Being a Prolific Writer Part 2

Last week, I talked about the benefits and drawbacks of being a prolific writer. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to write as fast as the authors I wrote about. But maybe you want to improve your speed and need some tricks. You came to the right place.

Here are 14 tips on how to write faster:

-Figure out your writing process. It doesn’t matter if you’re a plotter, a pantser (fly by the seat of your pants), or something in between. Understanding your process will help you figure out how long it’ll take you to write and revise a book. Some writers need less time to write but a lot of time to revise. Some take their time writing and need less revision time. Others pump out near perfect books and make the rest of us cry. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Know your process and embrace it. Fighting it will only block your progress.

-Try writing sprints. They can help because you committed to write at that time. You’re accountable to someone, which can force motivation and discipline.

-Don’t try to write for hours at a time. Break it up into 20-30 minute chunks. This forces your brain to stay focused for that time period. Then take a 10-minute break and come back.

-Have a daily writing goal and MAKE YOURSELF MEET IT. This can be tricky, so it’s important to break up that goal into manageable chunks. That way, you can pick away at it instead of leaving the majority of your word count for the end of the night, right before bed. I mean, if I still had to write 3K before I allowed myself to go to sleep, my brain would lock up. But, if I’d set a schedule to write 1K before lunch, 1K before dinner, and 1K before bed, I could meet this goal (providing I could write 3K in a day, of course). No matter what, you need to make yourself meet that goal. No excuses. Treat writing like a job, not a hobby.

-Plan out what you’re going to write for the day. Take a few minutes before you start writing to think about the scenes you need to write today. Tt’ll be easier to jump in and meet that daily writing goal because your brain will already know what to do.

-Try a program like Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dictate your scenes and have Dragon type them out for you. I can tell someone what will happen in a scene, but I struggle to actually dictate the scene as it plays out. However, some people swear by this method.

-Write with a friend. This is a lonely profession. Sometimes just having someone in the same room as you can help. Don’t get distracted if you decide to write with a friend. This isn’t the time to talk about the latest Bachelor in Paradise episode. Stay focused or eliminate the writing dates.

-Beat the mind game. Commit to writing 100 words a day. This gives you the freedom to continue, but more importantly, it gets you started, which is often the hardest thing to do.

-Offer yourself rewards for reaching your goals. For example, you’re not allowed to check social media until you’ve written 1K. Then you can treat yourself to 30 minutes on social media.

-Take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise. Get plenty of sleep. You’ll need the energy.

-Write your book’s blurb before you write the book. It’s easier to do before you know everything about the book, and the blurb can give you direction when writing.

-Fast draft. This is when you allow yourself the freedom to write without worrying about filling in details or making the prose perfect. You might save a spot for a scene and write “add fight scene here” or your scene might be mostly dialogue. That’s okay. Get the story down and add the details later.

-Edit as you go. This is the opposite of fast drafting. This is when you’ll read what you wrote yesterday and edit it before you write your next scene. It can slow down your writing time, but it can mean less revision time later.

-Write at the same time every day. Your brain will get used to the routine, and you’ll become more productive.

These are just some of the many tricks prolific writers use to get the words on the page as fast as possible.

What tricks do you use?

Lynnette Labelle
2016 Daphne du Maurier 2nd Place Winner

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