5 Ways to Write More in Less Time

Your best marketing strategy is to give readers more of what they want: great books! Today it’s time to activate your writer superpowers and narrow down the five things you can do to write more in less time.

1. Write in Timed Sprints
Timed sprints (15-25 minutes with short breaks between are most effective) have multiple benefits to you as a writer. Not only do they focus your time on writing but they also help you to track how much time it takes you to do something. Use an online timer to track time and use a progress tracker to record out how much time you are spending on a project. Once you know how much time something takes, you can further streamline your process.

If peer pressure works for you, you can find other writers sprinting on Twitter with the hashtag #writingsprint. I sprint a few times a week so join me on Twitter to get in on the action.

2. Schedule Your Writing Time

Whether you have 15 minutes a day to write or 5 hours, schedule your writing time and guard it like Hagrid’s three-headed dog, Fluffy, would. Showing up to the page is one of the most critical steps for a writer but often the hardest to accomplish. So move writing to the top of your to-do list (even before book promotion and definitely before you hop on Twitter or Facebook!)

3. Plan What You are Going to Write

Whether you are a plotter or a pantser, sit down at the beginning of your writing session and map out what you are going to write about. Just a few quick sentences about the who, what and why of your scene or chapter give you a headstart on spotting potential issues before you’ve put a few thousand words on the page.

This will pay off big time when it comes to the editing phase of your novel. Your scenes will be more focused, character arcs and motivation will be clearer and you’ll have less revision to do before submitting it to your beta readers or editor.

4. Use Scrivener to Write Your Novel
Scrivener really deserves it’s own time saving list because it offers a host of tools to help you write faster. It will streamline your writing process no matter what kind of writer you are.

Plotter? You can outline hierarchically or use index cards on a virtual corkboard. Your outline and/or cards transfer seamlessly into the Binder where you write your novel. So there is no gap between planning and writing.

Pantser? If you prefer to wing it with your writing, you can write your novel straight through and break it into chapters later. Or if you want to jump around, you can add scenes as they come to you and re-order them when the mood strikes you.

You can color code your scenes by POV and see how your novel is playing out at a glance. Scrivener holds all of your research, character info and setting worksheets in one place. No additional documents, windows or searching your hard drive for your notes. You can even import pictures and place them on index cards. Want to write distraction free? You can block out the virtual world with full screen mode

And when you are ready to publish, exporting to Kindle or epub is a breeze. You can give Scrivener a try in the Author Toolkit which comes with a guide to get you started and an import your current WIP if you have one.

5. Implement One of the Four Ideas Above by Friday
Because even the best list of tips won’t do anything for you unless you sit down and put them to work, pick one of these tasks to try by this Friday. (You can let me know how it goes by replying to this email!)

I’ve organized this list with the easier tasks at the top so start there and work your way down.