Posted by: C.R. Mooney | October 30, 2012

4 Tips for Writing Faster

Little gets under my skin more than sitting at the laptop to write for a couple of hours and only having only a few paragraphs to show for it. Nights like that almost end with my laptop being chucked through the window.

After one such night I was determined to write faster. They have courses on speed reading, so I figured writing faster is a skill that could be learned too.

So I sat down and wrote out what I thought were my biggest obstacles: not having time to write and distractions (short yet accurate). Through a concerted effort in a few areas , I’ve grown to writing a few pages a night instead of just those few paragraphs.

  1. Plan when you will write. You’ll never find the time to write, you must make it. When I wake up, I take a few minutes and plan my day. Part of that is determining when I will write. Whether it’s during my breaks at work, or an hour in the evening, the time is set. This is a huge step as it gives me time to think about what I want to write that day and when the prescribed time comes its easy to keep the appointment.
  2. Set a time limit. This is related to number one. I only set aside an hour tops for writing. If I get in a groove and write beyond that, great. But often my attention span is only about that long so if I need a break or want to be done, there’s no guilt after that. Also if the words aren’t flowing I have a predetermined quitting time which frees me from staring at the monitor for another hour and getting even more frustrated.
  3. Manually disconnect the internet. I’m obsessed with finding the “right word” or doing fact checking as I go. While I think those tasks will only take a moment, they end up wasting an hour sometimes. By disconnecting the internet at the modem, I have to get up from the desk in order to check my email or search for when to use effect or affect.
  4. Just write, don’t edit. It sounds easy enough, but my internal editor is a 24-hour operation. For my predetermined writing time, I sit down and just write. If something needs editing I leave and XYZ after the word or sentence I want to go back to and I’ll check on those after my first draft is done.

Being intentional about my writing time, and limiting interruptions has more than doubled my writing output. I hope these simple steps will not only increase the amount of words on the page, but the quality of them as well.


Responses

  1. Reblogged this on worldpen and commented:
    Great advice, especially on the eve of NaNoWriMo!

  2. Great advice! Now just to take it to heart!

  3. I am interested in writing a testimonial book. This is my first time attempting to write & have a book published

  4. Thank you


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