That’s one helluva headline, huh? Don’t worry. You haven’t been misled.
Yes. Taking the time to have a
dump – a thought dump, that is – will shave time off the writing process and increase the originality of your articles, web copy, blog posts, etc.
The term “thought dump” simply describes the practice of opening your word processor and proceeding to type everything you already know about a topic. Include facts you’ve internalized, personal opinions, insight you’ve gathered from other people. Anything you can remember about the topic, type it out as quickly as you can. Pay no mind to spelling, grammar and accuracy. Just do as the term indicates: dump all of your thoughts.
Of course, you will have to go back and edit. But that’s not the focus here.
By taking the time to record everything you already knew about your topic, you are ensuring the originality of the content.
Your original wording.
Your original analyses.
Chances are slim that there are web pages containing your exact same presentation of information. You relied solely on your brain’s own interpretation and your own creativity with words in relaying the info. You don’t have to worry about paraphrasing.
Fret not; Copyscape is no longer an adversary.
Now you just have to focus on filling in the rest of your document to meet the desired word count. Believe it or not, this is the simple part. You’ve already prepared an outline of sorts with your thought dump. With some sentence rearrangements for syntax, maybe some information gleaned from research and some thorough editing for spelling, grammar and accuracy, you’re sure to save a considerable amount of time.
Try taking a thought dump before writing your next feature article, blog post, SEO landing page, etc. Compare your timing with how long it takes when you just open up Word and stare at a blank page for ten minutes before being able to complete the first sentence.
Thank me later 🙂
I have to leave you with these words of caution…
NEVER SUBMIT A THOUGHT DUMP AS A FINAL DRAFT!
It seems like common sense, but it’s a little on the disgusting side how many “writers” simply infuse keywords in their thought dumps and call it SEO content. Or how many people pay sweatshop wages for unedited thought dump articles.
Use this as a method of reducing time consumption and increasing productivity… not as an easy way to write for the Web.
After all, professional copywriters – the hardworking bunch that we are – know this is not the calling for people only looking for an easy way out.
Do you already use thought dumps when starting on a writing assignment? How did you figure it to be a great way to increase productivity?
How big of a difference in timing does a thought dump make for you?
Do you have any other tips for shaving time off the writing process?
Nikki Robinson is a freelance web copywriter and a member of American Writers & Artists Inc. Her background and experience includes business management, sales & marketing, telecommunications and legal writing. Contact her at Nikki@RobinsonWriting.com or visit RobinsonWriting.com for more info.