Writers aspiring to be professionals should read this post on practical tips for being a faster writer.
Writing speed is one of the most important aspects of being a writer, and it’s something that you should work on every day in addition to becoming a better wordsmith.
I’ve completed many writing briefs in excess of 10, 000 words with less than 24 hours on the clock. Sounds impressive, right? All it takes is practice.
Here’s some advice for how to improve your writing speed.
9 Practical Tips For Being A Faster Writer
- What’s Writers Block?
Writers block is one of the most common hurdles for professional and aspiring writers. Don’t let it get in your way.
Effective scheduling can help you to steer clear of writers block – when there are a few projects in the air, you can continue with the one that grabs you right now; there’s also nothing wrong with taking a day off to clear your head.
When writing puts food on the table, writers block becomes secondary: Push through it and write.
- Buy the Right Keyboard
Spend money on a good wireless keyboard. It’s one of the first things that can be done to avoid strain and boost your overall speed.
Go to the store and test a few until you find one that’s comfortable. Ideally, you want a keyboard that provides wrist support and one where keys aren’t strenuous to press. Many keyboards have light-up keys for seeing in the dark, and some keyboards are quieter than others.
- Test Your Typing Speed
Test your typing speed regularly (and at various points during the same day) to see where it is right now, and where it can be improved.
Yes, I still do this regularly, and I encourage you to do the same.
- Take Care of Your Hands
Other than writers block, pain can be one of the biggest hurdles to writing speed. This is more true when your hands are tired after a long bout of typing, in colder weather or in the mornings or when symptoms of conditions like arthritis start to show.
The application of heat and cold can be excellent for reducing swelling and discomfort. Take anti-inflammatory medication if this isn’t enough. Learn to wear (fingerless) gloves. Coffee can also help to improve circulation.
Writers, typists and programmers should take care of their hands. It has everything to do with typing speed.
- Use the Find Function (& Other Shortcuts)
Learn to use the Find function (that’s CTRL+F) when looking for bits of information on websites, or specific words in manuscripts. It’s a real time saver.
Also, memorise a list of other keyboard shortcuts that can save you a ton of time you would’ve spent clicking around.
- Outline with Keywords
Learn to outline an entire paragraph or article with keywords alone. This might take a little practice, but once you learn how it can save you a lot of time. Think of it as SEO keywords that won’t be read by a search engine bot and write down only essential thoughts or keywords before you start writing.
- Consider Idea Generation a Permanent Process
Don’t think of generating ideas as a special Godly process and it should go a lot faster. Ideas come in every shape and size, and they’re floating around everywhere – it’s just a matter of learning how to develop an eye for them.
Instead, learn to see the generation of ideas as a process that’s permanently ongoing. Whenever you think of something, spot something, hear something or read something that seems like an idea, jot it down in a notebook or save it as a voice recording.
Choose a day of the week to revisit the ideas and incorporate this into your schedule as a regular part of your routine.
- Schedule Writing Time Right
Speaking of scheduling, it can have a lot to do with your writing speed.
Always allocate time for writing, and choose specific days or times for editing as a separate process. Remember to set up an alarm clock for regular breaks and stretches, and never work when you’re over-tired – it never does anything for writing speed, and errors made when tired are usually fatal ones.
Subscribe to a daily writing prompt.
- Hire Help
Writers aspiring to be professional (or existing professionals) can always benefit from hiring help – and help for writers can come in many forms.
Outsourcing to proofreaders, professional editors, and social media managers allows for more essential time to write; if it’s within your capacity to hire help to aid your writing, it can be a good idea.
About the Author:
By Alex J. Coyne. Alex is an internationally known writer, proofreader, and card player. He’s written for many leading publications and agencies including People Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Great Bridge Links, Funds for Writers and others. Hire Alex for your writing, proofreading, or editing project at alexcoyneofficial.com.
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