Writing Faster: Here’s How to Do It
Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Mileva Stankovic
Do you want to write faster and better? If so, this article is for you. We will be discussing how to do just that: how to write better and how to write faster, so you can get more work done, or have more time to yourself.
These tips are perfect for authors who want more time in their day, or anyone who wants relief from the monotonous writing process.
Let’s dive straight in…
A writing habit is essential to be a productive writer. If you want to write better and faster, it all starts with forming the correct habits!
Once a day is enough – but if possible aim for three times per week or more. Just make sure that once you’re done, don’t give up… commitment counts!
I, for one, am not one of those people that says you should write every day. I tried that once and it led to burnout. Writing every day is fine, but more important is your commitment to your habit. If that commitment is for three days a week, or even one day a week, that is enough as long as you are consistent.
I think you will find that by forming a writing habit, you will not only write more in the long run, but you will find it easier to get into flow and write faster with each session.
Did you know that a lot of famous writers use dictation to write faster? It’s true. Kevin J. Anderson, for example, uses dictation to write his books.
Whether it’s a recording on your phone, using Dragon Dictate on your computer or even paying an assistant to do it for you, dictating is a great way of getting your thoughts down quickly and efficiently.
Dictated can easily double your word count, allowing you to do more in the day, or finish your allotment earlier so you have more time for yourself. That’s important. You don’t necessarily want to be more productive here (though you can, and that’s also awesome), but simply getting the same amount of work done in a shorter amount of time can do wonders for your mental health, which in turn will boost your productivity.
Now, dictation can cost money for a good program, and a good microphone. But there are actually cheap and easy ways to get started. I recommend trying one of the free, inbuilt programs that come with Windows and Mac, along with your inbuilt microphone. If you find that dictation works for you, then I would consider upgrading to one of the more effective platforms.
Passion is the fuel that keeps your engine running, which makes it even more important for authors. Chances are, most of us are passionate about writing – otherwise, how would we have gotten this far?
So how do you use that passion to fuel faster and better writing? It’s simple. If you are passionate about something, make sure to write about it.
For example, a colleague of mine, a fantasy author, is very passionate about mythology and mythic storytelling. To that end, he created a whole website around that topic, and it’s what fuels him.
There is a problem, though, with “following your passion”. Many think that this means you should enjoy all your work. And it’s true that having a passion can encourage you to work long and hard.
There will always be something that you don’t enjoy doing. So if you are following your passion, you need to make sure that you’re willing to suffer, at least a little bit, in the pursuit of that interest. It’s not going to be all sunshine and daisies. But it will help.
You might be wondering what this next tip has to do with writing faster. Well, I found that having a good morning and evening routine helps me stay focused, energized, and enthusiastic about my work.
It also helps put my life on autopilot, so I can actually get into the flow of writing every day.
Here are some things I suggest for your morning routine:
- Immediately drink a lot of water
- Take a few minutes to meditate
- Think through your day and everything you plan to accomplish that day
- Go on a morning walk
- Brush your teeth
- Take a shower
Here some things I suggest for an evening routine:
- Take a shower (this could work evening or morning, depending on your preference)
- Go over what you did well that day
- Go over what could have been improved
- Get yourself pumped up for the next day
- Spend 15 minutes reading
- Brush your teeth
- Have a short chat with a loved one
Notice that I did not include writing here. That’s because the morning and evening routine is meant to get you in the right mindset.
I particularly like getting myself pumped up for the next day, because I find that it helps me focus the following day when it’s time to actually do the work I was psyching myself up about.
No matter what you choose, being consistent at it (as with your writing habit) is the key to success.
You might have heard that you should be editing as you go along.
This is not a good method to write faster, however – it’s how to never get anything done!
If you’re constantly stopping yourself from writing just so you can edit what you’ve written before, then how are you ever going to actually finish?
Therefore, if you really want to get faster at writing, you should try practicing a good sprint. You can do this simply by setting a timer for five minutes, then practicing writing for as fast as you can in that five minutes.
If you do this, you’ll find that you increase in speed, and you train yourself not to listen to the editor in your brain. There is a time and place for editing, but it is not when you are writing. You will save a whole lot of time by keeping the two separate.
I recommend Chris Fox’s book on writing 5000 Words Per Hour for more on this topic.
If you want to get better and faster at writing, then follow these five tips. They will help you become a more productive author by helping you become better at what you do.
But learning to do five things at once can be overwhelming.
That’s why I recommend picking one or two items from this list, and really hammering them home. Give them a proper trial run for several weeks or months to see how they work for you. Then once you’ve mastered one principle or another, you can implement other ideas.
If you can do that, I guarantee you will be a writing machine within a few years.
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