So, how to write faster?
One of the most popular excuses for not writing is not having the time.
I get it. I’m self-employed and I still can’t find time to do half the stuff I want to every week.
If you added marriage, kids, and a regular 9–5 to that mix, I’d be toast. I’d never have any time to write anything.
When I first got started writing about 3 years ago, I had the same problem. I couldn’t find the time to write 9-minute bangers like Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D. after freelancing all day, so I improvised.
Write 300-Word Blog Posts
Cap it at 300 words.
That’s how to write faster.
I understand that longer-form blog posts are all the rage these days, but I do think that 300 words still hold immense value. I used to write these blog posts on Medium (and still do these days).
It‘ll Make You A Better Writer
There’s a whole lot of rambling on the internet already. If I wanted more rambling, I’d spend all my time on Facebook.
Get to the point.
If you say to yourself “Alright get it together. You’re going to write 300 words and call it a day,” then that’s a very specific goal to have in your mind. You have to find a way to begin a story, develop a story, and end your story in less than 2 minutes.
That’s how to write faster.
Because most humans don’t like leaving things unresolved. We don’t like watching movies that only have two acts. We need that third act to resolve everything. We’re okay with cliffhangers, but the main conflict must be taken care of by the time the end credits roll or else we’re going to leave crappy Rotten Tomatoes reviews.
“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”
Pablo said it right. True art is eliminating all that doesn’t need to be there. Limitations can seem like a jail cell to true creatives, but I believe in the case of writing they can actually help us do our best work.
This idea that longer blog posts are inherently better just because they’re long needs to be retired.
Your Audience Will Thank You
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy getting to the point and moving on. I don’t like wasting time. I hardly ever finish a 9-minute blog post unless it has the map to the fountain of youth in it somewhere.
I made a guess 3 years ago that people actually appreciate shorter posts because the author is respecting their time.
It’s a nugget of useful information they can take before they screw off and do the rest of the crap they need to do.
Seth Godin thrives on writing short posts. The one he wrote two days ago was barely 100 words.
I love it. Thanks, Seth.
It Makes You Feel Like You Progressed
Writing shouldn’t be like that Pirates of the Caribbean movie where Jack Sparrow’s trying to get to the island that nobody can find with no map.
You should know where you’re going. You should make tangible progress every single day. Most of all, you should publish every single day.
You’ll never know if an idea is good unless you see how it performs.
Don’t make your goal to write for an hour, make your goal to publish every day. That’s the goal. Do whatever it takes to make that a reality.
After you’ve published 10 blog posts after 10 straight days, you’ll see a remarkable increase in your writing ability and not to mention you’ll understand which ideas people like reading about.
That’s half the battle as a writer — just writing about what people want to read.
You can “hack” this elusive process by publishing every single day.
It’s Easy To Write An Extra 100 Words
I’ll bet you something.. When you’re deep into writing a post, writing 100 more words after your initial 300 isn’t that hard.
When I’m in the flow, much like I am now, I can rattle off 100 words in a span of 3 minutes. You can probably do the same.
Telling yourself that you’ll write 300 words and be finished is a good way to get started. It doesn’t feel like that hard of a task to finish. So, you get started incredibly easy. After the 30-minute time limit is up, or however long you choose to write, you’ll probably find you wrote 50–100 more words than you expected.
That’s because you just got started. You gave yourself a manageable goal and got lost in the art of writing. That’s how to write faster. Good for you. That’s what it’s all about.
How To Write Faster
The last major benefit of writing shorter posts is it makes you a faster writer. Writing fast is like running fast. To run faster, you gotta do sprints. To write faster, you gotta do sprints, too.
This is the equivalent of a writing sprint.
I found I started writing 500-word posts in 30 minutes after about 1 month of this exercise. I got much faster. You will too.
Don’t Focus On Perfection
I need to write a whole post about this, but you can’t focus on perfection as a writer using this method. It’s not about perfection. It’s not about what people are going to think. It’s about art, man.
It’s about art.
So get out there and write, and tell all the perfectionists to screw off.