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Every writer I know laments how little time they can find to write, mainly because none of us are financially able to write full-time.  (Yet.)  Having a day job sure kills a lot of hours that could have been better spent writing, and while we all make time by cutting out non-essential activities — watching television, spending time with family and friends, sleeping — it’s never enough.

But if you can’t find any more time, how can you make better use of the time you have? How can you wring more words out of those hours?

T. S. Bazelli decided to find out.

My average writing pace is 1ooo new words in an hour, I am happy with that, but I wondered if I could do better?

I started thinking about writing efficiency after reading a post on Magical Words about Writing Even Faster, and tips from Rachel Aaron on how she went from writing 2000 words a day to 10,000 words per day.

So, inspired by the latter post, I started tracking my writing in a spreadsheet and making notes on where I was writing, the time spent, and began experimenting with my writing time.

Over the course of a week, she tried setting a time limit on the time spent outlining, writing at different times of day, writing with the Internet connection on, taking breaks between scenes, and just simply not letting herself space out:

Result after 5 days of tracking and adjusting: My writing output has increased to 1600 words per hour. On my fastest writing session, I clocked in at 2000 words per hour. All of this, not because I’m typing any faster, but because I’ve cut out the dead time in my writing.

There are probably a few things anyone can do to write a little faster, no matter the writing process. Tracking my time was eye opening. I had no idea I wasted so much of it!

T. S. Bazelli | Ink Stained » Writing Efficiently

Definitely worth checking out the articles to see the details of her experiments, and what she learned from each one.  It might give you ideas for some experiments of your own. Go break some speed records.

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An unreliable narrator, MICHAEL MONTOURE ( montoure@bloodletters.com ) is an indie writer of horror and dark urban fantasy. His obsessions include hidden truths, secret dealings, and the changing and fragile nature of our own pasts. He is known as much for his spoken-word performances of his fiction at Seattle coffeehouses and conventions as for the stories themselves. Currently working as a writer and producer of the webseries Causality, he lives alone with a gray cat by the edge of Echo Lake, Washington. ( Twitter / Facebook / Google+ )
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