How to Write Blog Posts Faster (Without AI)

by | Sep 7, 2023 10:30:00 AM | Marketing Operations and Execution

It’s funny how many people I know say that they struggle to write because of “writer’s block” as if it’s a disease that paralyzes them so they can’t type. If that sounds like you and you’ve struggled to write blog posts faster, try watching the movie Finding Forrester starring Sean Connery. 

Connery’s character, William Forrester, is a reclusive Pulitzer prize-winning author that has a chance encounter with a high school kid from the Bronx named Jamal. He soon discovers that this kid is a gifted writer and takes him under his wing.

When Jamal tells him about how he’s struggling with his professors’ condescending teaching style, Forrester hands Jamal a typewriter and invites him to start typing.

“Go ahead,” Forrester says as he begins typing away at his own typewriter.

“Go ahead and what,” Jamal replies. 

“Write,” Forrester responds.

“What are you doing?” Jamal asks.

“I’m writing, like you’ll be when you start punching those keys… is there a problem?” Forrester says. 

If you've ever sat in front of your laptop staring at the blinking cursor in your document, not sure where to start writing, this scene might resonate with you. And I realize that I might receive a little backlash for saying this but here goes nothing — It's not because of writer's block. Writer’s block is a myth!

I’ve written hundreds upon thousands of words in my career — as a journalist, then a sports writer, then a copywriter — and I’ve had my byline in more than 50 publications, and I can tell you unequivocally that writer's block is a myth.

But that's not a lesson I learned as a cadet journalist, it was actually my dad who taught me that — and how to write quicker. 

“You take so long to finish your essays because you have nothing to write about. If you don’t know what to write about, you need to start by researching your topic first,” he would tell me. 

That tip allowed me to dramatically decrease the time it took me to write an article. 

Eventually, I learned that “researching” is only one step in the writing process, and once I learned the rest of the steps, I could write anything in a fraction of the time it normally took me. But I didn’t find that out until I read Better Business Writing where Bryan Garner talks about the MACJ writing framework. Since then, writing quickly hasn’t been a problem for me.

But what is the MACJ framework? How will it help you write blog posts faster without AI? 


Why You Write Slowly

But first, let’s set the record straight, blog writing isn’t easy — especially if you want to publish quality content. And even if you’re an experienced writer, chances are you need to set aside about 4 hours and 10 minutes to write a blog in one sitting (that’s the average time it takes to write a blog post). 

In my experience, people write slowly because they overthink (I hope you gathered that from the movie clip I linked at the top). People start thinking about the best way to start the blog, and then they stop and try to perfect it before moving on to the next sentence. Then the next.

Rinse. Repeat. You get the idea. They are editing AS they write. 

But there are several other reasons why you might write slowly:

  1. You don’t know enough about your topic
  2. You get distracted easily
  3. You don’t know how to structure a blog properly
  4. You type slower

If that’s the case, then I’d bet my bottom dollar you’ve been tempted to use an AI writing assistant to complete your blog for you. But here’s why you shouldn’t when it comes to blogs and other long-form content. 


To AI or Not to AI: Don’t Ask That Question

Many people are too quick to hop on the AI bandwagon these days. They want an “easy button” for their blog writing or just want to offload that responsibility entirely. But AI programs like Chat-GPT will never be as good as humans when it comes to writing high-quality content for three reasons:

  1. You still need to do research yourself so you can understand what the AI is writing and verify that it’s accurate.
  2. All AI writing generators pull information from the same sources. That means you’ll more or less just be writing the same blog as everyone else who uses AI. 
  3. Artificial intelligence programs lack the capacity for empathy, and empathy is how you connect with your readers and inspire them to take action.

Okay, I’ll admit it. No human can write 1,000 words as fast as AI. But it would be 1,000 words of utter rubbish. AND you would still have to spend time sifting through it to make sure the content is accurate, reads well, and meets the needs of your audience. 

And if you’re hoping AI, like ChatGPT, will provide statistics or research from reputable stories to support your blog, think again! ChatGPT makes stuff up:

How to Write Blog Posts Faster (Without AI)

I learned this technique from Bryan Garner, but the person who originally came up with the framework was Professor Betty Flowers. So before I tell you how to write your blog posts faster without AI — I should probably tell you a little bit about her!

Betty Flowers was a Professor at the University of Texas. On the first day of class, she asked her students about their biggest writing challenge.

“It’s not getting started,” a student answered. “It’s keeping on once you do get started. I can always write a sentence or two — but then I get stuck.” 

Turning to the board, Flowers wrote four words: “Madman. Architect. Carpenter. Judge.

“What happens when you get stuck is that two competing energies are locked horn to horn, pushing against each other,” she said. “One is the energy of what I’ll call your madman. He’s full of ideas, writes crazily, and perhaps rather sloppily… and if really let loose, could turn out 10 pages in an hour.”

“The second is a kind of critical energy — what I’ll call the judge,” she continued. “He peers over your shoulder and says ‘That’s trash!’ with such authority that the madman loses his crazy confidence and shrivels up. You know the judge is right… but for all of his sharpness of eye, he can’t create anything.”

The reason you take too long to write your blog or you end up babbling on for the whole article, is because you are getting torn apart by both of these writers instead of balancing each of their strengths. You can do that by inviting the architect and the carpenter to the team and allowing each one of them to take turns writing your blog. Here’s how that works. 


The Madman

The first step is to let your imagination run wild — write like a madman. Don’t think. That comes later. 

If you have a topic, headline, or even better, a story idea — start writing that, then don’t stop. After about 10 minutes, stop typing. Get up. Then walk away from your computer to reset yourself. 

Pro Tip: If you still don't know what to write, or you aren’t that knowledgeable about your topic, start by reading, researching, or interviewing until you have all the content you need. It doesn’t have to be coherent just yet.


The Architect

When you’re back in your chair, it’s time to tidy up the mess you just made by making an outline (if you skipped the madman step, this is going to take much longer). 

Choose three main arguments or points that will best support your main blog topic and order them logically. Underneath those topics, add three main ideas to each section that best summarizes what they’re about. This is where you might want to revisit the notes you took earlier. Then add an introduction at the top and a conclusion at the bottom to complete your outline — and take another break.


The Carpenter

Now it’s time to re-write everything so it makes sense. Here is what you should keep in mind when building out from your outline:

  • It should be very clear to the reader what each section is about AND why you included it in your blog
  • Each section should have a logical beginning, middle, and end
  • Don’t stop till your entire blog is written
  • Aim to write at a 6th-grade reading level

Anything higher than a 6th-grade reading level takes too long to read and often sounds too academic. Make your writing scannable and people are more likely to keep reading. The Hemingway Editor can make this process super easy!

Hemingway Example


The Judge

Remember when I told you not to edit while you write? Good. Because writing and editing are two different processes. This is the stage when you focus on editing. Take a good hard look at what you wrote and ask yourself, “Could I say it better?” 

Keep asking yourself that as you make your way through the blog until you are completely happy with it. And there you have it. You’ll have written your blog in a fraction of the time it would have taken you.


Pro Tip: Make sure you run your blog through a spelling and grammar tool once or twice until you catch every mistake. 


‘The First Step To Writing is to Write, Not to Think’

People struggle to write faster because they don’t have a real writing process. When you start to use AI writing tools to do the job instead, upi are:

  • Left with a blog you technically didn’t write
  • At risk of publishing information that is inaccurate or plagiarized
  • Trusting that a computer can relate to your readers better than you can

If you follow the MACJ framework, you’ll not only find yourself finishing blogs in record time, but you’ll realize that your writing quality improves as well. That’s because you aren’t allowing the madman and the judge to co-write your blogs anymore. 

The best part is you can use the MACJ framework for any writing task — from a business plan to an email to your company’s homepage! So the next time you’re at your desk, staring at a blinking cursor in your Google Doc, think back to this blog, and remember, “The first step to writing is to write, not to think.” 

Write like a madman, outline like an architect, rewrite like a carpenter, and edit like a judge — and you’ll write your blog posts exponentially faster so you have more free time to read our other helpful marketing blogs.

Here are a few you should read next:

About 1 Bold Step

At 1 Bold Step we believe that everything can be more efficient, but especially marketing. Acting as an extension of a client’s marketing department (onsite or virtually), we help create systems, order, and accountability. With a focus on increasing sales and proving return on marketing investment, we’re determined to change marketing from overhead to value add. 


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