Yesterday we looked at scheduling time to research information, conduct interviews and prep an article in the first part of “Scheduling Time for Your Articles ” today we are going to wrap up this mini-series with a look at writing and editing.
- Schedule time to write the article. Once your preliminary work is complete it’s time to write. Short articles you may wrap up the initial draft in an hour or so, longer feature articles or more detailed subjects may take you anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of days. You should know your writing style by now so you are the only one who can plan out the time. I will caution you, however, to avoid spending an entire day on one piece. When something takes all day it is easy to get bored or frustrated with it. A couple of focused hours over the course of a couple of days tends to give writers a better perspective on where the piece is going. Which brings me to the next item:
- Schedule time to edit. “I edit as I write.” I hear that a lot when tutoring English students or students who are having trouble with papers in other classes. I usually respond “I can tell.” (Don’t worry, I am nice about it. Never crush a student’s writing confidence, it takes forever to get it back.) When you edit as you write you can end up with disjointed ideas, compromised flow and miss a gaggle of things you would have caught if you had gone back over the piece with your editing pen. Editing time is just as importing as writing and research time. I always advise students, writers, whomever, to take a day or two away from the piece. Give your brain a rest and then look at it with fresh eyes, you’ll have a much better idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Does the article writing process have to be a weeks-long odyssey? Absolutely not, but each step should be taken whether the step take 2 hours or 10 minutes. Giving the writing process time and diligence is what produces great writers, great articles and generates more income which is what we are all hoping for right? It also helps eliminate those pesky writing rodents “Procrastination” and “Missed Deadline.”
Do you break down the writing process differently? What works for you? Share it with your fellow writers below.