Like you, I've been in the dilemma of finishing writing tasks fast when I was a newbie freelance web content writer.
Back then, I was only able to finish writing a 500-word article within four to five hours. I think I was writing about balustrades back then - a topic I'm not so familiar with.
Though some of our freelance writing clients prompt us to write about things which we are not an expert of, that doesn't mean that we couldn't craft an article within a lesser period of time.
With my more than four years of web content writing experience, I have learned how to write faster. From a four or five hour period of writing, I have reduced that to an hour or two. So, what did I do?
Do less research.
What? Less research? Isn't researching the most important part of writing? Yes, we need to research a lot so that we can write more about a topic that we don't know, and provide more accuracy and credibility to our writing. But what I meant by this is that you shouldn't consume too much of your time researching.
Most of the time, we tend to over-research. We even research on things that are not really relevant to our writing, or we even look for reference materials that we won’t be actually using at all.
Before, I had almost 30-ish tabs opened on my browser, and I read and analyze all of them. But over time, I learned to only research for the most relevant results.
Proofread after writing.
Yep, you read that right. It's not proofreading "while" writing.
Though some freelance writers prefer to proofread while they write, I prefer to proofread after I have written all my thoughts. I just type and type. No matter how bad my grammar tends to be. Because if I don’t continuously type, my flow of thoughts uhh... won't flow anymore.
This actually works best for me. English is not my first language, and sometimes, I do have a hard time translating my thoughts in English. After all the typing, I run through the article again and fix my grammar.
It's not that I always set an alarm clock. The sound of an alarm is very annoying.
I just set a particular time on when should I finish writing a piece of content. For content that does not need extensive research, I challenge myself to finish it within an hour, or less than that.
I just take note of the time on my laptop screen. Every time I glance at the clock, I know how much time is still left.
If you don't time yourself, the result is that you always slack off. Back then, I didn't time myself whenever I write, and I was only being unproductive.
Write in a not-so quiet environment.
It’s true that we, freelance writers, need a quiet workspace inside our home so that we can write without distraction.
However, I tend to get more distracted if the place is too quiet. That's just too boring, and it can even make me doze off. So what I do is play a music that I like, but one that is not too loud.
If you are looking for a type of music that helps you boost your productivity, you can play soft music, nature sounds, or even video game sounds.
Take short breaks.
Some freelance writers don't take a break thinking that it will only consume much of their time.
However, you should replenish yourself once in a while. Drink a hot coffee; stand up and do some stretching; talk to anyone, even your pets; close your eyes for a while, and many more. You'll find that you are writing faster than expected.
Well, these are my techniques in order to write faster. What's yours? I'd love to know.