ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Why Writing Two Articles a Week is a Big Accomplishment

It’s better to choose quality over quantity

Is Hollywood director James Cameron a slouch? The man has only directed seven major films in the last thirty-six years. Most Hollywood directors will direct at least one film every two years — some will do even more! So what’s the reason for the apparent lack of production coming from Cameron?

The answer may be this — when Cameron is involved with a film, he doesn’t limit himself to only directing. He’s a part of almost every aspect of the film’s production. Cameron writes, produces, acts, edits — he’s even credited for working in the camera and electrical department for some of his films! He touches nearly everything to do with his films. It may look like Cameron is lazy, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Much of his time is consumed by all that he does behind the scenes.

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work in article writing as well. While on the surface it may look like article writing is only that — writing — in reality, it’s much more. It’s seldom possible to produce an article, from start to finish, in a couple of hours. The writer who writes only two articles a week may appear lazy, but I assure you, they aren’t. In this article, we’re going to discuss what goes into article writing outside of the actual writing bit. We’ll be covering:

  1. Researching
  2. Editing
  3. Publishing

Let’s get started by looking at research.

Before we can begin writing, we need something to write about

The topic of our article is the starting point. But having only a topic isn’t enough. If we aren’t writing an article on a topic that is based on personal experience, we’ll need to do some research. We’ll need to ingest content on that topic. A lot of content too. Breezing through a one thousand word article after reading a chapter in a book or a blog post online simply isn’t realistic. We’ve got to consume a lot of content to produce even just a little.

Let’s permit ourselves to spend time on research

It may feel like unproductive time, but it isn’t. Extensive research prepares us for the article we want to sit down and write. The more prepared we are, the quicker and easier we’ll be able to get through it. I also recommend we do our research with several forms of media. Our brains remember and categorize content in different ways depending on how we take it in.

Here are some more recommendations from yours truly

Stock up on audio to listen to. Always have several podcasts or audiobooks available on your device. Spend some time watching a video. YouTube isn’t only cat videos. There is a lot of quality info to be found. Be prepared to spend hours researching for every article you write.

Once you’re ready and can envision the article, grab your pen or keyboard and get going. Set a timer for one hour. Focus on writing and don’t allow interruptions. Take a short break after the timer goes off. When you put your pen down, the writing may be finished, but the article isn’t.

Write drunk and edit sober

That’s what a mentor of mine once told me. I highly doubt he meant it literally, more likely figuratively. When we’re writing, we’ve just gotta go for it. Let the words flow. We can’t worry right then about what’s going down on paper. We’ll fix all the problems after we’re done writing. That’s what editing is for and brings us to point #2.

Let’s discuss the importance of editing

There is no quicker way to lose credibility than with poor editing. Grammar and spelling mistakes are easy to catch with today’s technology. Leaving mistakes in our article will put doubt in the minds of our readers. Our readers will question the value of the content in our articles. So let’s not skimp on our editing. We’ve gotta make sure we catch all the problems.

Having a friend proof-read our article is a great idea

That second set of eyes will ensure that mistakes we miss during editing will be caught. It’s also nice to have someone who is not personally invested in the article to read it over.

So often, when we’re editing our work, we’ll miss the obvious mistakes. It’s as if we’re so familiar with what we’ve written that we are blind to our gaffes. If you have a friend, co-worker, or spouse that can give your article a scan before you hit publish, it will be that much better. Now our is article getting close to the finish line. There’s only one task left and we cover it in point #3 — publishing.

What value does an article have if no one reads it?

Just like the old saying — if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? We don’t want the hard work we put into writing an article to become that silent tree in the forest. Share your writing with the world!

Publishing an article isn’t hard, but it does take time

Unfortunately, there’s no button to push that automatically uploads our articles to various online platforms. We’ve got to do it ourselves unless we have an assistant who can publish our article for us. Once we’ve copied and pasted our article to our blog, it’s wise to add an image or two that will enhance its content. Then we’ll want to optimize the SEO keywords that will assist in getting as many readers as possible.

Finally, we’ll want to share our article with a few additional online sites. These could include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Medium. You’ve worked hard writing a great article — be proud of your work and share it!

Does this all sound like it will take too much time?

You may be thinking this. It’s true — there is a lot of work involved in writing an article outside of just writing. Don’t let it discourage you. If we can adopt a long-term vision for where our writing will bring us, it’s easier to accept the chore of completing and publishing an article. The key is to be consistent with our writing, always improving our skills, and in time it will pay off.

Could you use a tip on how to save some time?

We know that researching, editing, and publishing adds time to the whole article writing process. It never hurts to save time somewhere along the way. To speed up our writing, we need an outline for our article. Creating an outline will add time before we begin writing, but it will save us time, and effort, while we’re writing. The investment of time we put into creating an outline will reap dividends.

Remember that writing is a valuable skill

It takes time to become a great writer. Creating a great article takes time as well. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Don’t get down on yourself if you are not churning out as much content as you had planned to. There’s a lot that goes into writing an article. Each part of the process — researching, editing, and publishing — take time.

It’s true — James Cameron hasn’t directed that many movies

But the movies he has directed have gone on to become some of the biggest blockbusters in history. Cameron isn’t lazy — he’s just very involved with every aspect of the movie-making process. When we write an article, it’s almost like producing a movie. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it helpful and encouraging. Please feel free to share your experience with article writing. Cheers.

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Steve Kehler

Sharing my experience in marketing. To a 2nd grader, a 4th grader is a genius.