Here’s a post by Angela Booth on FAST WRITING (via Anne). Angela recommends creating a checklist for yourself, a process. She suggests a process in which she brainstorms, writes an outline, gets data, writes more of a draft. A key component of her list that I want to point out is “leave it for a day or longer.” Then she returns and completes other editing. Using her system, you would probably re-read the intro paragraph, say oh, five-twenty times. That would mean that you’d have five-twenty opportunities to rewrite something! Maybe writing faster is not about speed, but about easy editing. Like putting on layers of clothing before going outside in the winter, maybe writing faster is about putting on layers of betterment to your writing. And the more layers, the more opportunity to improve.
Here’s a post by Idea Matt on FAST READING (these specific ideas are from Jason Womack). Jason says “he reads a book four times:
- Table of contents, glossary, index.
- Anything in bold, titles, and subtitles.
- First line of every paragraph.
- Entire book
Here’s the twist: Steps 1-3 should only take about 10 minutes.”
Ok, see the similarity to the faster writing? You may be starting to suspect that the above two tips are not only about faster writing and reading, but also about more thorough writing and reading. Why are the above two methods more thorough? Because you review the material again, and again, and again. In the outline, in the TOC, in re-reading the same sections when you edit.
So…. there’s a fun little conclusion we can make from the above two faster tips.
You know more when you review material fairly frequently. Here’s an example: I put together a workshop on “Why Optimism Is Good for your Health” last week. I put the workshop together in a week and presented it. Then I think back to it today to review it in my head in preparation for giving the workshop again to a new audience, and – guess what?! – it’s a little hazy. Not a lot hazy. I could probably recreate the slides without looking at them again, but a bit hazy – it would take me time. Why is this? Because I did my presentation writing and rewriting and creating all in one fell swoop. I didn’t really break it up into segments or smaller chunks. I didn’t do the “let it sit for a day or two.”
Here’s a question for you:
If you have a choice of repeating something MORE OFTEN or FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME, which do you think will help you know the information better?
Bing bing bing! You got it. MORE OFTEN. You can see what I wrote here about the immense, powerful benefits of daily action. Remember, musicians often recommend that you practice in two sessions of 15 minutes rather than in one of 30 minutes.
Do whatever is important to you – do that repeatedly, regularly – do it so it’s second nature. :) ENJOY!