Would you like some practical tips on how to write faster?
Of course, you would.
Who in the writing community wouldn’t love to get more writing done in less time?
Fast writing means more time to spend with family and friends, more time to explore new creative outlets, and more time to read, among other things.
It also means you can write more books (or whatever it is you enjoy writing)!
Once you implement even one of the twelve tips laid out for you below, you’ll become more efficient at letting the words flow onto the page.
So, say goodbye to writer’s block, and enjoy becoming a more prolific writer.
- 12 Tips on Writing Faster
- 1. Check your mindset.
- 2. Write like a journalist.
- 3. Or research and organize before you write.
- 4. Create a daily writing habit.
- 5. Set realistic daily and weekly writing goals.
- 6. Set the tone for calm and distraction-free writing.
- 7. Use the Text Expander app to speed up the addition of repetitive text.
- 8. Ditch the red, squiggly lines.
- 9. Write without your inner editor’s “help.”
- 10. Don’t be a slave to your schedule (or editorial calendar).
- 11. Become a faster typist (with FreeTypingGame.net and WordGames.com).
- 12. Amp up the pressure by raising the stakes.
12 Tips on Writing Faster
Use the following tips to crank up your writing speed, so you can write more in less time and get those thoughts onto the page before they slip away.
What you do with the time you save is up to you.
1. Check your mindset.
Your attitude regarding a specific writing assignment has plenty to do with how quickly you can get the words out.
If you’re busy thinking things like, “This is a waste of time,” or “I’m not good at writing about things like this,” you’re creating your own writing blocks.
So, check your mindset before you start writing.
Remind yourself that most, if not all, the things you’ve written about in the past were new to you at some point.
And you have what it takes to create an article (or book, etc.) that will exceed expectations — including your own.
2. Write like a journalist.
By that, I mean write what you know now, and use “TK” for areas that need more research.
Then, once you’ve finished writing the body of your article (or book), do a search on “TK” and fill in the blanks.
Doing this helps you write faster because you’re not holding off until you have all the information you could possibly need.
By the time you’ve begun researching to fill in those blanks, you’ll have most of the work done already.
3. Or research and organize before you write.
You can also choose to research and organize before you start writing.
This can make it easier to get the words out — as long as you don’t over-research and end up with information overload.
So, find out what information you need before you research. Then organize the information you find by creating a rough outline of your piece before you start writing.
4. Create a daily writing habit.
The best way to get the words flowing out of you is to create the habit of writing every day.
Choose a time of day that works best for at least five minutes of butt-in-chair time. Set a timer for five, ten, or more minutes, and write until the timer goes off.
Write for a project, or just write whatever is on your mind – whatever will help you get started. When the timer goes off, you can either take a break and repeat, or you can stop for the day.
Keep doing this every day for at least a month (ideally two) to make it a habit.
5. Set realistic daily and weekly writing goals.
Set daily and weekly writing goals that you can consistently meet.
Consistency matters more than the size of these goals, but as you improve, you can make the goals more ambitious to challenge yourself.
Once you’ve created the daily writing habit, use it to reach goals that matter to you, even if the first goals you set seem modest.
Just reaching those goals has a way of building your confidence and encouraging you to aim higher.
Sooner or later, you’ll set goals you used to think were beyond you.
6. Set the tone for calm and distraction-free writing.
You know better than anyone else whether having music in the background helps or hinders you with writing, but do what you can to create a calm and distraction-free writing environment.
You can create a playlist on apps like Spotify to keep the music or ambient noise going while you write.
You can also silence your phone and use apps that prevent your access to social media while you work.
If those distractions are off-limits, and you consciously commit to writing for a set number of minutes at a time — with breaks in between — it’s much easier to enter the writing zone and stay there.
7. Use the Text Expander app to speed up the addition of repetitive text.
The Text Expander app allows you to quickly insert a pre-written snippet of text using an abbreviation or a quick search.
If you’d like to save the time you’d otherwise spend writing a brief author bio or byline, your email signature, or other content you often add to your daily work, this app can be a tremendous help.
Take advantage of the 30-day free trial to see if it’s a good fit.
If you like it, membership costs only $3.33 per month billed annually, or $4.16 per month.
8. Ditch the red, squiggly lines.
When you’re typing away at something, few things are as distracting as those annoying squiggly lines that show up under words you just typed.
The good news? You can turn them off.
With Microsoft Word, go to the “File” menu, and click on “Options” at the bottom of your left-hand menu.
Then click on “Proofing” and, under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word,” deselect “Check spelling as you type” and “Mark grammar errors as you type.”
9. Write without your inner editor’s “help.”
Don’t expect your first draft of anything to be your best work. It’s going to need some editing, and you’ll write much faster if you accept this and just allow yourself to write freely without editing.
Don’t invite your inner editor into your writing space until it’s time to revise or rewrite your piece.
The first draft is all about turning on the faucet and letting the words pour out however they come.
And the more your speed will improve.
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10. Don’t be a slave to your schedule (or editorial calendar).
As writers, sometimes we get blocked because we’re forcing ourselves to write something just so we can move on to the next item on our schedule.
When it comes to creative writing, rigidity is not our friend. The more you try to force yourself to do (or write) something, the more you’ll resist it.
You need either a better reason to get the writing done or a better writing project.
While schedules and editorial calendars are both great tools for the professional writer, they’re meant to serve you — not to enslave you.
11. Become a faster typist (with FreeTypingGame.net and WordGames.com).
Most of us think faster than we type — and certainly faster than we can write by hand — so the faster you get at typing, the more words you can get out of your head before you forget them.
Who hasn’t felt frustrated (or even unhinged) at being interrupted while frantically typing to get their thoughts onto the page before they turn to smoke?
Think of these typing games as a fun way to sharpen one of your most important writing tools.
12. Amp up the pressure by raising the stakes.
There are a few ways to raise the stakes and motivate yourself to write faster. One is to publish your goals and the consequences of failure to meet them.
If those consequences are sufficiently painful, you’ll work harder to avoid them.
And the more people who know about your chosen goals and the consequences “if you should fail,” the more driven you’ll feel to ensure you don’t.
You can also set a reward for achievement of a particular goal and share it with those who will cheer you on — and who will share your disappointment if you don’t meet it.
Now you know how to write faster — so what will you write?
Now that you know twelve well-tested and effective tips for improving your writing speed, what will you do today to reach a new personal best?
By far the most important tip you can implement today is to get your head right. Get rid of self-defeating thoughts like “I’m just not that creative” or “I’m not good at writing on command.”
We are all born to create, and you have as much creative potential as anyone else.
Remind yourself of this, and keep your mind open to learning and writing about new things and experiences.
May your creativity, passion for growth, and sense of adventure influence everything you do today.