Ever had a last-minute request come in for written content and it’s needed pronto? Or perhaps you spot a great opportunity that you need to address immediately. The panic that often comes with a sudden need like this can make it difficult to think and write clearly.
When there’s no time to get your writer involved, try this easy approach to speed writing!
- Brainstorm your message and jot down what comes to mind in the form of a bullet list. You don’t need full sentences and you should not do any editing at this point. Think about the what, why, how, where, when, and who of your message. This should take 5 – 10 minutes, max.
- Identify the key points in your list and arrange them into a coherent sequence.
- Identify supporting items and move each to after its applicable key point.
- Turn each key point and supporting item into one sentence each.
- Massage each key point sentence and its supporting sentences into a nicely flowing paragraph.
- Set it aside for at least 30 minutes (longer is better), and then review and revise if needed.
- Read the piece ALOUD, slowly, for your final review. You’ll be surprised at the small details your ear will catch that your eyes skim over.
Of course, if you have someone who can proofread it for you (and the time), take advantage of that. Just make sure you read the final piece aloud.
An effective way to handle last-minute content is to have a writer on retainer. She will have time each week dedicated to helping you with short-notice projects as well as longer-term strategy items. If you would like to chat about the ins and outs of retainers, just give me a shout!