So you’re a freelance writer. Sadly, dynasties rise and fall before you’re finished writing anything.
Faster writing means more projects done in a week, month, and year, and that means better moolah potential in the long run. So whether your goal is to get to 1,000 or 5,000 words in an hour, here are some tips that will help you out.
1. Find a writing hobby in your spare time
You’ll be more likely to pick up the habit of writing faster when you’re enjoying yourself, so you’ll be training without even realizing it. Try and find yourself a hobby where you’re writing a ton just for the heck of it.
For example, write fiction, YouTube video scripts, or keep a diary/journal. I’ve tried them all, and they’re super effective.
2. Remove all distractions from your workspace
Distraction is a horrid thing. No matter the distraction or how important it may seem, freelancing is your job and takes priority. Just because you don’t have coworkers snooping around and spotting you on your phone- you need to be serious about the grind!
Here are some possible distractions and how to avoid them:
- Put your phone on silent or do not disturb. Maybe even leave it in another room.
- Write where there isn’t food nearby so you don’t get the urge to go make something.
- Let your family members, friends, or roommates know that you’re working and can’t be disturbed. If the noise is a given- retreat to solitude and stand your ground about having to work! If you have small children who take up your day, try creating an evening writing schedule when the kids are in bed. (Or bump their bedtimes up to an earlier hour…)
- Write in a document and turn off the wifi in case you have a tendency to rabbit hole on the internet. Guilty as charged.
3. Don’t write in an editing software/turn off autocorrect and spellcheck
As a freelance writer, you want little to no mistakes in your work. However, perfectionisism is a blessing and a curse. When you start editing well you write, you’re going to pace wrong, nitpick, and juggle two jobs at once.
Make sure that if you work in a software like Grammarly, or even your regular document programs, switch the hints and corrections off.
Switching it back on when you’re done might be a blow to your ego- but I speak from experience when I say that reaching a messy end is better than crawling to deadlines with only a shiny halfway point to show for it.
4. Give yourself a timer
As they say, the heat is on! Giving yourself a timer will make you feel like you have a limit. When we’re under pressure, we are speed. Take advantage of it.
If you want, you can give yourself a stopwatch first. Write 500 or 1,000 words at your normal pace and then see of long it took you. Then go ahead with the timer and train yourself to beat your records.
6. Write down your goals
Writing down your goals is one of the best ways to achieve milestones.
Start with small goals and build up to the bigger ones. You don’t have to have the ability to write 2,000 words in an hour right off the bat, but with the constant reminder, you’ll subconsciously push yourself further each time you write.
7. Do the research and collect information before you start writing
Building the backbone of your project as you work on the writing itself is a major bad habit. It not only slows you down, but also makes it easier to get overwhelmed and mistake-prone.
I still battle with this one. It’s honestly ridiculous.
Before you even open a document, build the foundation of your writing first. You may feel like you’re procrastinating, but resist the thought. You’ll be surprised to find that you’ll be less stressed with the structural stuff laid out for you from the get-go.
Writing faster makes you more money, hands down. More projects in less time means more time spent collecting clients, networking, and bettering your reputation as a freelance writer.
Though I will fare warning. If you’re a slow writer, but have good time management, don’t try and become a different kind of writer for the sake of the possible dollar signs.
Chances are you can twist your current skills to enhance your productivity. Being a faster writer doesn’t automatically mean that your writing will be better. You can be a fast writer and still turn out trash.
Practice, practice, practice, and when you’re tired out, practice more. You will begin to write better in a shorter amount of time with that route in itself.
Before you go, here’s some questions:
- Do you consider yourself a fast, slow, or middle ground writer?
- What’s your best time/word count?
- What is your personal advice for writing faster?
Thank you so much for reading. For more information, go follow me on Twitter.