Most people can't write fast. I'm not one of those people.
In this article I'm going to reveal my top 10 tips for writing at speeds of up to 2,500 words per hour.
Ready? Let's dive right in.
1. It's All About That Love...
My passion for writing has helped me boost my hourly word count. I truly love writing. Even if I had unlimited money and never needed to earn another dollar again... I would still write.
(My advice to new writers? If the money is more important than the message, you shouldn't be a writer.)
If you want to be truly good at your craft, you need to be passionate about it, because that passion will help you do what it takes to write twice as fast as someone who isn't passionate about writing.
2. The Perks of Noise
Our world is full of distractions. There's nothing you can do to change that.
So, rather than trying to completely eliminate distractions, it's much more effective to learn to tune them out. If you can simply ignore whatever tries to distract you from your writing... your productivity will skyrocket.
And the best way to tune-out the distractions of the world (at least for me)? Fill your head with noise.
I prefer to listen to music while I write, but you have other options if you can't concentrate on writing and listen to music at the same time. (I've noticed that listening to upbeat, motivational music helps my fingers type faster. Weird, but true.)
If music doesn't work for you, you can download white-noise apps onto your mobile device. They can be a great way to block out noise and distractions to help focus solely on your writing. You could also try out a Web application like Coffitivity that mimics productivity-inducing sounds.
Find a method that works for you, helping you tune out the world so that you can be productive and give all your remaining attention to writing.
3. Wait, Why Does Writing Have to Be Miserable?
Too many writers treat writing like a chore. Yeah, writing can be tough sometimes: It's not always clear skies and sunshine.
But writing can be comfortable.
How? Well, I make sure to take care of each of my five senses while writing. For example... I have a scented candle on my desk that I only burn while I'm writing. I have a lamp that puts off a pleasant and soothing shade of light. I sit in a nice, comfy desk chair. I chew gum. I listen to my favorite songs. I wear my most comfortable set of pajamas.
In short. I make writing physically as comfortable as possible.
Even on bad days, when the words just don't seem to flow and I feel stuck, I still look forward to writing—just because it's so darn comfortable!
When I started implementing this simple tip, my hourly word count skyrocketed.
4. To Write, You Have to Write
Most writers will write a paragraph, go back and read it several times, change a couple of words, write another paragraph, and repeat.
That is a waste of time and it cripples your productivity. You can't write and edit at the same time. It messes with your brain, slows you down, and puts a cap on your writing potential.
While you're writing, you should be writing—not editing. Editing is the devil.
So don't worry about editing. Don't go back and read what you've already written. Don't fret about the quality of your writing.
This is probably the hardest tip to implement, but it's also one of the most effective: Once you get into the habit of just writing, you'll see a huge increase in your hourly word count.
Write now, edit later.
5. Shoot for the Stars
If you set specific goals, you're much more likely to achieve those goals. It seems blatantly obvious when I say it like that, but so many people don't realize that simple fact.
Set a daily writing goal to help you get your writing done faster and more efficiently.
I have a goal of writing at least 2,500 words every day. I can write more than that, if I want, but I can never write less. I absolutely have to meet my goal every day, no matter what.
If you do the same thing, you'll notice a huge bump in your daily productivity. Guaranteed.
6. Hop on the Writing Mobile
Don't write in the same place all the time. If you write for too long in the same place, things get stale, boring—maybe too comfortable (Tip 3). And your productivity declines.
Move around and write in a bunch of different places. That will keep you alert.
Don't just sit at your desk all the time. Take your laptop and go write at the library, at the nearest café, on a bench in the park, at a friend's house...
If you keep things fresh and keep moving around, you'll jump-start your productivity and ensure that you don't get burned out or tired of writing.
7. Why Indirect 'Plagiarism' Is a Good Thing
Every time we write, we are unconsciously influenced by the previous thing we've read.
If you're writing a romance novel but you just finished reading a Stephen King book, for example, then you might notice your prose begin to adopt a slightly darker tone.
It seems kind of weird, but it's true: Our writing is influenced by the last thing we read.
Use that to your advantage.
I write self-help books, mostly, so before I start writing I'll usually read a chapter or two of Stephen Covey, Malcolm Gladwell, James Altucher...
Try it, and watch your writing improve.
8. Recyclable Time
I can easily write 2,500 words in an hour... but who says that has to be a solid, unbroken hour of writing?
One of the best ways to boost your daily word count is to write during those little pockets of time that pop up periodically throughout the day.
When you're sitting at a restaurant waiting for your meal to be served, or traveling on the subway for your daily commute to work, or sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office... why not bust out your laptop and pound out a few hundred words?
If you keep an eye out for those little pockets of free time, you could easily write an extra thousand words per day. I've been able to manage up to 3,000 additional words, just by writing a few minutes at a time.
If you implement only one tip from this article, I recommend it be this one. It will really, really help you be more productive each day.
9. Bust Out Those Finger Dance Moves!
As I sit down to write, the first thing I do is fire up a typing speed test that tracks my WPM (words per minute).
This is a great way to...
- Warm up my fingers and prepare to type as fast as possible
- Get into the mindset of writing as fast as possible
Odd as this tip might sound, it's surprisingly effective.
Next time you sit down to write, take a typing test first. You might be surprised at the results.
10. The Ultimate Showdown: Reward vs. Punishment
Remember how Tip 5 recommended that you set a daily writing goal? Well, goals don't mean anything unless they're enforced.
If you truly want to maximize the effectiveness of your daily goal, then you should reward yourself when you succeed... and punish yourself when you fail.
Last year, I went on an extended writing marathon. I ended up writing eight books in eight months. Because I was trying to write so much in such a short period of time, I decided to set up a substantial reward/punishment system.
I decided that if I was able to complete the first draft of a book by the deadline, then I would allow myself to eat at any restaurant I wanted to. If I failed to meet the deadline, I would give away $100.
As you can probably guess, I always met my deadline.
* * *
I know those tips are a lot to take in. It all might seem a bit overwhelming. So don't try to implement all 10 tips at once.
Bookmark this article and implement just one tip today; then, work at turning that tip into a habit for a week. Then come back next week and implement the next tip.
That approach will ensure that you don't get overwhelmed and wind up completely ignoring all 10 tips.
Writing 2,500 words per hour is possible. It's not even that hard: I do it regularly. You just have to implement the tips in this article.
(For a limited time, instantly download Mark's Productivity for Authors, free (well, in return for your email address).)