People are always asking me how they can write faster! It seems that every project they accept takes much more time than they would like. So how can they get their writing assignments finished in less time?
Well, here is what I tell them to do to write faster:
1. Focus on one project at a time. If you're constantly thinking about all the things you need to accomplish each day, your mind never settles down to the writing project at hand. Let everything else go when you sit down to write. Just write. Don't answer the phone. Don't check your email. Don't try to multitask when you write.
2. When writing nonfiction, it helps to come up with a structure for your article, topic, paragraph, etc. before you sit down to write. For me, if I get a jazzy title for my article, then the lead sentence, and then figure out a structure for the article, I then can create some subtopic headings. Once I have all those things in place, the article seems to write itself.
3. When writing fiction, chunk the action out into scenes. When you sit down to write, tell yourself you are going to write only a certain number of scenes that day. Outline the scenes ahead of time, then when it's time to sit down and write out the scenes, you are good to go!
4. Every day when you get ready to finish that day's writing session, be sure you KNOW what you will start writing the next day. That way, you won't have to sit down and stare at a blank computer screen tomorrow. You'll be able to get to work immediately because you'll know where to start.
5. If you find you're spending hours at the computer with nothing to show for it, stop. Get up and do something else. Take a walk, take a bath, do some stretches, go out for a cup of coffee. Your subconscious will still be working on the writing project that is giving you trouble. Come back to it in an hour or so and you'll probably start to make some progress.
You can start writing faster today if you just follow these tips.
The Morning Nudge is sent each morning to subscribers of Suzanne Lieurance’s list. Her words to inspire are to motivate you to get a little writing done each day. This excerpt was featured on February 14, 2008. To become a subscriber, email Suzanne at suzannelieurance at hotmail dot com or visit her Web site: http://www.workingwriterscoach.com.