How to Increase Your Writing Speed


When it comes to drafting, some writers feel that slower is better. I’m not one of them. The key to finishing first drafts is to get everything down. Deliberation will only hurt you when it comes to drafting and should be saved for revision. Want to finish your project? You need to write faster. Want to write faster? I can give you some advice. If you follow these tips, you should increase your writing speed in no time.

Write or Die. I’ve talked about this web app before. Ava Jae introduced me to it and now I’m in love. It changed my life. You enter your word count goal, set the timer, and write. If you get distracted, you’re in trouble. Let me know if you’d like me to share my settings with you.

Beat the clock. If Write or Die is too scary for you, set your own timer and race against the clock. Stick with something small–5,10, or 15 minutes should be plenty of time. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish in such a short interval.

Writing sprints. Lately I’ve become a fan of writing sprints on Twitter. For a set amount of time (I like 15 minutes), you invite people to write with you. The goal is to write as much as you can in that time span. This technique is fun because you can get a lot done in a short amount of time. Also it’s great having other people there to hold you accountable. If writing sprints sound appealing to you, join in on the fun by following me on Twitter.

Outlines. Some people swear by outlines. I personally don’t like them. Do whatever works for you. Outlines can help you write faster by knowing what comes next. If you like planning, outlining can certainly help you increase your writing speed.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. If you’re truly dedicated, the best way to increase your writing speed is to write every day. Write as much as you can whenever you can and you’ll be sure to see results.

You can write faster, I promise. All it takes is a few small changes. Try out these techniques and see what happens. You might surprise yourself with how fast you finish.

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any advice about how to increase your writing speed?

P.S. Pen vs. Paper: A Pros and Cons List and NaNoWriMo Tips


9 thoughts on “How to Increase Your Writing Speed

  1. eclecticalli

    When I need to just get words on the page (especially if I’m not really “feeling” the scene), I find sprints to be the most helpful. I prefer 30 minute sprints – long enough to get into something, but not so long that my energy starts to flag. I need to remember that I can set up my own sprints when I need them — though posting something about it on twitter does help in order to give myself some accountability. No one else needs to play along, since I’m competing with myself 🙂 And I am just competitive enough that it works.
    Following you now on Twitter so that I can join in some sprints you may be hosting as well 🙂

  2. hopemccain

    I’ve found it really helps to force myself out of the house. I’ve taken my laptop to the coffee shop and had better, more productive writing sessions than ever before.

    I’m usually a slower writer, so the idea of Write or Die scares the crap out of me. However…I’ve read a lot of other writers’ experiences with it lately, and I’m tempted to give it a shot. You know, don’t knock it til you try it. Maybe it will teach me something about how I write.

    1. Briana M. Post author

      I was afraid of Write or Die at first, but it’s not as horrifying as you think. 🙂 I set mine for 1000 words in 30 min and it’s enough to keep me from getting distracted without frightening me.

  3. Daniel Rose

    ‘Write or Die’ is the only way I get through NaNoWriMo, though I’m not brave enough to try the ‘Kamikaze’ setting. I find setting the target to 1,000 words then trying to beat my previous time works really well.
    Strange thing is I only use it for NaNoWriMo. I really must try it in at least some of the other 11 months of the year. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  4. Mishka Jenkins

    I totally agree. The first draft is all about just getting something down, anything down, onto the paper 😀 As they say, ‘you can’t edit a blank page’.

    Practice has got to be the main way to increase, keeping doing it everyday as a routine and soon it won’t feel like a chore, it will just be natural.

    1. Briana M. Post author

      Practice is the most reliable way to become a better writer, it’s true. Whenever people ask me how to get better, that’s the first thing I tell them.

  5. Pingback: Posts to Check Out! | A Writer's Life For Me.

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