As a writer, you may find yourself pressured to create a coherent and inspiring piece, the best anyone’s ever read. Unfortunately, there are some realities that we need to face, and deadlines are one of the harshest realities out there.
- Envision a Structure
Do this before you even start. This gives you a clear direction of what you want to do and where you want your piece to go. It comes in handy later on in the editing stage, too.
Start with a thesis statement your entire article or essay will be hooked on, and then work from there to extract main points you’ll be discussing. Keep these ideas short on the outline, though. Save the details for the actual writing.
- Finish the First Draft
It may sound obvious, but this a crucial stage plenty of writers often forget. Eager to perfect their work immediately, they edit per section, rather than by draft.
But according to author Lynne Klippel, don’t send out sections of your work for comments if you haven’t gotten the bigger picture yet. Focus on finishing the first draft before editing anything. This will help you see as well whether the thought of your piece really goes together or not.
- Get Expert Advice
While asking for a friend’s feedback might help, seeking guidance from professional editors will more or less ensure the expertise and experience of the individual whose advice you’re getting.
If you don’t have the time to take a writing break, get some help from the experts. Sites like AssignmentMasters offers editing services that are sure to optimize your writing.
- Keep Track of the Word Count
Author Nina Amir suggests that writing a short, non-fiction book requires you to be as concise as possible. This will create a less cluttered, and more powerful sentence for your readers.
To make sure you don’t overuse your words, deliberate on your statements carefully. Decide whether there are any ways you could say something without using as many prepositions or excess adjectives.
- Practice Everyday
If you want to be better and faster at what you do, practice is the only way to get there. Management consultant Johanna Rothman suggests writers take time to write something at least 15 minutes a day.
It doesn’t always have to be related with your current project, but it will probably be best if you can link it to what you’re writing anyway. Not only will this optimize your skill, it will also add up into your first draft in the long run.
- Take Productive Breaks
Once you’ve finished your first draft, set it aside for a while. You can opt to forward it later to an editor, but for a preliminary brush up of any minor details, don’t start editing right away just yet.
Take productive breaks instead to help you step back from your current project and look at other perspectives. Our suggested productive break is either reading up on your materials and references to refresh your memory on what you wanted to achieve in the first place.
- Let Your Thoughts Flow
Since you’re still on the first draft, try not to take up too much time perfecting your work. This doesn’t mean you should slack off and give uninspired writing. It simply means you should learn to let go of your writing inhibitions and leave the refining for later.
Remember that what’s most important about this stage of your writing process is organizing your thoughts in coherent structures, not necessarily perfecting them. Give yourself some freedom to put them down on the page before criticizing your work.
Deadlines are often difficult to deal with in any industry, but it’s a major point of concern for writers. However, meeting the deadline doesn’t always equate to poorly written books.
Write down a structured first draft and leave the rest for editing. It sounds counterintuitive but you can speed up your writing process by letting yourself make mistakes on the page.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit with templates, worksheets and checklists for writing nonfiction. Check it out!
Great advice. I’m in the process of writing my second novel and am having flashbacks from the experience with my first. But this time around – I have less doubts – and still – getting through that first draft feels edgy – knowing that I need to edit. So I was glad to see #2 Finish the First Draft. It is so easy to get distracted by “perfect”.
Number 3 is particularly important. It’s difficult to efficiently edit and impossible to proofread your own writing. A good piece of writing is sorely diminished in the eyes of its readers if it contains grammatical errors and typos.