How to write twice as fast and have three times as much fun

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What You’ll Learn:: 

If an evil writing gremlin whispers discouragements in your ear as you craft a story, borrow a page from writing coach Daphne Gray-Grant.

That evil inner voice is one of five commonplace roadblocks to writing well, she says in a Ragan Training session, “How to write twice as fast and have three times as much fun.”

To boost your writing speed—and your enjoyment of the task—she’ll help you shed the bad habits and practices that slow you down.

In this session you'll learn:

  • The 3 key steps required for writing quickly (note: sitting at a keyboard is only one of them)
  • Why you should never outline
  • How a “mind map” can get you going
  • What kinds of interview questions will give you better raw material
  • Why you should never carve out a whole afternoon – or worse, a whole day -- for writing a long article or report

Why not outline? The brain, she says, is like a car: Only one person can drive. If your logical part that (editing) is at the wheel, the creative part (writing) is snoozing in the back seat. Alternative: Find out what she means by a mind map.

Stop asking the wrong questions, and learn from TV journalists’ tired (but important) question: “How do you feel?”

Budget your time better. Find out how much time to spend in each of these stages: preparation, writing, and revision or editing. Discover why a timer can make you write better and faster.

And for the love of Pete, stop talking to yourself. When you—or that evil companion in your head—start dismissing your work, you lose heart.

Start here. Get unstuck. Come on, time’s a-wasting. Tick, tick, tick, tick...

October 2011

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Presenter bio: 

Daphne Gray Grant

Daphne Gray-Grant grew up in the newspaper business, working at her parents struggling weekly newspaper while still going to school. She stayed there until her mid-20s when she landed a job as books editor at the Vancouver Sun. She was quickly promoted to Chief Features editor and subsequently became the first-ever director of communications for the paper's parent company. Following the birth of her triplets in 1994, she started her own company, Gray-Grant Communications Inc. and launched the Publication Coach, an online company helping other communicators write better and faster. She is also the author of 8½ Steps to Writing Faster, Better.