How To Write Faster Than a Superhero

Confession: I’m a fan of the superhero The Flash. If you’re at all familiar with comic book lore, you know that this is the guy who runs super, super fast. Why am I a fan? There’s something about being able to go “zoom” and you’re “there” — in seconds — that somehow appeals to me. Yet, despite his talent for sprinting faster than a Hennessey Venom, I’m fairly certain that The Flash can’t write any speedier than the rest of us. In fact, he would probably appreciate getting some practical tips on writing faster, more easily, and with a lot less stress. So, with that in mind, here are some strategies that have helped boost my writing productivity. Some of these may work for you, even if you’re not a superhero. 1. Create a “tent pole” outline Forget about the detailed, paragraph-by-paragraph outline your grade eight teacher taught you to create. In my experience, that just makes the writing process longer. Instead, simply make a list of points you want to make in roughly the order you want to make them in. These are your “tent poles”. Trust me. They’ll make the actual writing a lot easier. 2. Write and polish your opening first I spend a lot of time crafting the headline and opening few sentences. Once I have those in place, I find that the rest of the article, web page, sales letter, or whatever it is I’m writing, comes together quickly. Writing and polishing your opening is like pulling the starter cord on a lawnmower. It revs things up and gets things moving. Just having that finished...