How to Write Faster: 12 Unusual Hacks [Infographic]

How to Write Faster: The Ultimate Guide to Speeding Up Your Content Creation

As a writer, few things are more frustrating than staring at a blank page, struggling to put your thoughts into words. Whether you‘re working on a blog post, report, novel, or any other writing project, you‘ve probably wished you could write faster at some point.

Luckily, writing faster is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. By optimizing your process, using the right tools, and building good habits, you can dramatically increase your writing speed without sacrificing quality. In this post, we‘ll share specific tips and strategies to help you write faster and boost your content creation productivity.

Develop a Writing Process and Routine

One of the best ways to write faster is to establish a consistent process you follow each time you write. Having a routine eliminates decision fatigue and gets you in the right mindset to write. Your process might include steps like:

  1. Preparing Your Environment: Designate a space for writing with minimal distractions. Gather everything you need, like notes, beverages, snacks, etc. Some writers find listening to certain music or ambient noise helps them focus.

  2. Warming Up: Do a quick free writing exercise or work on a low-stakes project to transition your brain into a state of flow before tackling your main writing.

  3. Blocking Time: Schedule focused writing sessions using a technique like the Pomodoro method. Write in 25 minute sprints with 5 minute breaks in between. Progressively lengthen your sprints over time to build writing stamina.

  4. Cooling Down: After finishing a writing session, step away from your work to reset. Try taking a short walk, doing some stretches, or enjoying a snack.

The exact steps in your writing routine will depend on your preferences, but the key is to make the process as frictionless as possible so you can jump right in and start writing productively.

Prepare Before You Write

Taking some time to prepare before diving into your writing can actually help you write faster overall. During the preparation phase, focus on:

  • Clarifying your topic, angle, audience, and goal for the piece
  • Gathering and organizing research, data, examples, and references
  • Developing a rough outline to give your writing structure
  • Clearing your head of any worries or distractions

You don‘t need to plan every detail, but having a general roadmap will make the writing phase much smoother and faster. One technique is to break your writing up into sub-topics or sections and then create bullet points with the key ideas you want to cover in each one.

Minimize Distractions While Writing

Distractions are one of the biggest barriers to writing quickly. Every time you stop to check email, scroll social media, or chat with a colleague, you lose valuable time and momentum. To minimize interruptions and distractions while writing:

  • Find a quiet location and wear noise-canceling headphones if needed
  • Turn off notifications on your devices and close unnecessary tabs
  • Let others know you‘re focusing on writing and not to be disturbed if possible
  • If working from home, set boundaries with family or roommates
  • Use website/app blockers to prevent yourself from visiting distracting sites

If you can‘t fully prevent interruptions, try keeping a notepad next to you where you can jot things down as they come up. This allows you to quickly record the distraction without breaking your writing flow. You can go back and handle those items later.

Use Tools to Streamline Writing

In addition to removing distractions, you can speed up writing by using tools that reduce friction in your process. A few examples:

  • Writing software with focus mode that hides other features (Ulysses, iA Writer, Scrivener, etc.)
  • Text expansion programs that auto-complete common phrases (TextExpander, PhraseExpress)
  • Dictation tools to write by voice (built into Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android)
  • Grammar and spell check tools to flag errors (Grammarly, Hemingway App)

You can also create templates for different types of content you write often. Having a standard blog post, script, or email sequence template eliminates the need to format from scratch each time. With the structure already in place, you can just fill in the blanks.

Get Words on the Page

One of the best ways to write faster is to separate drafting from editing. When you sit down to write your first draft, silence your inner perfectionist and just focus on getting words out of your head and onto the page without worrying about how it sounds.

At this stage, give yourself permission to write a messy, stream-of-consciousness draft full of typos and rambling sentences. Don‘t pause to find the perfect word or look something up. If you get stuck, skip that section and come back to it later. The goal is to keep up your momentum and not get bogged down trying to write polished prose on your first try.

Once you have words on the page, you‘ll have raw material to work with. It‘s much easier to edit something that exists versus trying to write something brilliant from scratch. Ernest Hemingway famously said "Write drunk, edit sober." The spirit of that advice is to write freely first, then shape it up later.

Optimize Your Editing Process

After you finish a rough draft, take a break to mentally reset before editing. When you come back with fresh eyes, you‘ll be able to spot areas for improvement that you couldn‘t see before. As you revise, look for:

  • Sections that are too wordy, repetitive, or confusing
  • Information that‘s irrelevant or off-topic for your audience
  • Weak word choices or awkward phrasing
  • Grammatical and spelling errors

Read your draft out loud and cut any words or sentences that don‘t add value. Aim to make your writing tighter, clearer, and more engaging with each round of edits. Ideally, do a few passes focused on different aspects: content/ideas, structure/flow, and finally proofreading.

Tools like Hemingway Editor can help identify overly complex sentences, passive voice, and other issues that slow readers down. Grammarly is also very useful for catching typos and grammar mistakes.

To speed up editing, try making multiple small passes rather than one marathon session. Work through your draft in 15-20 minute editing sprints, taking breaks in between to stay focused.

Track Your Writing Progress

To get faster at writing over time, track your progress to identify areas for improvement. Record metrics like:

  • How many words/pages you write per hour
  • How long each phase takes (outlining, drafting, editing, etc.)
  • When you‘re most productive (morning, evening, weekends, etc.)

Tracking data will help you spot patterns and bottlenecks in your process. For example, you might realize you write much faster in the morning when your mind is fresh. Or you may find editing takes you twice as long as drafting.

Use those insights to optimize your approach and focus on improving your weak areas. Experiment with new techniques and tools to see how they impact your speed. Small tweaks can add up to big productivity gains.

Practice Writing Regularly

As with any skill, the more you practice writing, the better and faster you‘ll get. Schedule time to write every day, even if it‘s only for 15-30 minutes. The more you write, the more you‘ll build the muscles and mental connections needed to write quickly on command.

If you‘re struggling with writer‘s block or motivation, try joining a writing group or finding an accountability partner to keep you on track. Having a network of supportive writers can provide the structure and social pressure to help you stay consistent.

You can also try gamifying your writing practice by setting challenges for yourself, like writing a certain number of words each day or finishing a draft by a deadline. Tracking streaks and rewarding milestones will incentivize you to keep up your writing habit.

The Keys to Writing Faster

Writing faster ultimately comes down to having a streamlined process, focused environment, and consistent practice. By developing a preparation and drafting routine that works for you, minimizing distractions, and using tools to make writing easier, you‘ll naturally get faster over time.

It‘s also critical to separate drafting from editing to maintain your creative momentum. Give yourself permission to write messy first drafts, then revise them into something great. Track your progress and make small improvements to continually boost your writing speed.

With these strategies, you can build the skills to crank out high-quality content in less time. While writing faster takes practice, it‘s a powerful ability that will serve you well in today‘s fast-paced world. Use the tips in this guide to start optimizing your approach today. Your future self will thank you for putting in the work now as you enjoy the ability to write quickly and confidently on any topic.