How To Actually Write Three or More Articles a Day
The no-BS method I use to write more every day
No matter how many get-rich-quick blogs you read on making money on Medium, there’s only one thing that can guarantee success.
Oh wait, nothing guarantees success here. But the only thing that can increase your chances of success is this:
Write as often as you can and as good as you can
Content creators around the globe love to debate about what’s more important — quality or quantity? I say both.
And as a writer, my job is to balance them.
Here’s something to consider: quality increases with quantity up to a certain limit, when it starts to decrease.
So the number is different for anyone. I can currently write two articles in the morning without any problem. But tell me to cram a third one and I’ll cry like a baby.
Others may only be able to write once a week.
But no matter where you are, the strategy to follow is simple — keep trying to write more until you feel the quality of your writing is dropping.
With practice, you can get better at writing better and faster.
Why We Don’t Work on Quantity
Writers can be sentimental. We consider ourselves as artists. And artists are not told to produce more, they’re told to produce better, right?
Yet, this advice fails in the case of a new writer. The truth is, only when you’ve had sufficient practice, can you think about making a piece of art that earns money for years to come.
So ironically, the road to becoming a Hemmingway is not to try writing better, but first, try writing as much as you can.
In the blogging world, the only way you can make your way into the consciousness of the reader as a new writer is volume. The math is simple — the more you write, the more people find you online and once they do, they enjoy a few of your articles.
A few of these articles then go viral and are regarded as good. Once that is done, algorithms on Medium and the Internet in general, start showing it to more and more people. That’s how you amass an audience even though you may not be as good of a writer.
The other way just doesn’t work. Trying to perfect an article but publishing only a couple of times a month isn’t going to cut it.
You have to realize this — writing more gives you practice. This practice in turn makes you a better writer every day. Simultaneously, more people discover your work and you gain readership.
Did I rub it in enough? Good. Now here’s how you can write fast to the point of writing thousands of words each day.
Learn to Touch Type
Touch typing is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your craft as a writer.
Hitting backspace every two seconds breaks your flow of thoughts.
Most people type using two or three fingers of each hand. Worse, some use the “hunt-and-peck” method — typing with the index fingers of each hand.
Mel magazine found that an average worker types around 3,500 words a day including email, code, IMs, etc at a speed of 38–45 WPM.
Assuming a five-day workweek, 20 workdays per month, and 250 workdays, a year, here’s how much the average person can gain from learning how to touch type:
If you type at the average speed of 40 WPM, by just going to 70 WPM, you can save one week every year.
The only reason people don’t learn it is because it slows you down in the beginning. Learning a new typing method is like telling a basketball player to change his jump shot after years of practice.
But once you get the hang of it, there are no limits.
I used Keybr and TypeRush to get to 90 WPM in two-four weeks of practice, only ten minutes a day.
If you think about the enormous benefits of doubling your typing speed over the span of a career, there’s no reason not to learn it.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Prepare all your articles the night before.
The least you should do is write the headline for each one of them. It lays down the foundation of the article so you don’t stare at the blank page every morning.
It also has a hidden benefit that I realized recently. Once I plan my articles before going to bed, my mind automatically starts working on one/all of them. When sit to write I often have some part of the article already written inside my head.
My writing flows more naturally, one idea translates into the other and I can avoid narrative issues.
The more you prepare the better it is.
You can research beforehand and write key points that you want to write about.
You can write the subheads
You can write the introduction or the conclusion
That should be enough of a head start. And if you want to prepare more, why don’t you write the whole thing already?
You Can Stare at the Wall or You Can Write; Your Choice.
I’ll be honest. I’m not writing this article because I want to. I’ve already written drafts for two articles this morning. I started at 8:30 and it’s past noon right now.
I took a break in between but I had to come back to finish this thing.
In other words, I’m being forced by the 2-hour-younger-me.
How? I used the Cold Turkey Writer.
Cold turkey writer just might be the toughest app-blocking software on the Internet.
It turns your computer into a typewriter. You set a word or a time goal for yourself and start writing.
Until you reach that goal, you cannot do anything else on your computer. I recommend using a word-based goal since you can always avoid a time-based goal by just leaving the computer and returning after some time.
A word-based goal pushes you to write because until you do, your computer is useless. That’s what happening with me as I write this. I set a 4000-word goal for three articles and now I can’t escape it.
So essentially, I can either stare at the wall, or I can write to unlock my laptop for other tasks as fast as possible.
I write every weekday before my day job begins. In five working days, I write 3–4 articles, including editing, finding images, etc.
Additionally, for the past five weeks, I’ve been thinking of writing three articles every Saturday. That would give me 5–7 articles every week.
But I just couldn’t do it. Even though I followed my own advice and prepared well, by the time I was finished with the second one, I had to stop. My mind always played tricks on me, “Come on! You’ve written two articles already. Nothing’s going to happen. Let’s chill for some time and come back in an hour.”
We all know how that turns out.
CT Writer is the exact tool that you need if you face the same problem. Here’s why this strategy works:
No Research, Just Flow
Stopping for research breaks your flow. And getting back into flow can take at least thirty minutes. So, every time you think you need a fact, think about delaying your work for thirty minutes.
In cases where a particular fact is crucial for the argument or narrative, I have my phone beside me to look it up. I am much less likely to get distracted on my phone. You can read about it here.
Cold Turkey offers a distraction-free editor. There’s no formatting and copy-paste is disabled. That leaves only one thing to focus on — writing
Club Articles Together
When I started using Cold Turkey, I set limits separately for each article.
But as soon as one block was over, I was back to my laptop, ready to procrastinate. Instead, if you want to write multiple articles, set a combined word goal to avoid getting distracted.
For Those Who Don’t Have Mac
Cold Turkey writer is only available for macOS. If are on Windows, you’ve to put in a little more effort:
Use ColdTurkey Blocker and Micromanager to block/allow only selected apps on your computer
Use a simple editor like Notepad or TextEdit to avoid getting caught up in spell-check, formatting, etc.
Food Can Slow You Down
This is a personal strategy I use to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I fast on Saturdays and thus, do all of my bulk writing on the same day.
Writing three articles in one sitting (or at least without task switching) is faster and easier when you don’t have to get up for meals in between.
Plus, if your body switches to ketosis — that is, if it starts using ketones as fuel instead of glucose, you get more mental power that you can channel into writing.
I’m not the most earning, most prolific, or the best writer on Medium. But if I write long enough and grow by learning from my mistakes, I will be at least one of those things one day.
I want you to understand the same thing. Once you do, you can use the tips I mentioned above to write faster, or you can make your own systems.
You say you want to be a writer. Then dear reader, start writing.
Are you serious about becoming the best version of yourself? Get your free 5-day email course to Master The Art Of Personal Transformation