Being able to write fast can really help you out throughout your life. Yes, you need to be accurate in grammar and spelling, but getting down enough words on paper can help progress your education, work and hobbies. I’m sharing tips on how to write faster.
I’ve always been a fast reader, but during my school and then university years I’ve got faster at writing too. I think you get it drummed into you at an early age to think about what you’re writing, and to edit edit edt. But in my 3rd year at uni I just decided that after doing my research, I’d just write my essays in one go. Check them over, and that was it. I ended up getting much better grades compared to those from heavily edited essays I’d written in previous years.
editing proofreading is important. But depending on the type of writing, sometimes just having the confidence to write a piece in one go and avoid worrying over and over again about it, makes it easier to write.
It would certainly flow better.
Like with most skills, practice is the most important.
If you want to write but worry about it, you’ll never put pen to paper. My son’s teacher tells him to just get more down on paper. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it. And the more you’ll have to assess yourself on how your writing is improving.
Anyway, onto tips for how to write faster. I’m obviously coming from a blogging angle, but many of these apply to students and those wanting to start writing a book.
How to write faster
Gather your topics in advance
As and when you think of ideas or themes, write them down. It saves thinking of ideas from scratch when you’ve got writers block. Add any key points as and when you think of them too. You might find you end up with lots of your post’s points without even thinking of it. Then it’s a case of expanding them later when you sit down to write.
Find your fastest method of getting writing down
If you’re not a fast typer, then try dictation. I used to do this for blog posts, and because it was only one thing I could concentrate on, I got posts ‘written’ really quickly. Until my app changed and then it required too much stopping and starting. But if you can find a good dictation app or website, they can work well.
Avoid background distractions
If you type your work, only have the programme you’re using open. Close down notifications and social media.
If you get distracted by lyrics but like music, play classical music or similar.
Or work in silence
Don’t watch the tv in the background. I know when I’m at my desk with nothing else on in the background, I can pump out 3-4 posts with no issues. But in front of the tv in the evenings, I can spend all night writing only one.
If you get distracted easily, write by hand. I find I can get the words flowing a lot faster when I handwrite in a notepad, than typing. Yes, it’s another step needed to then write it up, but you’ll probably find it’s the same time to do both bits as it does to just type.
Write in one go / don’t edit as you go
Just get the first draft out. No going back and checking. Just write. You can edit afterwards.
Write to a deadline
Some people say it takes them days to write a blog post. If it’s recipe development I can see that taking a long time because it’s more than just writing. Likewise if it involves a lot of research from multiple sources, or you’re doing a huge travel guide that needs going back to check on photos and places. With practice you should be able to write a 1-1500 word blog post in 2 hours.
Some people work well to a deadline. Others prefer to have a looser outline of time. To write more efficiently, some people swear by the Pomodoro technique. This entails setting out 20 minutes slots. So you write for 20 minutes. Have a short break. Complete the next 20 minutes etc. This way you do as much as you can in that 20 minutes before moving on to a break, and then your next task (or returning to the previous). It’s a more focused way of working, and can improve productivity.
Write a different style of posts
If you struggle to write essay style prose or articles, change the way you write. Not every piece needs to be like an essay. Break up your writing into sections, chapters, or into information or guide style. This entails lots of headings, maybe lists, visuals. Every type of writing needs different skills to accomplish, but if you struggle with one style, try another until you find a way you’re comfortable with.
Learn to touch type
Being able to type fast (and accurately) will always help speed up your writing. There are plenty of online courses and games to help practice. It’s always a helpful skill to have, especially if you’ve got terrible handwriting like my own!
Batch your work
Batching work is usually an efficient way to work. So if you’re on a run of good writing, move from one piece of writing to the next in one session. Do photography in another session for several posts, then photo editing in another session. This will ensure your brain is in the right place for the full time instead of having to switch from one to the other. It also means you’re just using one piece of equipment instead of having to set up/pack away etc.
In the end though, the way to write faster is to practice and write more.
How do you get faster with your writing?