6 Tips for Writing Faster
I’m always keen on different techniques I can use to maximise my writing time, especially since starting my own App business this year. While I don’t necessarily agree that writing faster gives you a better, more concise manuscript, I do think that it gives you something to work with and fix up much quicker than if you ‘let the muse come to you’. Which is why when Stephanie approached me with this piece I jumped at the chance to add a new technique or two to my arsenal. Thanks heaps for the guest post Stephanie, take it away!
The timeframe within which you complete your novel depends on your commitment, creativity, time-management skills, and your ability to fight distractions. However, your daily productivity also depends on your typing speed. Can your fingers follow the flow of your thoughts? Or maybe you are a fast typist, but there is no point in masterful keyboard usage when you can’t get good ideas?
Your speed in writing might not make you a more talented writer, but it will definitely turn you into a more productive one! In the continuation, you’ll discover 6 strategies that will help you write faster and achieve quantity without sacrificing quality!
Set up an appropriate surrounding
You can’t be a fast writer if you constantly get distracted by the mess around you. Creativity might be a messy process, but that doesn’t mean that your environment should reflect that state of mind. You need to set some order around you, and you’ll immediately notice how your thoughts get clearer.
The first thing you need to do before you start the daily writing practice is to minimize the distractions around you. If you like writing with background music, set up a playlist that will get you through the day. Choose something with no lyrics; you don’t want to start thinking about the text. If you like writing in a coffee shop, choose your favorite place and make sure no one disturbs you when you work.
Identify the best environment that keeps you focused and make sure to maintain it in proper order. When you get rid of the distractions, you’ll produce more work in less time.
Create an outline!
When you have a cool idea, all you want to do is get to work and start working on the book as soon as possible. Writing a detailed outline might seem like a waste of time. It’s not! If you don’t have a clear concept, you’ll get stuck sooner or later, and you’ll end up with a messy piece of text that would only confuse a reader. Create an outline! In fact, create several ones! It would be best to separate the main outline into specific mind maps for each chapter and section of the book.
Even if you get fresh ideas along the way, you’ll be able to fit them into the planned development of events without disturbing the logical flow. When you have a solid base to guide you through the writing process, half of your work will be done and you’ll go through the chapters faster than you planned.
Don’t start with the introduction!
The first sentence might be the most important part of your entire book. It should immediately hook the reader and push him forward. Remember Tolstoy’s famous opening of Anna Karenina? He managed to grasp the essence of the huge novel into a single, simple, short sentence. There is no way to achieve such perfection if you start with the introduction. Such strategy would get you stuck right from the beginning.
It would be best to start from the chapters and follow the outline until the full story is developed. Then, you can go back to the beginning and write the introduction of your book. You’ll be able to give some hints of what’s about to happen, and intrigue the reader’s imagination. Try this method on short stories, just to see how it functions. Write one short story by following the precise outline, and then be more flexible with the second one, leaving the introduction for the end. You’ll notice the difference in your productivity.
Here is the best way of getting out of a writer’s block: just write! You are feeling stuck and you haven’t written a single page for days? You decide to stay passive and wait for your muse to appear out of nowhere? That’s the wrong thing to do!
When you write, you shouldn’t intellectualize too much. Just follow the outline and don’t worry about the best way to say a particular thing, or making a certain phrase sound better by adding the right words. You’ll think about editing later. At this point, just write and focus on the flow of your thoughts! Remember: the words that come to your mind are usually the right ones. Don’t slow yourself down by aiming for perfection during the writing stage.
You can’t write fast if you don’t find the motivation that pushes you forward. There are few things you can do to discover inspiration: read masterpieces, travel, meditate, or observe the world around you. You’ve probably heard this a hundred times, but the cliché is true: you can’t make things happen if you don’t try.
Start by meditating. When you find yourself in a relaxed state of body and mind, you’ll discover forgotten ideas and you’ll connect the dots together. When you cannot find inspiration within yourself, it’s time to look for it in the outside world. See new places, talk to people you don’t know, and ask them what they think about the problems you’re elaborating. Their perceptions might put you in a writing mode!
Improve your typing speed!
If your fingers cannot follow the development of your thoughts, the writing process will just get messy. It’s time to learn proper typing techniques and practice your speed! The computer keyboard is the tool of your craft; you have to know how to use it. Position your hands and fingers properly: the right index finger over the J key, and the left index fingers over the F key. Allow all other fingers to fall into place.
A Faster Writer Is a Better Writer!
Believe it! Writing a novel is a big bite. Some authors take years or decades to finish their masterpieces. That’s okay, but it would be better if they were a bit faster and the readers had an ability to get more of their wisdom.
If you are too slow, you might lose your enthusiasm somewhere along the way, so your cool ideas would end up incomplete and tossed in a drawer. Maybe another writer has a similar concept, so he will publish the piece before you make it to the end? Prevent the worse scenario from occurring; work on your speed of thinking and typing!
Faster writing is not necessarily better writing if you understand the concept in the wrong way. You are not supposed to rush through the stages for the sake of meeting a deadline; you should only make yourself more productive by avoiding distractions and procrastination. When you are able to write more in less time, you have more content to work with. The focus on producing more content will turn your inner editor off, so you’ll follow your ideas more effectively. Finally, you’ll have more pieces to work with, and that will lead to a greater number of publications, happier readers, and better income.
Stephanie Norman is a professional writer from Sydney with for 4 years of experience. She writes business, creative, and academic content. Also, sometimes she provides editing service at Australian Writings, a company that offers assignment help and assistance for students. You can follow her at Facebook and Google+.