The Speed of Writing

Moonday Mania

Blogging on the speed of writing

This is the first of four posts on how to improve writing speed I’ll be posting on four consecutive Moonday Manias during the month of April. But before I get to the blog post I have to brag, if you didn’t see my brand new cover for Goldi and the Bear on my Facebook page, then click HERE to see it on my Goldi and the Bear page. But come back for the post, because I can’t be the only one who wants to write faster.

I’m a super (crazy) goal setter. You know the type: the kind that laughs at SMART goals and just sets the bar WAY high.

One of my crazy-go-for-it! goals for the year is to write 3,ooo fresh words per day. (That’s working days, sorry folks I take weekends off.)Whoa! Three thousand words per day? I couldn’t even finish my spicy paranormal novella Goldi and the Bear during National Novel Writing Month and that requires a speed of 1,667 words every day for thirty days. And I didn’t come close. Why is that and how can I even consider trying to reach 3k per day?

And why would I want to?

Well, for starters, I’d like to write more than one full length romance novel per year. I know that the editing is the thing that takes me the longest, so if I’m taking a long time writing the first draft (and then I’m spending several months on editing) that means that I’m taking a very long time to finish a book. But I want to write fast and write well, so where can I speed up?

Writing faster comes down to three things, and that’s what the next three blogs will be about.

  1. Planning
  2. Organization
  3. Time Management

Now these may sound like three variations on a theme, but they’re not. Each one is a specific way I’m increasing my writing speed and if I can make each of these three effective than I think I will be hitting 3k per day without any trouble at all.

Amazed?

I am. But what I’m doing is working. I’m now up to an average writing day of 1,967 words per day that I sit down to write. If I’d done that during last November I would have finished Nanowrimo in twenty-five and one half days. WOOT! Just in time to cook Thanksgiving dinner and not worry about writing a thing.BBQ'd turkey

Imagine what happens if I hit 2,000 words per day, five days per week. That’s an 80,000 word novel in two months. (Not working weekends, remember?) Now of course this is a very rough draft and I still have to go into edits after this, but even at 2k for five days per week I actually stand the chance of finishing two full length novels in a year. But I want to do better than that.

I want to have flexibility. Time to work with my editor on my books that are already finished as far as submission is concerned, but need a final polish for publication. I want to take vacations. I want to not write every day during every week for the whole year. And still complete two novels per year.

Hence striving for 3k/day.

At 3k/day that 80,000 word novel gets finished in just over five weeks if I write Monday through Friday. But what if I don’t? What if I take a sick day, or my kids have a day off school, or my mom needs me? That’s the way my life has been going lately. If I hit five days of writing full time it’s getting to be unusual. So do I give up on my goals or do I just write faster?

Well, you already know the answer. WRITE FASTER, BABY!

My post next Monday will address time management, so tune in next week to see where I found my “write fast” inspiration and how I’m implementing that into my daily word count.

How fast do you write? Do you want to improve your writing speed? What about quality versus quantity? Are you a fast draft person like me, who spends tons of time on edits later. Or are you the kind of person who works that chapter until it’s perfect before you move on to the next one? Do you want to shift gears and work a different way? Or are you happy with the way you write? Are you willing to try something new? Or maybe two or three new strategies to improve your writing speed? What if I told you that the days that I really sit down and apply this I’m almost hitting the 3k mark, would that change your mind?

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9 Comments

Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft, writing organization

9 responses to “The Speed of Writing

  1. I would love to complete two novels a year . I look forward to this series!

    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Of course you are working full time and have a killer commute. That does cut down on the writing time, but there are authors who do it. Just depends where you decide to put those precious minutes of free time. 🙂

  2. I’m currently aiming for (and hitting) 2,740 words a day, but I don’t take weekends off. (That’s 1,000,000 words in the year – see my blog: http://mymillionwordyear.blogspot.co.uk ). You, I and a couple of others (Rachel Arron Karron Woodward spring to mind) seem to be in the minority and I’ve been variously desceibed as ‘bonkers’.
    I’m reminded of the story of James Joyce who was found by a friend one day, his head in his hands. “What’s wrong, James?”,”I’ve wirtten 7 words today!” “Seven, that’s good for you, James.”, “But I don’t know what order they’re supposed to be in!”
    Keep it up, I’ll stay tuned.

    • A million words in a year? Okay, that’s officially hitting the insane mark. I have tried to work weekends, but my husband and kids seem to demand that time. And frankly, I like taking a break. Ideally I’d write a little on the weekends but it never seems to work out. Instead I try to do things like mess with my website, or facebook, or write a blog. Those activities that I can be distracted on seem to work better for weekends. 🙂

  3. I took the NaNo challenge in 2010 to prove to myself that I could sit butt in chair and just write forward. No daydreaming, no thumb-twiddling, no checking emails or searching for distraction in the laundry basket.

    I did it, with 2583 words extra.

    Jessica, if you don’t set the bar and try, how will you know whether or not you can do it? Why strive for less when you could do more?

    With that, I need to open my WIP!

    • I’m pretty impressed you rounded the Nano homestretch with 2583 extra words. You know you can write fast. Now you can decide how and if you want to incorporate that into your daily writing life. I know for some people the super rough draft fast writing results require so much editing that they’d rather write slow. But personally it’s all rough in the beginning, so I have to edit either way. So let’s set the bar high!

  4. Once again, I’m in awe. I even wonder just what kind of stimulants you might be taking? And where can I get some? I do agree that the more you get into this writing game the more the need to work faster and better grows. right now I’m trying to do final edits for The Loyalist’s Wife (coming soon!), finish off my new website, write 3 pages a day on my next book, do a weekly blog post, shift the focus of that blog just a little and once in a while take a deep breath. I think I need to hear more about how you’re accomplishing this Herculean feat of 3000 words a day.

  5. Pingback: To Write Faster, And Beyond! | JessicaAspenWrites

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