Do you want to learn how to write faster? You’re not the only one.
Many think only a few are born with the gift of fast-writing prowess, but this is far from true!
Everyone knows writing takes time.
Whether creating a blog post, drafting a report for work, or writing a novel, crafting well-written and accurate sentences is crucial.
But what if you could write rapidly without sacrificing quality? This technique is what I’ll teach you in this article.
I’ll discuss how to write faster and neater, letting you express your thoughts more efficiently on paper (or screen) and improving your entire writing process.
Table of Contents
How To Write Neatly and Fast by Hand
To become a faster writer, you must understand why it’s essential.
There are many reasons to write neatly and quickly.
Your handwriting may look unreadable and sloppy if you write fast, and writing neatly can take forever.
However, there will be many times when you’ll have to write quickly but legibly— a problem for many students.
Students often multi-task by listening while taking notes in class. Teachers and professors seldom slow down, so students must maintain a steady writing pace to keep up.
Writing fast can also mean the difference between passing and failing timed exams, especially if they involve essays.
Another example is when creatives get sudden inspiration but can’t immediately write down their ideas. When they finally have the time to note down their thoughts, they’ve forgotten their sudden inspiration.
Here’s how quick handwriting skills can solve these problems.
Use a High-quality Writing Tool.
Use a high-quality pen or pencil that you feel comfortable holding but grip too tightly.
While it may seem inconsequential, the correct writing tool can significantly impact your work.
Here are three factors to consider for choosing the right pen or pencil.
Choose a pen that’s not too thin or too thick, making it uncomfortable to hold.
Put a rubber grip on a pen to make it wider.
Try different sizes and see what works for you.
Choose a pen with a tip size you feel comfortable with (0.5mm vs. 0.9mm).
The difference in tip size depends on your needs and preferences, so experiment and see what tip size works best.
For example, a gel pen may be easier to use than a ballpoint pen.
Invest in a good pen that won’t require heavy pressure on the paper to get the ink out.
A good pen only costs about $10 to $20, so there’s no reason not to buy one.
Prioritize Comfort When Holding Your Pen (or Pencil).
Studies show that how you hold a pen or pencil doesn’t significantly affect your writing speed.
Changing your grip when writing for extended periods is also normal, so it isn’t necessarily a problem.
You can hold your pen or pencil however you want. What’s vital is that your hand is comfortable.
Note: If you want to improve how you hold your pen or pencil, use the dynamic tripod grip shown below.
Traditionally, you hold a pen or pencil between your index finger and thumb while the pen rests on your middle finger. You can also angle the paper differently.
Here’s how to use a dynamic tripod grip.
- Pinch the pen between your thumb and index finger, slightly above the pen’s point.
- Ensure your thumbs and index fingers have a space between them.
- Rest your middle finger on the pen.
- Tuck your little finger and ring finger into your palm.
Maintain a Good Posture.
Whether writing with a pen or typing using a keyboard, sit straight and rest your feet on the ground.
Your chair should support your lower back and hips completely.
You should also be able to bend your knees and elbows while sitting.
Maintaining this posture while writing, even when tired, is critical. Doing so will improve your stamina and reduce fatigue.
If you feel slouching while typing on your keyboard, adjust your posture. You may need to replace a chair or desk that’s too low.
Remember that good posture is also good for your hips and back.
It’s ideal to avoid slouching over the paper while writing since it puts unnecessary strain on your arm, making the task more challenging.
Many writers prefer standing desks, and a study shows that people with standing desks have more energy and blood flow.
Develop Your Penmanship.
Getting better at handwriting and improving your penmanship will speed up your writing.
Good Handwriting Speed Technique
Use your fingers as guides and move the pen with your forearm and shoulder muscles. It makes writing more efficient and prevents cramps and tiredness.
Bad Handwriting Speed Technique
Avoid drawing letters with your fingers, constantly moving your wrist, or repeatedly picking up your hand to move it across the page. Your hand will tire out and cramp, slowing you down.
Simplify Your Handwriting.
You may need to change your handwriting style.
Simplifying how you write the letters can help you increase your handwriting speed. Avoid excessive marks and styling if they don’t affect your writing’s legibility.
In theory, decreasing the size of your letters can help you write faster since you reduce arm movement.
However, this theory isn’t always true. Reducing the letter size can slow you down by making it harder to write each letter individually.
It depends on the writer, so try different things to determine what works for you.
A shorthand writing system uses unique symbols to replace letters, common letter combinations, sounds, or frequently used words to save time.
The most common shorthand variants are Gregg, Pitman, and Teeline. You can learn one of these shorthand systems or develop your own.
You can benefit from shorthand without knowing an entire system by focusing on a few words often appearing in the English language, such as ‘the’ and ‘to.’
Then, increase your handwriting speed by simplifying these words while maintaining legibility.
Remember that relying heavily on shorthand makes it harder for others to understand your notes. Depending on your line of work, shorthand may or may not be beneficial.
How To Write Swiftly With a Computer
Here are six tips to help you increase your speed and efficiency–whether you’re drafting a book or a blog post.
Choose a Topic That Interests You.
You may already have one of the following assignments or personal writing goals.
- A rough draft of that novel
- A business proposal
- A medical report
- A user manual (if you’re a technical writer)
If you’re not working on an assignment or goal, start by finding one area of interest.
The common misconception is that writer’s block happens when you run out of ideas for your assignment or essay.
However, writer’s block can also occur when you have too much on your mind.
Writing fast means removing impediments to your writing flow.
Do your research and create an outline, adding relevant facts, quotes, anecdotes, or ideas later.
This practice prevents you from staring at a blank page while considering what to type.
Spending too much time on small details can also slow you down. Revisit a section later if you’re stuck.
Create an Outline.
Preparing an outline may seem counterproductive and unnecessary additional effort, but you’ll save time by creating one before you start writing.
Make a plan and plot the main points of your writing project. If necessary, get a sense of the word count.
Outlines prepare you for the finish line and tell you how much farther and harder you need to push.
Sometimes, authors take time because they need to learn to write a scene or paragraph or do more research.
You could tinker with these parts forever, but you’ll never make any progress.
If you stop your flow to search for a fact or idea, your research might consume you and hinder your momentum.
You can temporarily bypass a word or scene by putting a placeholder to remind you to revisit it later. One trick is to use “TK” (an intentional misspelling of “to come”).
“TK” is a letter combination that doesn’t often appear in English, making it easy to find in the document and edit when you’re ready.
Make the First Draft and Edit It Later.
If a word, phrase, or paragraph seems too complex, write an approximation and do the research later.
Write your first draft, and don’t worry about making it perfect.
Review and edit your first draft once you complete it. Doing so lets you eliminate most of the work at the outset and focus only on grammar and spelling later.
Play Typing Games.
Consider improving your typing speed with free online typing tests and games.
Place your fingers in the correct positions to maintain a smooth flow.
Other Tips To Write Quickly
Here are other tips to speed up your writing if you’re still struggling.
Use the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method for increasing productivity.
There are only two rules: 1) write for 25 minutes, then 2) take a five- to ten-minute break.
Here’s how to use the Pomodoro Technique.
- Each session equals one Pomodoro (Italian for tomato, a reference to old tomato-shaped kitchen timers).
- If you write for four 25-minute sessions, you can take an extended break of 20 to 30 minutes afterward.
- Repeat the process.
This technique can improve your self-accountability and streamline your workflow.
Tracking your time doesn’t require a kitchen timer either: plenty of apps and websites like Pomofocus can do it for you.
Close all browser windows, email programs, and chat applications.
Turn off your computer or router if you’re writing by hand. Put your phone on silent and keep it out of sight.
Do whatever you need to cultivate a healthy writing habit, even for an hour or two at a time.
If you take the necessary steps and eliminate the distractions that keep you stuck, you can focus only on the crucial task.
Can you write 1,000 words in one hour? What about 500?
If you’re a beginner or have a busy schedule, start easy with 50 words daily.
If you’re a professional writer, try achieving minute-based or hourly goals.
For example, you can increase your target words per minute (WPM) to enhance your writing speed.
Utilize Speech-to-Text Software.
Some writers aren’t the best typists, and they often think faster than they type.
If you’re one of these writers, consider dictating your manuscript using a speech-to-text tool.
Many word processors and services offer this feature, including Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Otter.ai, and Dragon Professional.
Set a Timer.
Setting up a timer at the beginning of your writing session can be helpful, whether you use a kitchen timer or a web-based one.
You’ll be able to track your progress and meet new writing challenges, making it less likely to procrastinate.
Stop While You’re Ahead.
If your timer goes off mid-sentence, that’s good news.
Put a placeholder on your sentence and type a simpler version of your idea. Doing so reminds you of what you were about to write when you revisit it the next day.
Once you return to the page, you won’t have to stare at a flashing cursor wondering what you were supposed to write the previous day.
Forming new habits is vital to becoming a better writer.
Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines.
Decide what time of day you’re most productive.
An early bird does more work in the morning, while a night owl does more after dark.
Try writing at different times of the day to determine the best one for you.
If you’re a beginner and aren’t keen on deadlines, you’ll probably be slower than a professional writer.
Set goals that make sense for your experience level.
The brain rewards you with dopamine and motivation when you achieve a goal, no matter how small.
Create small daily goals and rewards.
Set lighter goals when you’re stressed or feel like achieving a goal is impossible.
Here are some reminders when goal-setting.
- Set incrementally higher goals rather than tackling too much immediately.
- Unless you’re an experienced writer, you won’t be able to write fast immediately. The more you write, the quicker you’ll get.
- Always set goals, such as finishing a certain number of pages or reaching a specific word count daily.
- While you’re building speed, daily goals can feel more manageable than short-term ones (ex., hourly goals).
The Bottom Line
I’ve shared everything I know about writing faster and neater.
Follow the tips I mentioned, and you should be able to improve your writing speed and efficiency.
If you’re passionate about writing and have the wit to match, you might be interested in becoming a fortune cookie writer.