Want to write better and faster? One tip of writers is to get and stay organized. Here are three more detailed ways to write better and faster, from David Fryxell.
Before the tips, here’s a quip for writers:
“For many writers – professional writers – writing faster is simply a matter of survival,” says Fryxell in Write Faster, Write Better. “Writing faster can mean the difference between making a go of a challenging career as an author versus going back to your old job as an accountant or asking ‘Smoking or non-smoking’ down at Bob’s Big Boy. Writer’s block, you might even say, is a luxury that real writers can’t afford.”
I’ve heard that before – that working writers can’t afford to have writer’s block! Here are three tips for writing better and faster (and beating writer’s block). And, click on Write Faster, Write Better to improve your skills as a freelance writer or novelist…
3 Tips for Writing Better and Faster
1. Write as clean a first draft as you can. I know, this goes against other writing advice that suggests you should just write it all down as quickly as possible. I’ve never been good at that. I prefer to fine tune each sentence before I write the next one – I find it distracting to move on when I know I could’ve written it better. Of course, I still edit later, but it seems less onerous when it’s mostly done.
2. Organize your thoughts and plans before you start writing. Fryxell is a big fan of outlines. He quotes Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Franklin: “I don’t care what you’ve heard, or what your literature teacher said, or even what the writers themselves said. Every writer of any merit at all during the last five hundred years of English history outlined virtually everything he wrote.” Whether you’re aiming for a Pulitzer or the local newspaper, jot down at least a rudimentary outline of your idea. Even if you don’t follow it, an outline can help you stay focused.
3. Build a realistic writing schedule. Figure out how long each chapter, article segment, query, short story, etc will take. Set your daily word or time quota. Factor in your research, thinking, writing and editing time. Discipline yourself to focus and ignore distractions. Real writers write, even if only for 15 minutes a day. Real writers may struggle with motivation, insecurity and fear but they get past it to achieve their writing goals. They have to.
Do you have any tips for writing better and faster? I welcome your comments and questions below!