How to Write Faster (and Better) in a Digital World?

Everybody writes. I don’t care if you are a doctor or a writer. You write. But we both already know that. We also know that you want to write faster because writing takes time. We live in a world that’s all about speed. Unfortunately, most people live in a belief system that we can’t write faster without lowering the quality of our writing. Wrong. Absurd. Matter of fact, what you are doing right now is lowering the quality of your writing. It’s 2017. Most people are still teaching methods that worked in the 1980’s.

I write a lot. I write for my own sites. I write for companies. I need to be able to get more done. I need to be able to do so without lowering the quality of my work. And I do it. I’m ahead of a lot of people because of this simple thing that I’m doing.

 MAKE MISTAKES.

We’ve been raised in a society that forces us to write without drafts. Make a plan. Write it. That’s it. Do you want to write better? Mess thing up. Make mistakes. My best blog posts consisted of mistakes when I initially wrote them.

When you are writing on paper, you can’t do that. So when you are writing digitally, you have a big advantage. When you are writing digitally, you need to stop correcting your mistakes. All of them. Even little ones. FGDBAJKFBSA. Make mistakes. Puke out everything that’s on your mind. Empty all of it. Edit later. It goes back to this thing called the “Flow.” If you write and edit your writing at the same time, you won’t have it. More on that later.

Myth: Correcting mistakes slows you down.

“But if I don’t correct my mistakes while writing, I will have to do corrections after I finish, how will that make me write faster?” How will it not? You’ve never actually tried it. If you did, you wanted it to be wrong. You weren’t fully focused.

You might think that fixing mistakes will slow you down. It doesn’t. You can’t be fully focused on two things at once, and if you are half focused, that often will make you underperform in both. Try to write an essay while talking about something important with someone. It won’t work. Sure. You can do it. But it won’t be effective. You will get your essay done. The quality won’t be great. It will also take you longer to do.

And it’s not like maths. Half focused + half focused won’t equate to you being fully focused.

I mentioned the “Flow” at the start of this post. I bet that you heard of it. I’ve bet you’ve been in it. Did you ever play with your friends as a child? Did you ever look up at your watch to see that you are 1 hour late? If you were like me you probably changed the time on your watch. Point being? You lost track of time. You were in the flow. You were fully immersed in an activity.  

Sometimes you write something so fast. Other times it takes your hours. You not being in the flow is one of the causes of that.

When you write, that flow is there. You stop? That focus disappears. That’s a big problem. Isn’t it? Most of us don’t see it. Most think that it’s actually beneficial to stop. And yes, you need breaks too. But there’s a difference between having a break because you need it and stopping for no particular reason.

Every time you stop to correct a mistake you are slowing yourself down. To get back into that full focus? It can take 23 minutes and 50 seconds. If you write only for an hour, that’s over ⅓ of your time without full focus. When you aren’t fully focused, you aren’t producing your best content, and that is one of the main reasons you aren’t slowed down by correcting mistakes after you write a piece,  because otherwise, your work isn’t as good as it could be. Not correcting your mistakes will allow you to be fully focused on your writing. If you are fully focused, you write more.

 

What If You Can’t Spot Your Mistakes When Correcting Your Work After You Write It?

It’s funny. The thing that often distracts us from being in the flow is technology itself. But trying to avoid it won’t help either.

The problem with not correcting your mistakes is that once you do, you won’t see most of them. It’s true. We suck at that. Did you ever see these pictures on Instagram with typos that were done on purpose? You read them and didn’t even realize that there were typos present until it mentioned it. And there was also a typo present while they mentioned that. We suck at seeing things.

If you write first, correct later, you will have mistakes that your eyes won’t notice. That’s why I understand why people assume that content written in such a way would be of lower quality. It would be if your writing consisted of mistakes. However, if you are smart about this, you can turn that around and turn it into a massive advantage. Technology does that. 

I use Grammarly for instance. It’s not the only option, but it is one that works great. It spots the mistakes you make. You can set the style of your document so that if you start writing informally in a formal document, it will notify you. You can see how much you repeat yourself. You can see your little typos. You can see when you are writing double words. Simple things that your eyes don’t notice. I’m a writer. I use it. Many others do. It’s a tool anyone that writes should have. You don’t need it, but if you want to make sure your mistakes are seen, I suggest you use it. You can’t change what you can’t see. Technology helps us see the invisible.

The Conclusion? Write. Make mistakes. Fix them after. This will truly change your writing. Not only will you write faster, but you will also increase the quality of your content.

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