Missed a project deadline or struggle to publish consistently? You need to know how to write faster so you can accomplish more in less time.
Point fingers at your writing speed. Slow writing is a challenge that many grapple with, and it often stands between us and our goals — whether you’re a book author, content writer, or just a typist.
But there’s no need to despair because there are multiple ways to increase your writing speed.
Let’s go through our 12 actionable tips now!
12 Tips to Increase Your Writing Speed
Let’s get started with the basics and speed up from there!
1. Build an Outline of Your Task
Starting with an outline is the key to quick writing. When you have a clear plan in mind, words will automatically find their place, and you’ll be able to generate more pages in less time. A strong outline helps you piece concepts together and connect different chapters/headings.
Here are some writing tips to help you craft an excellent outline:
- Start at the top: Focus on the main theme or topic and keep each part relevant.
- Keep it flexible: Writing can spark new ideas. When they do, update your outline.
- Review regularly: Quickly checking your outline between sessions will keep your writing consistent.
- Tap into tools: Leverage software like Trello and Evernote to fast-track the planning stage.
- Invite feedback: Take help from a friend/colleague to pinpoint gaps or improvements.
2. Avoid Editing While You’re Writing
Writing and editing use different parts of the brain. When you try to do them simultaneously, neither gets done efficiently.
This is particularly true when crafting initial drafts. Your first draft should serve as a space to let your thoughts run free without being backspaced so often.
First drafts aren’t meant to be perfect. By holding off on editing until your thoughts are fully laid out on a document, you can maintain a steady flow and let your ideas come to the forefront.
3. Learn the Art of Typing Faster
Did you know the average person can only type between 38 to 40 words per minute? Compare that with a faster speed of 65 to 70 words per minute, and you’ll realize it’s possible to double your output.
Typing faster can seem challenging initially, but with practice and certain tricks, you can take your speed to 75+ words per minute within months or even weeks.
Here are some tricks to become a faster typist and write quickly:
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Incorporate a few keyboard shortcuts for functions like Undo, Redo, and Backspace into your writing session. These are some of my favorites:
- Undo: Ctrl + Z (Windows) or Cmd + Z (MacOS)
- Redo: Ctrl + Y (Windows) or Cmd + Shift + Z (MacOS)
- Backspace (word): Ctrl + Backspace (Windows) or Option + Delete (MacOS)
- Backspace (line): Cmd + Delete (MacOS)
Master Touch Typing
Touch typing is where you type without looking at the keyboard. To master it, you must become familiar with your keyboard’s layout and proper finger placement. We also recommend doing typing drills on websites like typingclub.com and 10fastfingers.com.
Set WPM Goals
Establish a realistic goal for your words per minute (WPM) and work towards it. Gradually increase your target by 5 to 10 WPM as you become more comfortable with your current speed.
Practice With Real Texts
Instead of doing random typing exercises, type out articles, books, or your own thoughts. Doing this replicates real-world typing scenarios and helps you measure progress.
4. Eliminate All Distractions During Work
Distractions can bring your writing flow to a sudden halt. They can come in various forms, from kids running around the house to notifications pinging on your phone.
But you’re not powerless in this battle against distractions. You can eliminate most of these interferences and boost your writing speed with a few lifestyle changes.
For instance, you can take control of your smartphone. All it takes is keeping it out of arm’s reach to stop yourself from aimless scrolling. This simple step can make a difference in enhancing your focus and writing skills.
Designing a dedicated workspace is also a fantastic way to ward off distractions. Create a clean, clutter-free writing area, free from tempting items that might disrupt your concentration. If you want to improve your writing speed, building an environment that naturally fosters productivity is the way to go!
5. Practice Writing in Short Bursts
Writing in short bursts is another effective technique for increasing your pace. It involves dedicating short intervals with a complete focus on your screen or paper.
Instead of attempting long, uninterrupted writing sessions, you can break your task into shorter, concentrated bursts. This helps push more creativity and greater output without causing burnout—or worse—writer’s block.
Begin with 25 to 30-minute sessions of intense writing. Use a timer to keep yourself on track during these bursts. Knowing you have a limited time frame can ignite your focus and creativity.
Once you’re done, take a short 10 to 15-minute break after every burst to recharge. Stretch, grab a drink, or step away from your workspace to focus on other chores.
By cycling through these bursts and breaks throughout your day, you’ll build up skills to write faster in less time without compromising on your mental well-being.
6. Harness the Power of Placeholders
Placeholders are markers in writing. They represent things like data, quotes, or other specifics that you want to add later.
Inserting placeholders is an excellent way to maintain momentum when writing your first draft. Once the main content is down, you can circle back to fill those gaps.
Here are some ways you can use placeholders to start writing faster:
- Use clear yet brief notes like [DATA], [QUOTE], or [IMAGE] to indicate the type of content needed.
- For more complex details, use descriptive placeholders. For instance, [QUOTE ABOUT MOTIVATION] gives a clearer hint of what’s required.
- Color-code your highlights or bold text to make your placeholders more visible during the review.
7. Use AI Tools to Defeat Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is a frustrating and inevitable part of this career path. We’ve all hit that wall where words stop flowing, and your creativity comes to a standstill.
You just need to feed them a basic idea. The tools can do the rest and shape/refine your content for depth and clarity. Some of the best use cases of ChatGPT include finding relevant synonyms/phrases, editing tone, and fixing basic grammatical errors.
If you don’t know what kind of tone is right for your blog, check out our guide with 10 Tips & Tones To Help You Find The Perfect Blog Writing Style.
For those who want to take AI a step further, we recommend using Jasper. Jasper helps you generate comprehensive blog posts with accurate tone and structure—all you have to do is feed it a couple of keywords, and the tool handles the rest. You can also write top-notch novels, emails, and social media captions with Jasper or utilize its 50+ templates to summarize text, generate content ideas, or enhance existing content.
To learn more about Jasper, read our Jasper AI review.
8. Try Using Speech-to-Text Tools
Speaking often comes more naturally than typing. That’s why using speech-to-text tools can be a revolutionary technique to produce more content and save time.
Speech-to-text tools, such as Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking or Google’s Voice Typing, can convert your spoken words into text and amp up your writing speed to 160 words per minute! If you have a MacBook or iMac, you can press the Fn key twice to launch a speech-to-text engine for the same purpose.
When choosing a speech-to-text tool, you must consider a few factors to make the most out of your writing session. They are as follows:
- Adaptability: The tool should be able to learn from and adapt to your voice. This reduces the time spent in making post-conversion corrections.
- Offline functionality: Consistency is the key to writing fast. Opt for tools that can function without an internet connection.
- Integration capabilities: Look for tools that easily integrate with your favorite writing apps. This ensures a fluid and more enjoyable writing experience.
9. Reward Yourself After Every Milestone
Setting clear milestones in your writing journey offers two benefits: it helps you track progress and motivates you to reach every checkpoint.
However, the key to accomplishing such milestones is being specific. Instead of just aiming to “write more,” break your goal into short and actionable steps. Try to finish a chapter within a certain period, write 500 words daily, or complete a blog post weekly.
Now, the fun part—rewards. For every milestone you conquer, give yourself a treat. It could be something as simple as your favorite snack for finishing an article or booking a weekend getaway with your family when you wrap up a manuscript.
Here are some great examples of rewards you can try yourself:
- A 20-minute relaxation break after 2 hours of focused writing.
- A movie ticket or spa booking when you finish a month-long writing challenge.
- An evening off watching your favorite show after reaching a word count target.
The brilliance of this strategy? Rewards create a positive feedback loop in your subconscious mind. Your brain associates the effort of writing with pleasure, making you more motivated to get back to the task.
As you enjoy each reward, you’re more likely to set new milestones, constantly pushing your writing speed to the limits.
10. Write Daily to Progress Faster
The old saying “practice makes perfect” holds true, especially for writers. Daily writing helps establish a rhythm, which sharpens your ability to express ideas smoothly.
Not only that, but writing consistently also helps you build up typing speed and stimulate creativity that flows into your content.
Here are some strategies to infuse daily writing into your routine:
- Start small: Make yourself a promise to type out a set number of words or a single paragraph daily. Over time, this figure will grow automatically as you start typing and thinking faster.
- Explore topics: Don’t restrict yourself to certain niches or formats. One day, write a blog post, and the next day, practice script writing for YouTube videos.
- Commit to a time: Build your schedule around a quiet time of the day. Select a period with the least distractions and the most creative outflow.
By making writing a daily habit, your pace will speed up naturally as you hone your problem-solving skills and keep crushing goals. But remember, overdoing this can also lead to burnout or writer’s block.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, consider taking a day or two off. Keep scribbling notes on your smartphone during this time. Once you’re recharged, return to your task, and don’t beat yourself up for missing out on objectives. A healthy writing habit is crucial for your mental well-being in the long run.
11. Get Feedback to Upskill
Encouraging feedback on your work can significantly fuel a writer’s growth. When you welcome positive criticism from experts or outsiders, it can reveal gaps or flaws you might not even know existed.
More than that, you can also discover diverse methods to enhance and accelerate the writing process on both platforms. Once you incorporate these learnings into your workflow, both your pace and quality will improve dramatically.
12. Do Freewriting Sessions
Sometimes, overthinking can become the enemy of your productivity as a writer. If you are waiting for a blank page to magically fill itself up, here’s an unconventional tip:
Stop worrying about the perfect words and just write.
Freewriting sessions are great for putting up first drafts. You must let your thoughts loose and type down whatever comes to mind. Once you get warmed up, sentences will start making sense, and your creativity will receive a much-needed kickstart.
Here are some benefits and tricks to conduct effective freewriting sessions:
- Time it right: Set a timer for around 10 to 15 minutes, and just let your fingers fly. This activity will train your mind to produce words rapidly.
- Discover hidden ideas: During these writing sessions, you’ll often come across brilliant ideas that can completely uplift your content. Type them down and come back later to refine them.
- Stay away from judgment: In freewriting, you write whatever comes naturally to you. Don’t let your mind wander off into grammatical accuracy or coherence if you want to maintain momentum.
How To Write Faster In Conclusion
Writing is a stressful career choice that can bring a whole set of problems—especially when you factor in consistency and writing speed. We hope these 12 tips will pave the way for more efficient and enjoyable writing sessions for everyone.
If you want to leverage the power of AI to do even more in less time, check out our list of 9 Great Ways To Use ChatGPT For Productivity & Efficiency.
Or, if you want a more detailed list of tools to boost your writing speed, read our article on 10 Best Writing Assistant Tools To Help You Grow Fast.