Article Creation Process: It takes too long!

21 replies
Hey guys, I am not a native English speaker and I have some troubles creating my articles in a reasonable time.

Usually I pick a subject I want to write about and I start thinking about the target audience: what do they look like, what do they want, etc. After that, I'm outlining the points I want to make and I pick a good title subject. So far so good.

When I start writing, I can't find my words so easy, but I eventually do, and I type that sentence. The next thing I find myself doing is analyzing that sentence to see if it really makes sense, if I'm not doing something wrong - I usually delete it over and over again up until I feel satisfied and I love the way it looks.

See, the problem is that it takes so much time! I aim for 1000+ words, always. I can fill that up with great content, but my problem is communicating. I always feel like I could write that paragraph better, or do better, and I stop a thousand times just to analyze and rewrite.

It's exhausting and I can't seem to find a way out. For example, yesterday, it took me 8 hours effective time (that excludes the bathroom breaks, eating, or wasting time).

It's not my language, I know. I try to get better at it every single day, I read grammar books, articles, magazines, books. I also write every day. So tell me.. is this common for a beginner? Especially a non-native one?

Can you give me some advice ?

PS. I wrote this thread without deleting any sentences, and I did it in 5 minutes. It seems I find my words faster when I talk here. Does my "non-edited" English suck?
#article #creation #long #process #takes
  • Profile picture of the author cristeck
    Hey Victor,

    All I can say is that you should keep up your efforts. By constant practice you will soon be good at it. In the mean time you could make use of Google Translate. Write your articles in your language and have it translated to English. With constant practice you would soon be a pro at it


    My .02

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Victor Donea
      Originally Posted by cristeck View Post

      Write your articles in your language and have it translated to English. With constant practice you would soon be a pro at it
      Thanks Chris. About writing my articles using Google translate.. I believe that it's better for me to get used to the English language as fast as I can; that way my words will come naturally and I believe I'll save some time.

      Originally Posted by kk075

      I have some very simple advice for you- stop caring what you write about and just write. The magic comes from the actual repetition, but so many writers will just stare at their computer screens hoping to find the perfect sentence....but that's a waste of time. That's your brain telling you that you're not good enough.
      Thanks for the great tip!

      Originally Posted by quinng123

      Force yourself to continuously keep typing all the ideas that flow through your head relevant to the topic have exhausted your brain entirely.

      The last thing you want to do is edit and proofread. It will save you tons of time
      Do you suggest that I should write everything down, tones of sentences then just edit everything? I've tried it once, and I couldn't do it till the end. I just saw my bad sentences there and they had to be modified..
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    Victor-

    I have some very simple advice for you- stop caring what you write about and just write. The magic comes from the actual repetition, but so many writers will just stare at their computer screens hoping to find the perfect sentence....but that's a waste of time. That's your brain telling you that you're not good enough.

    But the heck with your brain...just start writing and enjoy the process. If you're stuck writing something for your blog, then send a long email to a friend, write a few posts on a forum or just grind out a quick story. And honestly, it doesn't matter if what you write is amazing or it completely sucks...that has nothing to do with overcoming your fears as a writer. Just write and all that stuff goes away.

    Another thing to start doing is the exact opposite....read as much English as you can. Again, it doesn't matter what; books, newspapers, and even marketing material all works. Look at every word like a detective and figure out what works and what doesn't in each sentence, then apply that to your writing. It will make a difference quickly.

    Also, your post reads fine. There are a few structure errors and I would have chosen different words in a few places, but overall you appear to be an average American writer.....which is a massive compliment from someone outside the US. So have faith and keep writing, and the rest will come.
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  • Profile picture of the author quinng123
    Force yourself to continuously keep typing all the ideas that flow through your head relevant to the topic have exhausted your brain entirely.

    The last thing you want to do is edit and proofread. It will save you tons of time
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  • Profile picture of the author DieselFit
    I think I'm about to tell you something really strange but true...

    Write as if you had NO fears on how it's going to look. When you know what you're writing about, like your topic, just write. Don't look back. And don't stop until you finish.

    Edit it and fix the english errors ONLY when you are finished. It's best to take a break, maybe a day or two after writing before editing it up.

    But the best writers first write at their worst. Most successful bloggers will tell you that they never write perfectly the first time, so they write messy. This way this eliminates their fear of "writing with perfection".

    It's natural that you'll feel hestiant before you type up your words. It's your brain going "What if you fail? What if everyone laughs?". Well you won't have that fear if you allow yourself to write as you wish.

    So plan, write your points, then write messy. Then edit and fix the mistakes later on. Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Batt
    Whenever I write anything I will write it out in one go without editing, then leave it for 15-30 minutes then go back and edit it later. It's by far the best way to do it, believe me - if I tried to edit mine as I went along I would never get finished. Of course, I am native English but it still takes a couple of edits for my work to look how I'd want it to.

    Personally, I think your English is fine. Just remember that the real magic, when it comes to any writing, is in the rewrites - the first draft will always suck!
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Read a lot of essays. That's how I learned how to write MANIPULATIVE informative articles. The key is to get the reader to the next stage of the CONVERSION cycle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Donea
    I appreciate all the useful advices, thank you guys. I know it takes a lot of effort and practice and I'm willing to learn every day! I will definitely try writing without looking back.

    But if doing so, even if I have my points outlined and ready to be written, won't it produce a big mess in terms of organization the ideas? I guess that's a part where I have to edit too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Batt
      Originally Posted by Victor Donea View Post

      I appreciate all the useful advices, thank you guys. I know it takes a lot of effort and practice and I'm willing to learn every day! I will definitely try writing without looking back.

      But if doing so, even if I have my points outlined and ready to be written, won't it produce a big mess in terms of organization the ideas? I guess that's a part where I have to edit too.
      It shouldn't do, the way I do it is to I just outline my articles into something like this (depending on length required):

      -Introduction
      -Subheadline One
      Point One
      -Subheadline Two
      Point Two
      -Subheadline Three
      Point Three
      -Conclusion

      The ideas don't come out in a mess if I do it that way. Sometimes they used to before I started to organize them into sub-headings, but doing it this way forces you to write your article in an organized fashion.

      Sometimes if I haven't prepared too well I'll realize that one of the points is probably better earlier or later in the article, then I'll need to edit it a bit - but it's never anything too drastic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Miguelito203
    Originally Posted by Victor Donea View Post

    Hey guys, I am not a native English speaker and I have some troubles creating my articles in a reasonable time.

    Usually I pick a subject I want to write about and I start thinking about the target audience: what do they look like, what do they want, etc. After that, I'm outlining the points I want to make and I pick a good title subject. So far so good.

    When I start writing, I can't find my words so easy, but I eventually do, and I type that sentence. The next thing I find myself doing is analyzing that sentence to see if it really makes sense, if I'm not doing something wrong - I usually delete it over and over again up until I feel satisfied and I love the way it looks.

    See, the problem is that it takes so much time! I aim for 1000+ words, always. I can fill that up with great content, but my problem is communicating. I always feel like I could write that paragraph better, or do better, and I stop a thousand times just to analyze and rewrite.

    It's exhausting and I can't seem to find a way out. For example, yesterday, it took me 8 hours effective time (that excludes the bathroom breaks, eating, or wasting time).

    It's not my language, I know. I try to get better at it every single day, I read grammar books, articles, magazines, books. I also write every day. So tell me.. is this common for a beginner? Especially a non-native one?

    Can you give me some advice ?

    PS. I wrote this thread without deleting any sentences, and I did it in 5 minutes. It seems I find my words faster when I talk here. Does my "non-edited" English suck?
    Your English is better than you think. I'm a native English-speaker and can understand you just fine. You also have to remember that on the internet and in real world, most people don't speak properly. Finally, the fact that you are always wanting to back back and edit your words doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with them. That is something that writers in general do -- regardless of their native language/the languages they speak. Trust me. I studied Spanish major in college. Once you've written something and checked it for basic grammar, just put it out there. Don't worry about it so much. Perfection does not exist.

    Joey
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Well my opinion is not very Kum-bay-yah but the truth is I usually can tell if an article is written by someone who is not a "native" English speaker

    If so - I quit reading

    Now...I can also tell British etc - "whilst", "colour" etc....but I keep reading. British, Irish, Aussies, etc...But someone from other countries with stilted "funny" out of context Engish - I don't bother


    Yes....I don't speak other languages - bad me, I grew up in an era when there was no need to and I still don't feel the need to try to speak other languages. Nor am I trying to drum up business in other countries.

    Good for you if you are bi-multi lingual...but will I want to read your article? No. I won't unless your English is very very fluent.

    Call me the Ugly American - cool...but I am being honest and I know many many other people here that feel the very same way.

    JMO it is kind of crazy to attempt something so hard for you. Visual stuff, graphics or website design, or seo or whatever.makes a lot more sense for people over the language barrier.

    Now I might buy a logo pay for tech help or programming or whatever from someone with less than perfect English but I would NOT read their articles. It would drive me crazy LOL

    I get all these really stupid stilted emails from people in other countries....so annoying.

    "Dearest Madam, kindly with pleasures I am writing to you , please dear one" blah blah blah

    Hey I am not athletic so I don't try to teach sports - you are not comfortable writing in English and many people will ignore your writings if they are full of mistakes so why bother? I am not trying out for pro tennis LOL

    Translator programs? Oh please...happy to meet your sock and greetings to your rake

    JMO of course
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  • Victor,

    Why not hire inhouse employees and / or overseas contractors to create your content for you, and just focus on other things that can directly generate more business for your company?

    I for one'd focus on the following things:

    • Signing up strategic B2B partnership deals with brick and mortar start-ups, sustainable SMEs, established companies and big corporations that operate in directly and laterally relevant specialized industries;

    • Negotiating content syndication deals and advert / ad placement arrangements with significant offline and online multimedia outlets;

    • Formulating effective advertising and sales / marketing / support campaigns;

    • Generating fiscal and non-fiscal resources for annual advertising and marketing campaigns; and

    • Advising my executive team regarding decisions for improving and growing and expanding our business systems for ensuring the sustainability and scalability of our PPTs (People, Processes and Technologies)...

    Well, that's just me...
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Donea
    Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999

    JMO it is kind of crazy to attempt something so hard for you. Visual stuff, graphics or website design, or seo or whatever.makes a lot more sense for people over the language barrier.
    Hey mate, I didn't say my English sucks. I've just asked for some tips on how to write faster and better. I really find your post inappropriate and unhelpful.

    One more thing. I haven't asked for your humble opinion regarding my interests and occupations. I know what I want to do and there's no way a guy like you can switch my by direction by discouraging me and telling me that I can't do it. Again, I see your post rather offensive than helpful.

    I believe that constant learning accompanied by practice opens many doors, even if we're not as "gifted" as you to be born as native speakers.

    Anyway, good for me I don't really care for your opinion, but you might destroy some other guy's faith by telling him it's not possible, that's not cool bro, not cool at all!

    Let me give you a useful tip instead. Try spending your time typing useful posts instead of discouraging ones.

    Peace
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Victor Donea View Post

    It seems I find my words faster when I talk here.

    Victor,

    Why not "pretend" you're talking to your best friend? Get a copy of this software and it will turn your speaking into the written word . . .

    Dragon Naturally Speaking

    The very best to you,

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Victor,

      Why not "pretend" you're talking to your best friend? Get a copy of this software and it will turn your speaking into the written word . . .

      Dragon Naturally Speaking

      The very best to you,

      Steve
      Dragon forces you to speak slowly. Also, it takes a long time to 'train' the software. It's probably better to dictate into an mp3 file and have a human being transcribe it. It is quite cheap with many transcription services charging less than 50 cents per minute. Since a typical American native english speaker speaks at the rate of 150 to 175 words per minute, that translates to around to .003 USD per word or 1/3 of a PENNY.

      Since most QUALITY writers charge 1.5 to 2 cents per word, that's a nice profit margin. Plus you don't have to slow down. The worst part of writing is when you slow down to edit yourself and you end up chasing your tail.
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      • Profile picture of the author Victor Donea
        Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

        Dragon forces you to speak slowly. Also, it takes a long time to 'train' the software. It's probably better to dictate into an mp3 file and have a human being transcribe it. It is quite cheap with many transcription services charging less than 50 cents per minute. Since a typical American native english speaker speaks at the rate of 150 to 175 words per minute, that translates to around to .003 USD per word or 1/3 of a PENNY.

        Since most QUALITY writers charge 1.5 to 2 cents per word, that's a nice profit margin. Plus you don't have to slow down. The worst part of writing is when you slow down to edit yourself and you end up chasing your tail.
        I got your point. To be honest, I am better in writing than speaking. Believe it or not, non-native speakers do better by writing than by speaking.

        Sometimes I feel that my articles are really great and could easily compete with the best ones. The only problem is the time.. (was). I am following people's advices and I can already write much better by writing everything down, then editing.

        Thanks again for the kind posts guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Gilbert
    Hey Victor I think you have all the right elements in your planning. But I think that you're planning way too big. Instead of writing 1 1000 word article, write 4 300 word articles exploring different aspects of the subject. The kind of thing of if you put them together, people would get that this is different aspect of a subject.

    Another thing is, no matter what size article, never, ever edit as your write. Just get it out, get it down. Later you can come back and fix it up. But if you start editing as you write, you'll just get frustrated and lose your groove and then it becomes a frustrating experience.

    So, break it up into 2 sessions. Session 1, write, get it out, don't judge just get it out. Session 2 just read and edit. Also, it doesn't have to be perfect. Anyway, hope this helps.

    P.S. Your post sounds fine. Maybe you just need to talk your articles and then transcribe them. Or use Dragon Naturally Speaking.
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  • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
    the more you do it , the easier it becomes.. I was in your position when i first started writing on fiverr. Originally it would take me 12 hours to write maybe four 350 word articles. Right now I can push out 25 articles in that time frame.

    all that changed to let me advance that much was experience

    don't give up, it gets easier
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  • Profile picture of the author NoMoreWords
    I think that it all comes down to your lifestyle. I am a non-native speaker, but I have been learning English ever since I was 5. I've made choices that have helped me become even better at the language, without having to actually "study". My Facebook, email account, and others are all in English (never were in my native language). I don't read sites from my country, I only read English websites (sports, news, technology, etc). I

    I suppose that you want to learn quickly, but you should invest your time in becoming a fluent speaker. It's better to do that than have many dissatisfied clients and low ratings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ybholy
    Never give up ! Quitters never win; and winners never quit . To say, you're such a talented writer, one I would like to work with.

    Do have a nice day and don't forget; no language is complete..........
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by Victor Donea View Post


    Can you give me some advice ?

    PS. I wrote this thread without deleting any sentences, and I did it in 5 minutes. It seems I find my words faster when I talk here. Does my "non-edited" English suck?
    You don't need any advice. You alleviated the notion that you need to worry about your competence in English by the last three sentences here.

    Proof is in the pudding. Well done


    - Robert Andrew
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