A speed demon’s guide to more effective writing

How hitting the accelerator helps you tap your creativity, silence your inner monsters and improve your overall process.

“Why should I want to write quickly?”

That gauntlet, thrown down by a colleague recently, caused me to sit back—rather like an astronaut pressed into the chair by G-forces. But for me, the only force was astonishment.

I’d assumed everyone wanted to write faster. I’ve worked with many people who were desperate to accelerate the process, and

I thought the reasons and benefits self-evident. But it’s a valid question, and I’d like to address it today.

First, let me say that if you’re happy with your writing speed—that is, if you’re one of those few lucky people who writes fluently without high drama or crises of conscience—then pat yourself on the back and stop reading now. You probably don’t need to change a thing.

But if you find writing in any way frustrating or too time consuming, then I urge you to push yourself to write faster, using a kitchen timer to prod yourself, if necessary.

Here are five reasons:

1. Your first instinct is often the best.

Have you ever anguished over a decision? You know what it’s like—you run the pros and cons through your mind and the more you think, the harder it is to decide. But when you go with an instant or “gut” call, you often make a terrific decision—perhaps without fully understanding why.

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