Knowing how to write faster can help you get published. These ways to write more don’t just increase your writing productivity, they’ll help you write better. They’re great tips for freelancers, novelists, columnists, poets, bloggers, and even students working on research papers.
Before the tips, a quip:
“All writers must go from now to once a upon a time; all must go from here to there; all must descend to where the stories are kept; all must take care not to be captured and held immobile by the past.” ~ Margaret Atwood
To write faster and better, writers must let go of insecurities, rejections, fears, and failures. Heed Atwood’s advice for writers: find your way to get from a blank page to a great story. Okay, here are my ways to write faster, write more, and write better — and for more motivation, read Write Faster, Write Better.
7 Tips for Writing Faster, Writing More, and Writing Better
Focus on your accomplishments – not your activities
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend burrowed away in your writing hole…it matters what you are accomplishing. As a full-time writer and blogger, I could spend all day “working” but not actually accomplishing anything. To get more writing jobs, I need to focus on specific accomplishments: finding a new writing market or two every day, brainstorming a new magazine article idea or two a day, recycling old query letters and ideas, etc. What accomplishments should you be focusing on?
Commit your writing plans to paper
Writing your goals on paper can increase your motivation and intentions, and make them real. And, if you’re waiting for magazine assignments, book contracts, publishers’ decisions, etc — like most writers are! — then you need to re-evaluate your writing goals every so often. If your goals are written down, then you’ll have an easier time assessing whether you’re achieving them.
Reject activities that slow your writing down
“Refuse to become involved in anything that does not move you closer to the accomplishment of your goals,” writes Winget in People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It!: The 10 Ways You Are Sabotaging Yourself and How You Can Overcome Them (if you can get past the title, it’s a great book!). If whatever you’re doing doesn’t move you closer to success as a writer, then don’t do it. This requires discipline and maybe even disappointing people…but you’ll get more writing done.
Guard your writing time
Learning how to write more involves savagely protect your writing time! It’s one of those “simple but difficult” writing tips: set your writing schedule, and do not answer the phone or door unless someone is on fire.
Write when others aren’t around
If possible, schedule your writing time for when you’re alone: an empty office at lunch or after 4 pm (if you have a day job), early in the morning (before everyone gets up), or on weekends when the family is doing their thing. People distracting!
Set limits on the time suckers
For instance, as much as I love — and learn from — Twitter, it can be a HUGE drain on my time and energy. Connecting and building relationships with other writers and “Tweeps” is great, but it’s not a way to get more writing done. Your writing schedule should not include Twitter, Facebook, or internet surfing activities. Your writing time is strictly for WRITING.
Remember how fast time flies
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My biggest fear is turning 95 years old and regretting that I didn’t spend more time deliberately planning my writing career and life. I’ve got no problem with getting older…I just don’t want to waste my days doing things that get me nowhere! So, to increase your writing productivity, remember that you only have a limited amount of time.
If you don’t write now, you probably won’t be writing later, fellow scribes.