Writing speed develops with practice, however there are tricks which will help you.
Here are ten of my favorite tricks, developed over 30 years of writing.
1. Write First, Research Later
When you're starting a new project, it's tempting to spend time researching. However, you won't know what facts you need, until you're in the middle of writing, and often not until you've completed an initial draft.
Therefore, write your first draft without giving any thought to what you don't know.
I use free writing to get down a first draft as quickly as I can. If I need to research something, I'll put a note right in the draft, in brackets, or I'll type "XXX".
Writing a draft before researching helps to eliminate procrastination.
2. Get a Project, Write What You Know Now (in Five Minutes)
As soon as you get a project, whether it's for work, for a client, or for yourself, write down what you know. Just write down anything which comes to mind: often you'll write a whole series of questions.
Give yourself 5 minutes to do this.
You'll be amazed at the results. Writing about the project breaks your inertia, and you're much less inclined to procrastinate.
3. Always Be Researching
The more you know, the more you have to write about, and the less time you need to spend on specific research. I tend to research continually, and so do all the professional writers I know.
If I'm interested in something, I research it. My obsessions have led to winning publishing contracts with major publishers, and also to writing ebooks and to creating websites and blogs.
4. Plan It, Talk It
If you often suffer from writer's block, consider that If you can talk, you can write.
For many of my projects, rather than writing them, I plan them, and then use voice recognition software to talk the project into existence. These days, voice recognition software works extremely well.
Yes, it takes time to learn how to talk rather than write, but talking helps you to create a first draft quickly, and can be a blessing when you're racing to meet deadlines.
5. Reboot Your Mind in 5 Minutes a Day (Meditate)
I've been meditating for as long as I've been a full-time writer. One of the benefits of meditation is that it allows you to reboot your mind: it eliminates mind chatter, and boosts your creativity.
Try meditation. No time? Five minutes a day can make all the difference.
6. Cancel out of That: Kill Your Inner Dialogue with Koans
Have you heard of Zen koans? They're an excellent way of clearing your inner dialogue.
Two koans I especially like are: "What is this?" and "No".
Try closing your eyes, and saying "What is this?" to yourself when you're stuck in your writing.
Just close your eyes and mentally repeat the question to yourself. It's an excellent way of clearing your mind and killing any negative inner dialogue.
By the way -- there's no answer to "What is this?" Just repeat the question to yourself.
7. Catch Those Ideas: Get More Ideas While You're Writing
Writing inspires ideas. Therefore, always have a notepad open, so that you can note the ideas quickly and get back to your project.
8. Idea Fishing: Use Your Dictionary
Words spark ideas.
Occasionally you'll feel bored.
Grab your dictionary.
Close your eyes and open it on any page, and place your index finger on the page. Write down the word your finger lands on. Repeat this process five more times.
Now start writing, using the six words you've collected. Write in your current project, or start a new one. The point is to keep writing -- to build flow when you're bored and fed up, rather than giving up.9. Get Help from Images: Kick Your Subconscious Mind Awake
Becoming a fast writer requires cooperation from your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious thinks in images rather than words; it's not verbal. The best way to jolt it awake is to study images. I like to visit online museums, or page through old magazines.
Avoid reading when you do this; just let your mind drift, and study the images you find.
Five minutes of this will inspire you.
10. Write It Now, Ready or Not
Procrastination wastes time: you can overcome it.
When you accept a project, schedule a specific time to work on it each day.(For example, from 8pm to 8.30pm.)
Whenever I find myself procrastinating on any project, I immediately schedule half an hour a day to work on the project. Even if you've grown to dislike a project intensely, you can stand anything for 30 minutes a day. Before you know it, the project will be done.
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