How To Write Faster (And Better Too)

By on November 29, 2016
How To Write Faster (And Better Too) - Writer's

All writers constantly want to improve. Even the great ones. No matter how successful you become there is always the fear that your next book will be a flop, or just won’t match up to something you have written before. The good news is that writing is a skill. It is something everyone can learn how to do, and, if we work at it, we can all learn how to improve our writing, and become more prolific too.

But is this easier said than done? Is it just through continuously toiling away at our computer screens that we will learn to improve/ Of course, if you continue to practice your writing your writing should consequently get better at it, and it will become more natural to do. However, there are also specific things you can do to help you too.

Get into the right mindset

Writers can often be their own worst enemies. They are so critical of their own work it can cripple them - now I’m not saying I have ever been the kind of writer that gets halfway through my novel and suddenly throws it in the fire in a fit of hopeless rage. (Plus I write on my laptop so that would be one expensive hissy fit). However not believing in yourself and your abilities can make writing difficult. If you labour over every sentence, every word, you’ll slow yourself down and end up making it even harder to produce a finished piece.

Change your mindset, and you will reap the benefits. When people ask you what you do, tell them your a writer, first and foremost. Tell yourself that you are good, that you are improving each and every day, and that you have the ability to achieve your dreams. Write these down if it helps and read them every day before you start to write, or say them out loud in from of the mirror. Choose beliefs that are manageable. Telling yourself you will be a multi-million-pound bestseller by the end of the year might end up doing the reverse if you don’t achieve your goal. But little by little, slowly but surely you’ll get there, so keep telling yourself that, and you’ll see it happen.

Be realistic

Managing your own expectations is important. Most writers are actually pretty bad when they first start out. Be it article writing or fiction writing there is still a lot to learn. No one expects you to be an instantly successful and lucrative writer, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself either otherwise, you are just setting yourself up for a fall. Spend time thinking about what you want to write about, do research, take the time to practice writing exercises. Some writers can pump out articles on any topic in 30 minutes or can write a new chapter of their novel in an hour. But they have planned what they are going to write and practised (often for many years) to get to that point. Set yourself targets and goals by all means, but make them realistic, then push yourself a little further each time and you’ll soon be achieving what you want.

You will improve as long as you keep writing

Many writers believe that some people are born with the ability to write, and others just simply don’t have what it takes. Writing is something that can be learned. Believe that and then you will understand that it is about practising your writing, exploring different avenues, doing your research and experimenting with different techniques that makes you able to improve. Whenever we learn something new we have days where we struggle and days where we just ‘get it.’ Don’t give up when you hit hurdles, just work through them - because if you do you’ll eventually overcome these obstacles and move forwards.

Don’t aim for perfection

So your idea for your new book sounds a bit like something that has been written before, or your angle on an article has been covered already. That doesn’t mean you should abandon it altogether. You have a unique and interesting way of looking at the world, and your voice counts. You might need to rework your original plan or plot, but that’s okay. If you try to be completely unique and perfect each and every time you write, you’ll end up coming up against ‘blocks’ and end up feeling frustrated and disheartened. Most ideas have already occurred, most stories have already been told - but you are unique and the way you see things can make all the difference. Be okay with being bad. Just get the words out first of all, and you can go back and perfect it later.

Be organised, do your research and edit ruthlessly

Writing fast and well has a whole lot to do with staying organised. If you plan your writing, take the time to organise your ideas and be prepared to edit like you have never edited before then you will end up with a piece of writing to be proud of.

Becoming a better, faster writer isn’t going to happen overnight. But if you are willing to put the time in, and to believe in yourself then you will see a consistent improvement in your work, and you’ll be able to track your progress to see how much you have learnt and grown. If you can do that then you are certainly on the road to success!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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