Is it possible to write a 400-500 word article or blog post in just 20 minutes, and still have quality content? Yes, it sure is, according to Jim Estill, and I agree with him. So much so that I am reprinting his article here.
It takes me only 20 minutes to write a 400-500 word article or blog post. This article (that I wrote in 20 minutes) explains some of the tricks I use to accomplish this. I started thinking seriously about this when I started blogging. Blogging gave me a deadline (almost every day) and I did not want to spend more than 20 minutes each day on blogging. Many of my blog entries are actually less than 500 words so take me less time.
1 – I start with a list of ideas and concepts I want to cover. Usually I write this list in point form. For me, I do this the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.
2 – I often “incubate” an article for a few days (that does not count in the 20 minutes). What I do is start roughing out some topic ideas then leave it. Because I have thought about it, ideas tend to come to me that I frequently add to my points. Of course I always carry a notebook for ideas.
3 – I often need to reduce the number of ideas that I cover. Sometimes they do not fit with the angle of the article or do not flow with the other ideas. Sometimes I have to give up a point to write a good article.
4 – Never save a good idea. When I know I have many article deadlines to meet(EG blogging), it is tempting to “save” a few good ideas for later. New ideas will always come so always give your best ideas.
5 – Develop tricks to get past writers block. One way I do this is ”warm up” writing. I just sit down and write for 5 minutes. This tends to help subsequent writing to flow. Another way I do this is to go for a walk, cycle or a run (although sometimes I think I might use this to procrastinate a bit too). Another trick I use is to make a game out of the deadline – say I will do it by X. Perhaps I am simple but this motivates me.
6 – Come back to it later. My best articles are written partly, revisited a few times, then finished. I spend the same 20 minutes, though only 5-7 minutes per session. Of course if the ideas are flowing well, I do keep writing.
7 – I often write 3-4 articles at the same time. Spending 5 minutes on one, 7 on another etc. When I am really in writing flow, this works well.
8 – One trick is using bullet points or numbered points as in this article. People seem to like this technique and it helps articles flow for me.
So if I can write so quickly, why don’t I write a few articles each day? Apart from the fact that I have a very full time job, writing is the easy part; coming up with the ideas is the tough part.
Jim Estill started his buisness from the trunk of his car and grew into to $375 Million in sales before selling it to SYNNEX. He is now CEO of SYNNEX Canada a $1 Billion computer wholesaler. he is a regular blogger at http://jimestill.blogspot.com.