Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Writer Wednesday: How to Write Faster

When I announced my release schedule for 2017, it prompted the question "How do you write so fast?" (Thanks for asking Kristin Smith.) I seem to get this question a lot, and I realized that I usually answer it by saying I fast draft. But since the question keeps being posed, I realized my answer up until now hasn't been good enough.

So let me try to explain. My editing schedule tends to fill up very quickly, which means I don't have a lot of time to draft books. I'll get a week or two here and there. Writing "quickly" becomes a necessity. I don't have any other choice. Sometimes I have a log of ideas I haven't yet written and I'll pull one of those out to work on. From there I type as much as possible whenever I can find a few minutes. When I have an editing break, I get the entire school day to write, and I write for the ENTIRE school day. I eat (when I remember) at my laptop, which means I need to eat food that only requires one hand so I can keep typing. I kid you not when I say I'm crazy when drafting. With a capital C. 

Basically, what I've learned is we can train ourselves to adapt. If your schedule requires you to write at ten o'clock at night each night, then do it. You will train your brain to be creative at that time every day. Or if your schedule means a few minutes here and there throughout the day, do it! You will train yourself to be creative on a whim. It does take training though, so when you are struggling, push through. You have to get your brain to that point where it gives in and says, "Fine, let's do this!" So often I tell myself I have to type faster because I have an edit coming in two days and I need to finish the draft first. I'm tough on myself, but that's because I need to be.

So no matter what your schedule is, if you train your brain to be creative when you need it to be, you will be able to write faster.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

24 comments:

  1. You made great points in this post Kelly. At the end of the day we need to prioritize and practice to keep writing. Freelance writing has helped me write more than I ever thought I would.

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    1. It's great how deadlines can force you to become more productive. It's a good thing to learn how to do.

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  2. Writing faster is definitely something I need to work on. Great advice on training your brain. You're right. We adapt and write when we have to, not just sit and wait for the "muse."

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    1. No waiting. It's pointless to wait for inspiration. Make your own.

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  3. I love that...train your brain. All you need is your very own swoosh mark like Nike and a "just do it" logo.

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  4. Great advice, Kelly. And so very true. Especially important for people who have jobs outside of work. You can do it all, you just have to 1) decide that's what you really want to do 2) train (or force) yourself to do it.

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    1. Yes. It's not always easy, but most things aren't, right?

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  5. Yeah, I've found when I think I don't "feel like" writing, if I just sit down and start, it all starts flowing. It's all about making yourself do it.

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    1. Exactly. There are days when writing is like pulling teeth at first, but I push through and before I know it, I'm back in the groove again. You have to force yourself to push through though.

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  6. Not sure that I could train my brain to write on demand, but deadlines often fuel the creative flame quite nicely;-)

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    1. I bet you could. It just takes a little time and determination, but once you train your brain, it becomes much easier.

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  7. I need to train my brain right now- so I am going to work on this. Thanks for explaining your technique to us! :)
    ~Jess

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  8. Yay, I'm so glad I prompted an entire blog post! :) Great answer, Kelly. I love hearing about other people's writing process. I've always thought of myself as a fast drafter (especially when I had to pump out the sequel to Catalyst in a few short months!) but I have to say, you definitely have me beat! It's great to hear how you're able to remain focused and train your brain. Love it!

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    1. I think the shortest amount of time it's taken me to draft a novel was eight days, and I felt like I was hungover afterward. I don't recommend that. ;) Give me about two weeks though and I'm good with getting a draft done.

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  9. Amen to the training your brain. It takes a few weeks or months to get solid, but I've done that too--training into a certain time period or method for writing. It's the best way to go.

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    1. It is! It's nice to hear someone else does this too. :)

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  10. Good tips Kelly! :) You are incredible with your writing speed!

    Here's the link to my new travel blog, I thought you might be interested in reading how things are going in Australia ;)

    http://neverending-novel-about-the-world.blogspot.fi/

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  11. I have gotten faster, but finally had to accept that I will never be a really fast typist, or a fast reader. I have to live with it. You are a marvel, Kelly.

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    1. Hey, getting faster is a win. Give yourself credit, Mirka.

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