Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writer’s Tips…

Filed under: Author Tips,Editing — Larry James @ 8:00 am

I don’t know about you, but when my creative juices get going I cannot type fast enough. There is something about momentum that opens the door to my creative brain.

I use both longhand and typing for first drafts – longhand for jotting a few notes and typing for getting the notes info my computer. I keep an idea list and will often go back to it too see if there are any thoughts or ideas I can use in the current article I am writing.

fasterIf you use the Columbus system (discover and land), do yourself a huge favor and take a typing course.

Instead of typing faster… just keep writing. Tell your inner-critic to shut up! Don’t let it break your train of thought. Just get your words onto the page. To write faster, keep the writing and editing processes separate. Put your editors hat on the shelf and just start writing. Write your first draft as fast as you can without stopping. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or flow. This increases your speed and your creativity. Much of the “speed” in writing comes from a willingness to separate writing and editing.

“Trying to edit while writing is like trying to run while tying your shoe-laces…” ~ Ali Hale-Luke

Never worry about the quality of your first draft. You can always change it or completely rewrite it later, but as you write, it will give you ideas for more content. Get your first draft down fast so you save time for the all-important editing and proofing. That’s where the magic comes in – not in the rambling, buy in the messy first drafts that almost everyone writes. Engaging with your writing in this way allows new thoughts and insights to come to you more quickly. If you’re using a word processor turn OFF the automatic spelling and grammar check tool. It’s a distraction and it slows you down.

The quality of the words doesn’t matter. You can make them better through editing. If you find that you’re stuck, don’t try to force the words to come. If you get stumped for the right word, simply type “xxx” and keep going. If you need to fill in facts and figures that you don’t already have then highlight them in some way and come back to them later. The idea is to keep the flow going on this first draft. When you go back to edit, the right word will almost always pop into your head.

take-a-breakTake breaks quite often. I often forget to take breaks (I don’t want to stop the creative process, you know). I often will set a timer for 30 minutes to remind me. No breaks? You can develop cramps, not only in your fingers, in your legs and in your mind. 😉 I always find myself and my mind refreshed and ready to write when I do this.

I rarely start an article at the beginning. I often will write something that may later appear in the beginning. I just write as thoughts come to me. It matters not where you start… it only matters that you start.

Larry’s Note: Thank you to Lynda McDaniel, Association for Creative Business Writing, for her contribution to this tip! Take Lynda’s “Quick Quiz” to test your know-how. Click here!

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Articles: Writer’s Tips… Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write! When Ideas Run Dry, But The Blog Deadline Beckons Authors: […]

    Pingback by 10 Tips to Help Writers Stay Focused | Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James — Thursday, October 22, 2015 @ 7:38 am | Reply

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