Learning how to write a lot is an excellent skill to have. All students and writers need to write at some point, and most struggle to complete their stalled essays, journal entries, book manuscripts, or grant applications. Writing is notoriously difficult work and is hard to fit into a frenetic university-only academic schedule. However, learning how to write a lot more will pay off in the long run, with a lucrative career ahead of you. Here are four tips on how to write a lot more.
First, it’s important to acknowledge your limitations. As with anything else, if you over-estimate how to write a lot more, you may get yourself into trouble. Over-committing can be distracting and also may actually decrease your productivity. If you think you may need to revise certain sections of your papers or dissertations, bring them up to date and organize your paper accordingly.
Second, find time to write! There is no way around this one. Learning how to write a lot more is about doing just that-working on your writing. If you’re finding that your life is getting in the way of getting things done, consider setting aside thirty minutes each day for writing. You’ll probably find that once you start, you’ll have a lot more time than you did before.
Third, keep things organized. Many students who learn how to write a lot spend a lot of time looking for the perfect subject to write about. When the topic is chosen, they forget about the organization of the paper and simply write. This is one of the largest causes for a paper to be late. If you want to get things down on paper quickly, learn how to organize your thoughts and ideas so that they will be easy to read and understand later.
Fourth, always “think before you write.” Learning how to write a lot more doesn’t mean that you should abandon proofreading and editing. It does mean that you need to pay attention to these areas. Even if your final draft is going to turn out to be a mess, consider reading it several times and asking others who have worked on the same project how to improve it. If you pay attention to the suggestions you hear and rework the chapter that gets the most positive feedback, you’ll find that you are more productive academic writing.
Fifth, know how to make the most of your free time. Many students who learn how to write a lot do so because they are given a set amount of time each week or each day to work on their projects. Rather than using the free time to read novels or articles or watch television shows that do not interest you, use it to strike out on your own projects.
Sixth, write in the order in which you want to read or write. If you have to read a chapter twice to understand what it is all about, do not read it twice. If you have to write two or three drafts of a grant proposal, then write the first draft using a standard word processor. The last draft will be written in the order in which you wish to format the project. Afterward, you can format the proposal in any way that you like, but the order in which you write the chapters or documents within the program needs to be in the order in which you read them or write. In addition, if you find time to study a topic and then write about it, then write that section in order, then move on to studying the next topic.
Seventh, set aside writing time for revision and editing. A lot of writers find it difficult to commit to writing because they are so impatient. However, it is important that you commit to writing once or twice each week in order to make sure that your work is good and is useful. By revising and editing, you make sure that your story, chapters, paragraphs, etc. are all fixed, making it more likely that when you sit down to write a lot, you will be writing with ease and clarity, and your story or articles will be of the highest quality.