How to write an article in ten minutes or a book in two hours

One way to write more articles, reports, blog posts, or anything else, is by writing faster. One way to write faster is to dictate and record your thoughts and then have them transcribed.

When I first started practicing law we dictated everything and somebody else did the typing. Today, I write everything on a computer and find that I can turn out a finished document almost as quickly. But sometimes, I get caught up in the process of writing and something that should have taken ten minutes winds up taking an hour.

I also find that speaking my thoughts lends a freshness and clarity that is sometimes missing when I write. And so for my next big writing project, I’m going to go back to writing the way I used to do it, by speaking my first draft into a recorder and having it transcribed.

Here are the steps I will be following:

  1. Create an outline. No matter how well you know your material, having the points you want to cover in the order in which you want to cover them will help you stay on point and get the job done more quickly.
  2. Speak and record. The best way to do this is to keep in your mind’s eye a real person you know (or an amalgam of your target audience) and speak to that person. Pretend they are sitting across the desk from you.
  3. Transcribe. You can have someone do this or do it yourself. Doing it yourself allows you to edit as you type.
  4. Edit. Cut out unnecessary ideas and words, flesh out thoughts that need it, and re-order material to enhance clarity. Take any “leftovers” and store them for future articles.
  5. Add an intro and conclusion.
  6. Final edit.

The average human being speaks at a rate of 125 to 150 words per minute. This means that you could dictate the first draft of a 500 word article in just a few minutes or an 18,000 word ebook in a couple of hours. Now, if we could just get paid by the word.