I have a writing class every Friday. At the this time of the year the kids are kind of 'Meh' about their writing as it is the same thing every week. So I thought I'd challenge them. If all of them combined could write as much as I could in the same amount of time. The first week the beat me by 86 words. The next week I beat them and this week I think it was more of a tie. But the whole process has had me clock well over ten thousand words in less than six hours of writing. Here is what I learned with this challenge.
1. Know what you are going to write
I'm writing a series at the moment and I've been sitting on it for a while. I've got detailed outlines and on the day that I'm going to write I rewrite out the section of my outline I'm going to write but in other words. This means I have a very good idea of what I'm going to write even if a lot of it is still sub-conscience. Instead of figuring out what to write while I have the computer in front of me I'm just writing what is in my head and I have to move fast because it is like trying to keep sand in your palms.
2. Love what you are writing
You know that feeling when you just need to write and you are super excited. Well you need to feel that for what you are writing. But here is the solution if you don't feel that. If you aren't in love with what you are writing how can you expect others to even like it. Usually you don't love something because your brain is trying to tell you something isn't working. It is worth the time to step back and figure out why you aren't loving it and fix it.
3. Find the time
I'm terrible writing at home. The tv distracts me and it somehow gets too hard to write when there are kittens to play with and I tell myself I'll do it later. I discovered I have to leave the house to really get my writing done. With or without the internet it really doesn't matter but I have to be sitting at a desk away from the couch. Not even an office in the house helped. Figure out where or when is your best time to write and then carve out the time for it. If you can manage a hour here or there and you are writing 1000 words you are doing the same work load as many published full time authors.
4. Learn to touch type or dictate
Many years ago I used to write my stories out by hand. I realised quickly that this process was slow. I was born before computers so using word processors was the realm of professionals and I wasn't so comfortable with them. But I decided one day that I'd teach myself how to type and type fast. So there are others who are faster than me but I can easily hit 70 to 100 words a minute. In a blitz of writing I can often double that. If you can't teach yourself to write fast then you can skip all that and just dictate it. Either to type up later or for voice recognition. Or for those with money to pay someone to type it up for you. If you do some research some of the best authors in the world had their wives type up their manuscripts.
5. Switch off your internal editor
Just write. Don't edit. Don't bother with misspelled words, a missing comma. If you are terrible at grammar just leave it out. Go back later to fix it. Apparently the part of our brain that creates doesn't do so well if the part that corrects is turned on at the same time. A bit like trying to drive and text at the same time. Focus just on your writing and nothing else. If you don't know the word just put in a symbol and go back to it later.
I hope this helps people to write more and faster.