In last week’s blog post, I discussed the benefits of writing quickly. But how, exactly, do so many writers do it?
They’ve honed their craft
If you read last week’s post, this one probably sounds familiar. If you write quickly, you’re writing more in the same amount of time, meaning that you can produce the same quality of work in a fraction of the time.
Since I already discussed this, I won’t go into great detail. Please click here to read that post if you haven’t already.
They don’t waste effort rewriting
Do you feel like every word of your writing needs to be absolutely perfect before you can let even a critique partner see it, let alone publish it?
Newsflash: your writing will never be perfect. All you can do is your best right now. Prolific writers understand that time spent rewriting and re-editing the same draft is time they could spend working on their next project. Yes, there is a certain level of quality you need to hit in order to publish or submit, but if you haven’t hit that level yet, you lose nothing by moving on to the next project. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to the next story.
They get into the flow state
Ah, the flow state. You’ve probably experienced it: those magical writing days where the words just seem to spurt into your brain from a magic font and your fingers simply can’t type fast enough to get them. Suddenly two hours have passed and you’ve magically written 4,000 words. Contrast that to normal days where it feels like you’re pulling teeth!
What if I told you that you can have more of the magical word font days and less of the teeth-pulling days? Prolific writers do this every day by training themselves to enter the flow state. I plan on writing an in-depth post on the topic soon, but here’s a quick list of the ways writers trigger the flow state: they write every day at the same time for a set amount of time, they limit their distractions, they write in the same place, and they use environmental triggers such as ambient music.
Want to learn more about the flow state for writers? Read Chris Fox’s 5,000 Words Per Hour.
They track their progress
How can you know if you’re writing more if you don’t track your progress? A lot of writers use spread sheets (there’s several versions with different functionalities out there, just search “word count spread sheet”), but it can be as simple as keeping track in a notebook.
Keeping track isn’t all, though. Once you’ve recorded enough days to calculate your average WPD (words per day), make it your mission to double it the following week.
They limit distraction
This is especially important for entering the flow state. How can you write if you’re constantly being interrupted? Be sure to turn off the wifi on your computer, silence your phone, lock your office door (and tell any family members you’re not to be disturbed), and don those noise cancelling headphones.
Looks like you’re ready to be prolific!
Have I convinced you yet that you too can be a prolific writer? What other tips do you have for writing quickly? Let me know down in the comments!