steps, when you know what the outcome is going to be it’s much easier to pick out the actions that are necessary to get there.

      You are certain you will live in the body you want.

      You are certain you will live in the dream house with the dream family.

      You are certain you will have the job you want, and earn the money you believe you’re worth.

      By constantly repeating in your mind the images of yourself succeeding, you create neural pathways in the brain. Your mind can’t tell the difference between what you vividly imagine and the reality.

      Go out and day dream. Go out and believe, imagine already living your dreams and goals. With enough repetition, you become certain that this is the only outcome and you work backwards to find ways for making it happen.

      The next step in personal success that will lead to life success and happiness is to..

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      3. Invest in Yourself

      A wise man was once asked what the best possible investment someone could make. His answer was short, sweet and simple: “Invest In Yourself.”

      The man’s name is Warren Buffett. He is known as the world’s greatest investor. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $53.5 Billion.

      Hiring a personal coach, getting a membership at a gym, buying healthy foods, books and education are not expenses. They are investments: investments in yourself.

      Some things you can do today to invest in yourself are:

      • Go to the gym and train. Physical training releases endorphins and makes you feel great. It increases productivity and energy levels. By investing time in the gym, you’ll be better able to handle daily tasks and what life throws at you. Forty-five to fifty minutes is all you need, it’s actually the best time to shoot for in a workout.
      • Eat good food. When you go to the grocery store after work, ask yourself: “What foods will nourish my mind and body to feel and perform better?” You are setting yourself up for greatness and consciously making yourself aware of what foods will empower you, therefore make better decisions.
      • Start reading books. Everyone buys books, but very few actually reads them cover to cover.
      • Stop reading books and start studying them. Few read the books they buy, but even fewer remembers what they read. Stop reading books and start studying books.
      • Study at least one hour a day. “One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.” – Brian Tracy
      • Take notes. Never leave home without a pen and a piece of paper. The best ideas often comes in the least appropriate times, write them down. Don’t trust your mind to remember them—it won’t. Writing it down right away will also allow your mind to store and come up with more ideas. Nowadays, you can use plenty of notes-taking apps like Evernote.
      • Learn a new skill. Learn something new every day, a new skill or a new word. One new skill every day equals 365 new skills a year. Now imagine where you could be a year from now if you start doing it today?
      • Do something for yourself. Yes, hard work is a major factor for succeeding, but at least once per month do something fun, something outrageous and spontaneous that makes you feel alive. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

      The Crucial Rule to Follow

      The last piece of advice and rule to follow: Keep on, keeping on.

      Sometimes, things get hard and the road seems too long. You just have to keep on, keeping on.

      Revisit your goals and start imagining, all of the sudden you’ve changed your state and you’re on the right track again. The track that will take you to greatness.

      Use these 3 keys to create your destiny and achieve what you want in life.

      Go get it.

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      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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