5 Reasons Why Writing Faster is Better
Ever wonder how some writers can publish day after day and not write stuff that sucks?
Have you ever wished you could write more but find the blank page is just too intimidating?
I know how you feel. I’ve felt it myself. You want to publish something that matters — something worth reading. Maybe you hope your words will change someone’s life.
The thought that they won’t keeps you from writing anything.
So instead of missing out on your best, we miss out on the rest — the rough, raw, emotional stuff that might ruffle someone’s feathers just enough to make them stop and think about their life for a minute.
Your standards are too freaking high
It’s crazy to think everything you write will start a revolution.
And to be honest, it doesn’t matter. Most people change a little bit at a time. Why? Because giant changes are too hard.
If you doubt me, just visit any gym the first and last week of January. Everybody’s full of fire the first week. But that tank of emotional gasoline won’t last if you run it without refilling. People get sore and rest — and never come back. It’s no different than expecting a full tank to last forever in your car.
It might if you don’t take it anywhere.
This post will give you 7 ways to fill your creative tank before it empties.
If you want to keep your idea bank full, schedule time to notice things.
We get information through our senses. Are you evaluating what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel? Or are you taking other people’s word for it?
There are a lot of people trying to tell you what to think. Why not join them? Your opinion matters, doesn’t it? Share it.
Don’t worry if everyone doesn’t agree. If you get people thinking and talking, you’ll open the door for more, won’t you?
How do you notice things?
Here are a few things I did:
- Walk in the park and focus on what you hear, not what you see.
- Pick a random book off the shelf at the library and write about the first thing that strikes you.
- Look at a mundane task and find a life lesson it has to teach you.
If you want more ideas to stimulate your thinking, read the Art of Noticing by
Now that you have ideas, let’s see why writing faster is better.
#1 — You’ll turn your critical filter off.
Ever tell your dream to a friend and have them say, “Yeah, that’ll never work.”
That’s what your Inner Critic loves to do. Here are some of his favorite phrases:
- “Don’t say that. It’s stupid.”
- “Why write that? It’s been written 10 million times already.”
- “Nobody cares what you think. Go watch TV.”
And that’s just what you tell yourself!
Here are some rejections that a few famous writers faced:
- John le Carre’s first novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, was rejected because publishers felt “he hasn’t got any future.”
- James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room was called “hopelessly bad.”
- Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, was told to stick to teaching.
They ignored their critics and wrote anyway.
If you want to write faster, pick a prompt, set a timer, and write like your life depends on it.
Sure, you’ll ramble and spit out some garbage. But in that heap might be some golden nuggets you’ll never find by playing it safe.
Dump your brain onto the page if you want to find the treasure buried inside you.
#2 — You’ll access your gut level thinking.
What do you really feel?
Write fast and find out.
I’m not saying you won’t edit later. You will. But as Jodi Picoult says,
You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.
So what should you leave in and what should you edit out?
Here’s a rule of thumb that works for me. I’d love to take credit for coming up with it, but I can’t. I learned it from Dr. Steve Brown, one of my favorite writers.
If you’re not sure you ought to say something, you probably should.
If you know you shouldn’t, don’t. If you’re not sure, it might be just the wake up call one of your readers needs.
Dare greatly and you’ll find courage you never dreamed you’d have.
#3 — You’ll harness the power of raw emotions.
You feel powerful when your emotions run high.
Tom Kuegler said you should write when you’re angry. When you do, the flame inside will roar and shed light on your situation. You might not share everything you write, but I bet you’ll have something that will change someone’s life.
Get it on paper. Sift it. And publish it before the fire dies out.
Emotions sell stories. Your reader might not understand your situation. But they have laughed and cried. They’ve felt excited and burned with anger. They’ve felt the sting of disappointment and the thrill of victory. With a connection like that, you’ll open doors to new experiences for your readers.
#4 — You’ll unleash your best insights.
Your drafts are experiments, aren’t they?
Why not use them as a platform to explore your ideas?
The easiest way to do this is to write down a question or two (or even a dozen) and answer them in your draft. Anything goes. Follow every rabbit trail. Ask more questions. Who knows? You might find what research you need to do or what experiments you need to conduct.
By bypassing your critical filter, you might uncover an insight that you never would by playing it safe.
#5 — Your productivity will skyrocket.
If you notice things, write down what you see, and explore them in writing every day, you’ll never have writer’s block.
The more you do this, the better you’ll get.
Do it every day for a month and you’ll have a habit that serves you for a lifetime.
The key to building an audience is consistency:
- Show up as often as you can.
- Provide value for your reader
- Challenge yourself to reach a little higher every day.
Pay attention to your process. Codify it. Then you’ll repeat it with ease as often as you like.
Now go write something fast
What’s something that bothers you and won’t leave you alone?
Set a timer for 15 minutes and pour your heart out. Rant and rave. Cuss and spit.
When you’re done, walk away for at least an hour.
When you come back to edit, give yourself 30 minutes. You don’t want to edit the life out of your draft. Just polish the rough edges enough so they don’t kill anyone.
If you’re really nervous, find a trusted friend to read it.
You might be surprised at what you create.
And it might change someone’s day, week, or even their future.