You can't be lazy and be a good writer.
I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Of course you have to work hard at it! What kind of advice is that?"
Well, I agree with you. To an extent.
I've noticed that when I sit down to write, I sometimes spend more time looking for the right words than I do actually writing.
That's why I'm calling it "lazy writing". It's not about getting the work done. It's about getting the work done in a way that is as easy as possible.
I don't have anything against hard work. I actually enjoy it most of the time.
But when I'm writing, I sometimes feel like I'm working twice as hard for half the results.
So if you're like me, and you have a hard time getting started or just want to improve what you already do, I hope this helps.
Here are five tips on how to be lazy (but still productive) when writing.
1. Forget about grammar rules.
When you spend too much time thinking about grammar rules, it's easy to lose your train of thought.
The best way to combat this is to stop thinking about grammar rules altogether.
Sure, you might have a typo or two, but that's fine. The most important thing is to get your thoughts out first and clean it up later.
You can do all the proofreading in the world, but it won't help if you don't have anything worth reading in the first place.
2. Cut out excess words.
I'm not talking about the occasional unnecessary word. I'm talking about huge chunks of text that serve no purpose.
If you're like me, you might find yourself writing a few pages before you get to the point.
You might be thinking, "But those are important to set the scene!"
Maybe they are and maybe they aren't.
It doesn't matter because you're going to cut most of it out anyway. I'm not saying you have to get right to the point, but you should try to focus on what's important. When you're writing a first draft, don't worry about getting sidetracked. Just let it all out and go back to trim the fat later.
3. Only write when you feel like it.
This might sound counter-productive, but it's a lot more productive than forcing yourself to write when you don't feel like it. You're going to be a lot more motivated when you only write when you feel like it. When you're in the zone, you'll find that you're writing for hours without even realizing it. When you're not in the zone, you're going to end up wasting a lot of time trying to get back into it.
If you still can't get into the writing mood, then stop writing and do something else. I guarantee that you'll be in the mood later. You might even find that your mind creates some interesting scenarios while you're away from writing.
4. Let your ideas flow freely.
You should write everything down as soon as you think of it. This is especially important if you find yourself having an idea in the middle of the night. Don't worry about how stupid the idea might be or if it might not fit in with what you're writing. If it's important enough to you, then write it down somewhere so you don't forget.
You can always go back and filter out the unnecessary ideas later. Just get everything out first.
You can also write down any random thoughts or ideas that pop into your head throughout the day. You'd be surprised how some of these random thoughts can come in handy when you're writing your next book.
5. Get someone to read it.
It's always a good idea to get someone else to read what you've written.
You don't have to show them what you're writing in its entirety if you don't want to, but you should at least show them the parts that you're having problems with. If you're writing a book, then get someone to read the first few chapters and the last few chapters. If you're writing an article, then get someone to read the whole thing.
They don't even have to be a writer themselves. Just find someone who has the time to read what you've written and ask them for feedback.
Trust me, it helps a lot.
I'm not sure if these tips will work for everyone, but I can definitely say that they've worked for me.
If you have any tips of your own, then please share them below.