Speed writing will deliver fast results


As writers, we often afford ourselves time — time to think and read and wallow. We may have even fallen for the notion that our writing time is most productive when spent lounging on a deck with an amazing view stretching before us and steaming mug of coffee nearby.

speed writing

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Read: Avoid these 6 bad writing habits

Yes, that works. But, guess what else works too? Speed writing. Writing for speed is a great way to rev up your creative juices and hit the ground running, particularly if you have found that your current writing project has stalled.

How do you write with speed?

Set a timer. Give yourself just three or five minutes to write as much as you possibly can without agonizing over spelling, grammar or word choice. The stream-of-consciousness style will unearth some new and necessary ideas.

Read: Coping with writing criticism

Sit down and write. But, don’t get up until you have complete 1,000 words, one page or even one good paragraph. Write with a pencil and paper and don’t allow yourself to look away from the page until you have met your goal.

Sketch an outline. If phrases or sentences just will not come to you, then make a bulleted list of thoughts, emotions or even goals for your story or memoir. When finished, go back and review the bullets and prioritize them.

Settle into chaos. Pull out a notebook just as the kids are playing outside, spaghetti is boiling and a telephone conference appointment looms. Allow that tight window of time to urge you toward something thrilling and unexpected in your writing.

Stop mid-thought. It may seem counter-intuitive to do such a thing, especially when the words are grooving out of you, but by holding up mid-stream, you will leave some gas in the tank for your next writing session. It’s a great way to put off writer’s block.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at

Kerri S. Mabee

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