This post is about how to create quality content on a deadline.
Fast Content Creation
How can you create quality content in very little time? Years of experience helps. Or you can warp the time-space matrix and use my workflow!
Parkinson’s law states that ‘Work expands to fill the time available for its completion’. And boy was he right. Procrastination is a force to be reckoned with.
While the threat of a deadline can hurry the pen, and shorter timeframes can help produce more content, you still cannot force inspiration. However, you can create the right circumstances for it to occur, and you can make sure you are prepared!
I use this workflow to help my writing reach its creative potential.
How To Create Quality Content On A Deadline
The first step is brainstorming. Or whatever politically correct name you want to give it. Give yourself permission to play with ideas. Let all of your thoughts flow on to the page. This is a chance to let your original ideas manifest. By doing this you can find your own authentic voice.
Realise that you cannot write and edit at the same time, and note down your thoughts without trying to edit them. To do this you must kill your inner critic.
The ability to reflect on your own writing is valuable, but it can stifle creativity. You must give yourself the freedom to make mistakes.
This means creating a space that is free from judgement. Only then do you enable experimentation. Here is a place where you can switch contexts freely. Want to talk about penguins in your engineering blog, or use a complex sausage metaphor to describe your backpacking exploits? Why not! This lets your personality shine through, and lets you reinvent yourself as anyone you choose.
Set yourself free by finding inspiration. Read a passage of your favourite novel before putting pen to paper. Drink some wine. Travel. Sit in a carriage completely unplugged and let the landscape slide by. Stand on a sheer cliff edge and let the wind blow straight through you. Do whatever you have to do in order to cleanse the creative palette.
The link between wine and poetics is well established. It loosens the tongue, sharpens the wit, and lets the poetry flow. The idea is to remove any filters. Only then can you unleash all possibility on the page. This stage of writing should be a stream-of-consciousness flow that is completely uninhibited.
Catapult yourself into confusion and chaos. That is where the magic happens.
Once you have this raw material, you can start to create order. Now is the time to revert to the realm of logic. Begin to criticise your own thoughts: Prioritise them, arrange them, and create structures and argument. Push stronger points to the beginning and end of your post to create dramatic openings and conclusion
Do this by arranging clusters of related ideas into sections, prioritising stronger elements, and creating a loose framework for your content.
Once you have these sections, you can use them as the impetus for further consideration.
Using the structure that you have defined, think about forming connections. You can then transform these messy chunks of content into articulate paragraphs.
Flesh out your ideas with evidence. Build on stronger parts of your content, and develop each point to a conclusion.
And there you have it. The bulk of your content ready for review. The writing process is a design process. As such, you need to start thinking on a large scale, and then drill down into the details. This will allow you to create quality content in record time.
Other Ideas for Fast Content Creation
- Combine writing and research into one activity. Summarise your findings as you research.
- The Google voice typing function can be found in Google Docs. It lets you dictate to your web browser. Just talk out loud to take notes on what you are doing. Open two windows; one with your research, and one with your document. Then summarise your research as you do it. This can be a super fast workflow especially for those slow at typing.
- Ideas often arrive without warning. Always carry a notebook to capture inspiration as it comes.
- Find your most productive time of day for writing. Are you a morning person? Do you feel creative at night? Perhaps you feel inspired after exercise. Organise your writing around your natural rhythm.
I hope these tips will help your writing progress, and can be a source of advice when issued with tight deadlines. Remember, it is in your power to learn new habits of content creation and change the way you think and write. Good luck!
by Kieran Smith. Kieran hails from the English Midlands and writes on travel and technology at SIM Tourist
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