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Write an Article in 20 Minutes

Posted on: July 18, 2009


timerBelieve it or not, it only takes me 20 minutes to write a 400-500 word article. This article (which I wrote in 20 minutes) explains some of the tricks I use to accomplish this.

Blogging gives me a daily deadline, and I don’t really 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.

Taking up blogging got me to start thinking seriously about writing quickly, and you may be facing a blogging time-crunch as well. So here are my 8 tips for writing an article in 20 minutes or less.

  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 (this 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, 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 o’ clock. 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.

Ideas anyone?

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About the Author

zunnurain

ZunNurain is a geek, a Blog Mentor and the founder of UltraSpectra. He writes about SEOBlogging, Social Media and everything between them. ZunNurain always has some great tips and tricks to share. This blog is a personal interest blog where he shares some general interest topics with the readers.

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6 Responses to "Write an Article in 20 Minutes"

cool dude. this is a great article u wrote abt writing articles. really impressive content. i must be ur student.

Salams,
Thank you for your kind participation and appreciation 🙂

Good advice, although a lot of it seems like it’s individualized. I could never work on three different articles at the same time and have them come out halfway decent (three in a row, sure, but not at the same time)!

I found all this stuff out the hard way working as a reporter, and then an editor, for my college paper. I had to write FAST, and I didn’t have anyone to tell me how to do it. Blogging regularly (and even commenting on blogs frequently) is a great way to keep up those skills.

And you’re spot on when you say the ideas (and I would add the research / reporting / information gathering) are the tough part. Once you have a bit of practice, the actual writing comes as naturally as drinking water.

Hello 🙂
Well here the piece of writing is not a hard and fast rule to write quick. They are just the guidelines to get on and get the things done fast 🙂 Well perhaps coming up with an idea you don’t need to sit on your working table. You can get an idea walking by the road side, talking to your friend or even sitting in your drawing room with guests!
Oh then writing for the newspaper, I take it a little different from the stream than writing for a blog! Perhaps research is there on both ends, reporting somehow too. But gathering information is a bit different in both conventional newspaper writings and writing for a blog 🙂

Thank you for your active participation 🙂

Zun,
good advice. any tip or trick helps in the process of writing. you can always glean an idea to be bettered by, as I just have, thanks,
joe young

Hey Joe,
There are a few pet tips and tricks followed by every writer, I write it this way and it works great for me 🙂
Will be so nice getting more ideas adding up in my niche 😉
Regards

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