Tips on Writing an Article Off the Top of Your Head

Updated on February 4, 2018
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Bob Craypoe (also known as R. L. Crepeau) is a musician, writer, webmaster, 3D artist, and creator of the Punksters comic strip series.

There are loads of article writers on the Internet these days and some will have a lot more experience than others. As an online article writer becomes more experienced his writing skills should improve. A good, experienced article writer could actually get to the point where he is able to write articles right off the top of his head, in a single sitting and in a short period of time. For example, I have been writing online articles for a long time now and I have gotten to the point where I could write an article right off the top of my head in less than an hour. I am talking about an article that is anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 words usually, but sometimes more.

So the question a new online article writer might have for me is how I am able to do that. Well, there are a number of factors that come into play that make it possible for me to be able to write a somewhat lengthy article off the top of my head in less than an hour. I will discuss those and try to help you to be able to get to that point yourself.

Write About What You Know

One thing I do is write primarily about subjects that I have a considerable amount of knowledge and experience in. For instance, I am a musician with experience in playing paid performances. So even though some may consider that to be just one subject (primarily music), it is really a number of subjects because there is so much I could cover given what my knowledge and experience in music is. The subject of music has so many subcategories that could be written about.

For example, I play multiple instruments and sing. So I could write about any one of the instruments I play. But even though I play multiple instruments, I could get a lot of ideas for articles even if I just played one. For guitar, I could write about the equipment I use like the various guitars that I play, the effects pedals I use for them, guitar maintenance and care and tips on how to use the equipment.

I record as well. So I could offer advice on recording, mixing and mastering. I could even offer advice on mixing a live performance. Maybe I could offer some tips on getting the best mix from your sound equipment. I also know music theory and could provide instruction for that as well.

As a live performer, I could offer tips on the business end of music as it would pertain to dealing with venue owners and so forth. I could offer you tips on how to prepare for live performances and tips on some things that are often overlooked by people just starting out. In any case, I am writing about what I know. And there are a number of things that I know well. And even though it seems like I am only talking about music, there are a lot of subcategories that fall under that one big topic. But I always try to make sure that I know what I am talking about and knowing what I am talking about makes it so much easier to write an article off of the top of my head, because it requires no research. I've already done my homework when I learned about all of these things that I am writing about.

Write All of Your Article Ideas Down

One thing that really helps is to have a title in mind when you start out on a new article. I try to pick titles that generally sum up the topic of the article. Then I make at least a minimal attempt to make it search engine friendly. That part is something you may have to experiment with but if you are able to come up with search friendly titles, it will help you to get more views.

All my articles basically start out with a general idea. Whenever I have an idea, I will write it down so that I don’t forget it. Then, eventually, I will get around to writing the article. But when I do write that idea down, I try to sum it up in a title. That way, when I go back and look at my list of article ideas, I not only have the idea summarized in the form of a title but I also have the title itself and it gives me something I can work with.

Sometimes, I might be driving down the road on my way to work and come up with an Idea for an article. I come up with a title idea for it and just say it over and over in my mind until I get to work and I can write the idea down. Never assume that you will remember your ideas later. Always write them down because I don’t know how many times I have forgotten ideas that I neglected to write down.

I have also had times when I have woken up in the middle of the night and had an idea for something. I would think to myself what a great idea it was and that the idea was so good, I would definitely remember it by morning. So I didn’t write the idea down. Then the next morning, I would wake up and try to remember what that great idea was. So I have learned my lesson with that. Now, if I some up with an idea in the middle of the night, I will write it down before I try to go back to sleep.

Practice Makes Perfect

I remember in high school we would be given these writing exercises to just write something off of the top of our heads,. It could be about anything and we were permitted to wander from subject to subject. The only purpose the exercise had was to serve as an opportunity to exercise our creativity. The idea was to try to write as much down as we possible could. It could be anything that popped into our minds. The teacher didn’t even read what we had to say. It was not about our writing ability, it was about our creativity.

When we write, there are a number of elements involved in the process. Certainly it helps to write about what you know but it is also important to be able to express yourself creatively. The creative aspects of the process will allow you to be able to elaborate on various things and to think up more ideas you may use in order to drive your various points home. Just as that exercise that we were given in high school was designed to exercise our creativity, the actual process of writing an article can often achieve the same thing.

You see, the more often we write, the better we get at it. When we exercise our creativity, we actually get better at being creative. We will then be more likely to be able to elaborate on whatever subject we are writing an article about. As we become more and more accustomed to the process of writing an article, we simply get better at it and it all starts to become easier to us. It all improves with practice and practice makes perfect.

Take Notice of What I Have Just Done

So what did I just do so far, when writing this article? I broke everything down into a few different sections with each section having its own idea and gave each section a subtitle. Each section had various points that I hoped to drive home. Within each one of those subsections, there were about three paragraphs that covered the subject outlined by the subtitle that summarized the subsection.

So what you do is come up with your ideas for each subsection and summarize them in the form of a title first. Then you elaborate on the subtitle’s subject matter with a few paragraphs. This may be a new approach for some of you but after you get used to doing it this way, it will get a lot easier.

The Basic Breakdown of the Process

The whole process of writing an article really involves a few steps. The first step is just to come up with the basic idea for the article and you try to summarize that idea in the form of a title. You write that idea down if you are not currently in a position to start on the article immediately. You write the idea down simply so that you won’t forget it.

Then you think of the various points you may want to make in the article. You divide those points into subsections. You create a subtitle that represents the overall idea you would want to convey in each subsection. Then you write a few paragraphs dealing with the points you want to make in each subsection. Once you become accustomed to this process, it gets to be relatively easy to write an article right off the top of your head.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Bob Craypoe

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