How I Taught Myself to Write Faster

I thought this an appropriate blog topic for Nanowrimo. Setting out to write a novel in a month is a daunting task but one worth undertaking. Teaching yourself to write faster is a great way to increase your revenue as an author and push your craft to the next level. I began this year by challenging myself to figure out how to write fast without it sucking.

Prior to this challenge the very best days of writing I’d ever had, when the words flowed like water and strung together like pearls, were usually at the end of a book and they usually came fast. I knew what I wanted to write and I didn’t let my head get in the way.

I decided the key to writing faster was that headspace, which I had only stumbled on in the past. I wanted to figure out how to get into that space and stay there. Holding onto that thought I then read blogs and books on the subject, my favorite being “2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love” by Rachel Aaron. She recommends tracking your progress to figure out what makes you fast. For example, how is your word count effected if you write in a coffee shop, rather than at your kitchen table? What time of day is best? Anything that contributes to your environment or mental state should be examined. She discovered that three things made her work faster… I’m not going to give them away because you should really read the book.

But I can tell you what I’ve discovered for myself. I need to believe that I can do it and have something pushing me forward. There are environmental factors like I work best if I eat frozen pizza for breakfast and drink a cup of coffee before sitting down in front of my manuscript. However, most of all it’s been the belief that I can write fast and well and a tight deadline looming to force to me do just that.

So much of what slows me down is worrying if the last line was good and if the next one will suck. That voice had quieted in the past when on a tight deadline and a clear end in sight. To recreate this scenario I started using which will threaten you with flashing colors and then begin to play an awful sound (like crying babies) if you’re hands falter for too long on the keys. Slowly I increased the word count and decreased the time. I’ve made it a real competition against myself. I’ve come to realize that I need a challenge, a ticking clock, something pushing me forward to keep writing no matter what, not to think about what I’m writing but just let it flow out of me.

Using this method I’ve managed to up my daily word count from between 500-1500 words to as many as 5000 a day. And not only that, but the writing is better, it’s more natural and often as I’m reading it over I hardly remember writing it. And I think every writer knows that the gems of language that glow the brightest are those we don’t remember writing.

I hope that pressure and competition of Nanaowrimo help you through your novel this month. One mantra I use every day of my first drafts is, it doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be done.

What tricks do you use to make yourself write faster?

Emily Kimelman lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure.

Her "Sydney Rye Series" are dark murder mystery novels which features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first four books in Kimelman's series, UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE and STRINGS OF GLASS are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Find out more about Emily at her website or connect with her at

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  1. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds like a great series!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com


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