More haste, less speed. Wise words, unless you happen to find yourself well and truly up against the clock. Which is something that happens on a particularly regular basis for writers.
The trouble is, it only ever tends to be when you are against the clock that you find yourself struggling to produce. For whatever the reason, things don’t seem to be going nearly as fast as they normally would and you run the risk of missing an important deadline.
But what if there were effective ways of speeding up the writing process, without compromising quality?
Believe it or not, there are – give any of the following a try and you might be surprised just how speedy you can be:
1. Write When You’re Groggy
Have you ever wondered why you come up with so many great ideas while laying in bed, only to forget about them the next morning? It’s because for some reason, we tend to be more creative when we’re somewhat on the sleepy side. So whether it’s first thing in the morning or relatively late in the evening, try switching your usual writing times and see what happens.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Set yourself a timer and force yourself to take a break every 30 minutes or so. While it may appear as if taking breaks slows things down, research has shown that regular breaks increase productivity. Especially when it comes to creative tasks like writing.
3. Don’t Try to Write Fast
If you try to write as fast as possible, you usually end up writing slower. If not, you get the job finished quicker but then have to go back and make all manner of corrections, given the substandard quality of the results. Use intelligent means to make things go faster, but don’t simply focus on writing as fast as you can.
4. Make a Commitment
Always set aside specific times you intend to write on each day throughout the week. Rather than simply dipping out of whatever you are doing, allocate time appropriately and give it your full focus.
5. Divide Projects Into Sections
When dealing with larger projects, split them into sections and allocate time accordingly. So much quicker than attempting to tackle the whole thing as one complete unit.
6. Skip When Stuck
Speaking of which, whenever you encounter even the slightest shred of writer’s block, skip the section you are currently on and come back to it later. There’s no sense wasting time now, when you may find yourself more inspired later on.
7. Dictate When Inspired
If you find yourself inspired outside normal writing sessions, get into the habit of dictating notes to your phone. When the time comes to write, you will basically have a blueprint of exactly what needs to be said and therefore only need to type it up.
8. Read More
Last but not least, there’s a direct correlation between writing ability and extent to which the individual in question reads. The more you read, the easier you will find it to come up with high quality copy in the shortest possible time. And just for the record, the answer is no – reading your own work exclusively doesn’t count!