Writers understand that writing is a deliberate process that requires practice, timing, and patience. Just as an athlete or artist must hone their craft, so too does a writer. And sometimes that means enduring the slog as much as it means embracing the inspiration.
Most writers have a process, a routine, a to-do list, goal setting, timers, a variety of tools and methods that help them accomplish goals both large and small. If you’re looking for ways to improve your writing process and speed, look no further than the list below. We found several tips for becoming not necessarily faster as a writer, but definitely more productive. In allowing yourself to embrace certain techniques or moments of your day, writing will become more efficient and with efficiency comes speed.
What are some techniques you use to be more productive as a writer?
12 Ways To Write Faster
1. Write when groggy. Research suggests that we are more creative when we’re groggy. This seems counterintuitive, but why not give it a try. If you’re a night owl, try writing early. If you’re an early bird, try writing late.
2. Set a timer. Write for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute rest.
3. Make writing a choice. Not “I have to write” but “I want to write.”
4. Make a commitment. Research shows that written plans increase follow through. At the end of the day, write down the goal for tomorrow – tangible goals that are realistic to completing a task.
5. Chop up the process. Small steps will help to reduce feeling overwhelmed by the bigger task.
6. Percolation. When you let your mind wander, you gain fresh insights. Let your ideas perk, bubble, come to a simmer. Take breaks from focused writing or allow several days to complete a task. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
7. Get in the mood. Having a routine or a ritual can help put you in the right frame of mind.
8. Avoid rabbit holes. Let the ideas flow. Don’t pause to investigate or research a detail that you can come back to later.
9. Build a bridge to tomorrow. Restarting the next writing session can be hard, especially if motivation is low. Know how you want to continue your writing. (See #4)
10. Rescue lousy drafts. Look for what was good in your writing and work from there.
11. Slow down. Maximum speed may hamper your flow. Reduce speed and distractions to improve productivity.
12. Exercise your writing muscles. Write, rewrite, repeat. Establish your writing regimen and stick to the plan. Regular habits help optimize overall performance.
List adapted from Inc. Magazine