How to Break Free and Write Fast

untitledsaWhy does the actual act of writing sometimes seem agonizingly slow and exhausting? It doesn’t have to be. The writer’s brain is trying to juggle three things at once: the actual words, what to say next, and theories of how an imagined readership will respond to what’s being written—in other words, trying to be a writer, editor, and audience all at the same time. The key to writing faster is to develop strategies to break free of these cognitively-intense tasks and make the act of drafting less mind-blowing. Just keep telling yourself:

Hint 1: Lighten up emotionally, and lower my demands.

See J.A. Konrath’s web site—I’m having fun, conducting an experiment.

Remember best-sellers like Wethering the Storm and 50 Shades of Gray—they are hardly deathless prose. When writing for the genre market, I don’t need to win any literary contests.

As Ray Bradbury said, “Start writing more. It’ll get rid of all those moods you’re having.”

Hint 2: Realize I’m writing under many different pseudonyms.

So nobody’s going to even know who I am or judge me personally. I’m free.

Hint 3: Use headphones to listen to music.

Music frees me up, sets the mood, and overrides my internal censor.

Hint 4:  Just plunge in–anywhere.

“I can write even when the world is chaotic. I don’t need a cigarette, silence, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. I just need ten minutes, a piece of paper, and a writing implement.”

Hint 5: Write for 10 minutes.

After I’ve prepared my outline, it’s time to start writing. This process is beautifully simple.

  • Look at      the clock.
  • Write –      without stopping – for ten minutes.
  • Once      started, I can even go beyond the ten minutes if I want to.

That’s all there is to it.

Hint 6: Write to myself.

Stop thinking of myself as “writing for others.” Get rid of the codependency. This is for me, and I have good judgment. I’m just thinking out loud and living vicariously. The words will flow as I write in a conversational tone, to myself, in my own voice.

Hint 7: Make a Mess.

You know why children are so creative? They’re not afraid of making a mess. Creativity always means making a mess. Nothing I create will ever be perfect. Write a GEFN manuscript—Good Enough For Now. Editing will come later.

“The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.” ― Walt Whitman

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