Could I write faster?

I’m often frustrated by the speed at which I write. Especially as it’s combined with a somewhat inefficient process of writing a lot of first draft material before I even work out what my story is/who my characters are.

It’s always comforting to know that you’re not alone so I loved this post by Holly Black. She’s planning to try Rachel Aaron’s strategy for writing more (How I Went From Writing 2000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day) and to blog all the details.

On a good day, I get 1000 words done (sometimes as much as 2500 when I’m revising), but if I’m completely honest, it’s usually more like 500. I would dearly love to increase that (or even to reliably have ‘good’ days), so I’ll be reading Holly’s results with interest.

How about you? Do you consider yourself a fast writer or a slow one and are you happy with your pace?


2 responses to “Could I write faster?”

  1. Matthew Avatar

    When I am actually writing I am (was?) usually productive; I averaged 2000 words a day and my best day on the novel-producing treadmill I did 7500, give or take.

    Reading these links I can see that I (by some happy accident) adopted a good MO: I had a plan and I stuck to it; I didn’t do emails; and, I didn’t go on the damn internet (except to check a fact, like what sorts of handguns the FBI carry or whatever).

    Most importantly I wrote in long, uninterrupted, sessions.

    I got lucky and did it right, in other words.

    Now into re-write Hell, though, I seem to have become rudderless – I am procrastinating in the same way as everyone else. Damn. Human after all… I am constantly updating my LinkedIn profile, getting the house in order, sorting out insurance, working on projects for other people… in fact name almost anything that doesn’t look, smell, taste or feel like writing the book and I’m doing it.

    Reading these posts is helpful because it reminds me of the things that I (so very smugly) got right in the first place. Whether I can translate that into actually doing them again is another matter…

    1. Sarah Avatar

      Oh, I feel for you in rewrite hell. It can be hard to measure progress and it’s less satisfying to say ‘I cut out 3000 words and added 800’ or ‘I rewrote twenty sentences’, than when you can see your word count going steadily upwards. I get easily overwhelmed during revision, too, so I try to focus on one small part at a time. Last week, for example, I took out a POV and put it into a separate file to see A What was going on with that character and B Whether I could remove it entirely and today I’m going to work on the opening chapter. Good luck with your rewrite!