Tips for becoming a faster, stronger writer

I remember an ancient episode of the 1950s TV version of “Superman.” Not only did the Man of Steel save the day, but when he returned to the newsroom as Clark Kent, he typed his deadline story at super speed, his hands a blur.

How cool would it be to be able to blast out a story “faster than a speeding bullet”?

Writing fast — and well — is a challenge for a lot of writers. One of the most common complaints from writers is: “Why am I so slow?” One of the most common complaints from editors is: “Why is she so slow?”

I believe that all writers can become faster, and that in fast times, fast writing is the ticket.  I have watched some of the fastest writers in America at work. They have shared their secret strategies with me, and I shared them in a live chat.

You can replay the chat here:

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  • C Man

    “What journalistic purpose is served by publishing the name, and how do you balance that against the harm that may be done to these people, their families, their children?”

    Yet, it’s OK to not only print the prostitute’s name, but plaster her face all over the internet?!

    Prostitution is a crime that involves the participation of both prostitute AND john. This “scholar” isn’t being scholarly. It sounds more like he has indulged in a little pay-for-play activities himself.

    Either legalize prostitution, or treat both criminals equally.

  • MicroSourcing

    Fast writers often make a few grammatical and spelling errors, especially when working on lengthy articles or ones that contain a lot of technical language. It’s a trade-off that editors need to think about.

  • r.l.newsom

    I came here to read an article, not watch TV. I guess the fastest way to write is not write at all.

    (I can read faster than people talk; it’s not an invalid point.)

  • AWAnderson

    Sorry I missed this, but the replay was good. Thanks! BTW — I saw it on Facebook (right at 2:30!), am a former journalist but do LOTS of other types of writing now, and am on the Poynter site at least a few times a month.