How to write faster

What an interesting and necessary occupation it is – writing! Of course, not everyone today is a writer, but many people, for one reason or another, sometimes have to deal with the writing of any material. Anyone who is first faced with the need to write a certain text: article, report, promotional post, story, etc., will say with confidence that it takes a lot of time. However, people who write regularly, too, often experience certain difficulties, and the process drags on even experienced writers. In any case, the question of how to write faster is very relevant, so today we want to discuss this topic.

person writing on white paper

What prevents you from writing fast

Experience shows that any work gets done faster if one is constantly practicing, and writing in this regard is no exception. But effective practice is only possible when the person writing (let’s call him a writer for convenience) is not distracted from his work.

Even a small and quite simple text can take several hours when the writing activity is just beginning. If the writer has no way to put the work off, he or she will have to write in the evening or even at night. These are rather harsh conditions, but as a result, they allow for a good increase in the speed of text creation.

However, most people almost always have some kind of time reserve, which they waste on procrastination. Plus, there are a number of other factors that get in the way of writing at a “waltz pace” or even just getting down to business.

Below, we’ll look at the most common writing problems and give you some helpful tips on how to deal with them. We’re sure this knowledge will be useful to you in your studies, work, creativity, and generally, in any activity, you need to write.

Difficulties Getting Started

Often, essay writers, especially beginners, can’t get started because they don’t know where to start. As a result, a person writes something, then erases it, then writes again, and then erases it again, and so on. Such work is not only not fruitful: it also takes a huge amount of time and mental energy.

If a sensible start does not work, you can continue to make new attempts to create it. But there is another option: leave the “crumpled” beginning (or do not write it at all) and continue with the easiest, most interesting, informative, or important part of the text. Once the work gets going, coming up with a good beginning will be much easier.

By the way, famous blogger and co-founder of the Australian startup Hello Code Belle Beth Cooper shared with readers in her article “How I cut my writing time from two days to four hours” some secrets us this topic.

When she’s having a hard time getting started and nothing sensible comes to mind, she just starts writing at least something. For example, “I have no idea where to start because …” The idea here is that the writing process itself helps organize thoughts and find the right words to start a new creation.

And sometimes she does this: she writes on paper (exactly on paper, not on the computer) a title, a few basic theses, and a couple of “test” opening sentences. Then, when the brain begins to work in the right direction, she crosses out what she has written without regret and replaces it with more successful versions.

And another way is more simple: get up from your workplace, wander around the office or room, walk down the hall or generally go outside to think in a relaxed state of mind about how and what is better to write. Very often, it’s when you’re distracted from mandatory chores and your main job those good thoughts arise.

And this video has some more interesting ideas on how to get started. And they apply not only to writing but to any business in general. Watch this video, and then we’ll continue.

“Getting stuck” on the information

Naturally, before you start writing on a topic, you must gather information. And it is often this very information that takes the lion’s share of time. Even professionals can spend up to 70% (or even 90%!) of their time gathering sources.

It is necessary to find materials (for example, for a competent article, diploma, and sometimes even a book, you may need to select 5-7 sources), comprehensively research the topic, and assemble the data. No wonder this stage is difficult and time-consuming. But you can not do without it, because only when the author knows what and what he wants to say he will write with confidence, quickly and easily.

Because of the long collection of large amounts of information, the work may take a long time, although the result may not be affected at all. In other words, the speed of writing significantly slows down “getting stuck” on information – when the writer jumps from source to source, distracted by materials, albeit interesting but irrelevant to the topic.

In the end, the author gathers information that is simply not optimal. Plus, it all needs to be proofread, studied, put into a system, and structured. This takes a lot of time, and a lot of information will not be used at all. So what to do about it?

Helping the writer are useful skills such as self-discipline, self-organization, and the ability to quickly recognize the most important thing for the material being prepared and to cut out the superfluous, secondary, and unimportant. You must learn to look at sources with a cursory eye and try not to read too much into them.

Read something only when you know exactly what you will need. Just remember that you can really cut down on the time you spend gathering information. By constantly practicing fluent reading and the ability to “scan” sources, you will stop wasting hours studying “sources.”

No Deadlines

When a project is given a minimum amount of time, it can be stressful, but it can also be mobilizing. Knowing that the material is needed very soon, you will try with all your might to prepare it. And it works even if you set yourself a deadline. But if there is no specific deadline, it will be very difficult to get down to work, and various distractions will grab your attention faster.

When a writer does not have a customer who sets deadlines, you need to set them yourself. Choosing a topic, such as an article or a blog post, conduct an initial assessment of its complexity and the approximate time it will take to write. By doing so, you have already set yourself a deadline.

It’s also worth remembering an interesting trick: if you estimate a project and think it will take you 5 hours to write a text, but it ends up being easier, you will probably still take about 5 hours to write it. As much time as you give yourself, that’s how much you’ll spend. So try to set deadlines that are as realistic as possible.

If some “normal” text takes you 5 hours, set yourself a deadline of 4 hours. Once you meet this time, reduce the deadline and try to meet it again. If you can’t manage to set yourself a deadline or meet “your” deadlines, ask someone else to set you a time frame. Perhaps being accountable to someone else will motivate you to work faster.

Curiously, many authors and writers can easily ignore their own deadlines, whereas external ones set by others (bosses, customers, editors, etc.) almost always make them work faster. The boss says it’s 12 o’clock tomorrow, so it’s 12 o’clock tomorrow and not a second later.

Consider Parkinson’s law, which says that work takes up all the time a person puts into it. If the author sets himself a deadline, he subconsciously does it with a reserve to be able to procrastinate, distract himself, etc. If the other person is doing it, the responsibility, the unwillingness to fail, and the fear of punishment come into play.

Those who have no boss at all or someone who can take over their functions have only to develop self-discipline, learn responsibility for themselves, and be faithful to the promises given to themselves.

Distractions

It doesn’t matter if you have to write for yourself (by the way, read our article “How to Write a Novel Draft in 30 Days”) or if you have to do it for work, there are always and everywhere distractions. And knowing how to fight that same procrastination can be called a true art for a writer.

Conversations on the phone, messages in messengers, interesting videos on social networks, e-mail letters – these and many other things are literally waiting for us to relax and give them just 5 minutes. As a result, half of the day can be spent in incomprehensible activities.

Here’s a simple task: write a short article or chapter for your book. In fact, it may take 3-4 hours. But it takes a whole day, and the result leaves much to be desired. This happens because you get distracted, interrupted, unnecessarily paused, and so on. And have you ever thought that even a few minutes given to extraneous matters immediately reduces concentration, switches thoughts, and requires even more effort to get back to work?

Of course, writing a story at leisure is much more interesting than describing the technical specifications of dozens of microwaves for work because concentration and passion depend largely on the characteristics of the writer’s activity. Also, an important factor is his awareness: whether he understands the topic or has to start from scratch.

Even if the topic is not particularly interesting to you, and you are a complete “zero” in it, you can always apply this approach to work: “And I’ll find myself in this subject something practically useful!” That way, you can get yourself interested and involved in the process without the desire to break away and do something that is more enjoyable and interesting.

Don’t forget that productivity and concentration will be higher if you minimize all distractions for the duration of your work:

  • Close down unnecessary websites and social networks;
  • Put your smartphone on “Do Not Disturb” mode;
  • ask your home or coworkers not to distract you;
  • Forget about your friends, your plans for the evening, your dreams of a vacation, etc.

The less around you some things can theoretically distract you, the less reason you will have to be distracted.

Now we’ve figured out the reasons why you can’t write fast, and we’ve given you some recommendations on how to fix them. But, of course, that’s not all we wanted to tell you about, and from the next block of the article, you’ll learn how to create the conditions to write productively and quickly.

How to write faster

Although every writer has his or her own ways of improving personal effectiveness, we offer you some universal tips that are appropriate for everyone. They relate to time, place, and, in part, working conditions.

When to write

All people have different personalities, personality traits, temperament types, and preferences for when to go to bed and when to get up in the morning. Your first task is to understand your individual biorhythms. For example, your most productive time to work may be early in the morning or a few hours before bedtime.

For most people, the most productive working hours are between 8 a.m. and 12 noon, and then from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. But for writing, it is still recommended to allocate exactly the morning because, at this time, the consciousness still retains its “purity,” and everyday thoughts do not have time to flood the head.

Even if you did not have time to work productively in the morning, do it before lunch. And it is better to do the most time-consuming writing tasks first, and something minor can be left for later, including in the afternoon. Keep in mind that the earlier you get up, the more time you have to write, and also remember to eat on time and take breaks during the day.

Closely observe yourself: mark in your diary the times when you work easily and when your head comes up with interesting thoughts and ideas. After a couple of weeks, you will have a rough idea of when it is better to write.

Where to write

There’s not much point in saying much here, so let’s just point out that if you’re not tied to a desk at the office, you need to find “your” place at home where it’s comfortable and convenient to write.

Try to work in different places: in different rooms, the kitchen, and the balcony. If you’re bored with the apartment environment and want a change, go out into nature, a park, or a cozy cafe to change conditions and add a little variety to your life.

For people who can afford it, we can recommend equipping for writing a separate room, like an office. Over time, it will soak up the “writer’s spirit. Don’t do anything in your office except one thing: creative work. Then the moment you enter that place, your mind will automatically tune in to work.

What conditions to write in

About whether or not to work in silence, there are different opinions. Some experts say that general noise is good for creativity. For example, because of the sounds from the street, the work becomes a little more difficult, which makes the brain even more active and think more creatively.

Of course, some people like to work in complete silence. If you belong to this category, there is no question – create conditions so that nothing distracts you and write quietly. However, many people like to work with some kind of music, but you need to choose it right.

Most likely, you won’t be able to write faster with hard rock, rapcore, hardcore, or metal (although you can try for the sake of experimentation). We advise you to choose something unobtrusive, for example, instrumental music, classical, New Age, or folk. By the way, try listening to a hang – this unique instrument is perfect for a working background.

Another tip: If you work with music, choose compositions without words or with a minimum of them. Listening to other people’s speech, your brain will be strongly distracted from processing the words, and you won’t be able to write fast. When checking what you’ve written in general, it’s better to turn off the music so that you can concentrate as much as possible.

Try different variants: write in silence, with music, with different noises (noise of rain, waves, wind, etc.) By trial and error, you will find the ideal option. Moreover, it will happen very quickly because it takes only a few minutes to understand how you work with a particular sound.

By answering these three questions (when, where, and under what conditions to write?) and by taking into account the information in the first part of this article, you can create the ideal conditions for productive writing. And to create even faster, take note of a few general tips on the subject of writing:

  • If you have to type on the computer, be sure to master the method of “blind typing” to master the keyboard.
  • Before writing any work, it is advisable to make a plan. This greatly reduces the time for thinking about where to start and what to continue with.
  • Make not correct mistakes as you write. Do all proofreading when the text is ready.
  • Write and type at speed. Time your writing in a certain number of characters and try to keep it short.
  • Create a ritual for yourself, after which you immediately get to work. Form a conditioned reflex; for example, start writing as soon as you finish your morning coffee.
  • If you work as a copywriter or web author, try to choose topics that are close to you, in which you know at least a little bit.

And a few more words about the writing technique itself. Despite the fact that computers literally conquered the whole planet, there are still people who like or have to write in a traditional way – with paper and pen. Here is what will help to write faster from a purely technical point of view:

Pick furniture that is comfortable for writing. You should have a comfortable and spacious table, as well as a chair with a backrest or a special chair. Writing quickly is difficult while sprawled out on a couch, lying in a bed, or “sinking” into a soft chair. Both the table and the chair should correspond to your height – not be too low or high.

Watch your body. When sitting at the desk, make sure your knees are bent at a right angle, your back is straight (don’t slouch or stick out your chest), and the distance between the desk and your chest is about two palms wide.

Choose your writing tool wisely. There are a great many variations of pens available today. The pen that is right for you will help you to write faster. Buy several pens: thin, thick, with or without a finger holder, fountain pen, gel pen, ballpoint pen, and different materials. Try writing with one or the other to find “your” pen. Don’t forget that you also need to hold a pen correctly; you hold it with three fingers: the middle one lies on it, and the thumb and the index finger control it.

Place the paper correctly. When writing, the sheet of paper should lie slightly to the right of your body (if you are left-handed, slightly to the left).

Practice your hand. If you have to write a lot and you notice that your hand gets tired every now and then, buy a hand expander in a store. Squeeze and unclench it in your free time. Very soon, your arm will become stronger and less tired.

You will write much faster by adopting the right body position, correctly positioning the paper, using the right furniture, and working with “your” pen. Proven in practice. And something for your information: it is a well-known fact that anyone can learn to write fast, regardless of whether he or she is right-handed or left-handed. And the most difficult to master the skill of rapid writing is ambidextrous – people who have an equally good command of both hands.