My Weird Little Tips for Typing Faster
Every weekday I start with the intent of writing a minimum of 500 words, but my true goal is actually 10,000 words. Now, while there are some phenomenal writers out there who can do 10,000 a day by hand, my hand starts cramping up after about 6,000. So I do most of my writing through typing. And words per minute help a great deal in making this a feasible goal. (For instance, 500 words in 15 minutes versus 1000 words per 15 minutes cuts the time in half to write 10,000 words. On average it takes me about 2 1/2 hours if I can hit that 1000 words per 15 minutes.)
So here are some of the little weird things I do that let me type faster.
Important Side Note: Writing fast is simply a tool. It does not necessarily make your work better or worse. Do not be ashamed if you cannot type this fast or if you need a slower pace to compose strong compositions.
Keep My Nails Trimmed
I do love long nails. Particularly when they’re painted glossy colors. However, long nails slow me down. So while I may grow them out a little bit, as soon as I hit a deadline, I pull out the nail clippers and immediately trim.
Keep My Desk Clutter Minimal
A friend sent me an article from Inc about how “a messy desk is a sign of genius.” If that’s the case, then I am the greatest of geniuses. Especially by the end of the project. Currently I have multiple stacks of paper, a metal box of colored pencils, two mugs, some ibuprofen, beeswax lip balm, over a dozen notebooks, a smattering of index cards, two pencil cups chock full of pens, pencils, rulers, and other utensils, a couple water bottles, and a jar of polished stones. There’s probably some cat toys up in here as well, given the number of times Loki and Thor have visited me.
So yes. It’s a mess.
But I work faster and better if my desk is clear.
It’s probably a good thing that I do because if I didn’t clear off my desk, I’d probably drown. However, what I do know is that if I am stumped or can’t figure out how to resolve something, cleaning up my desk and getting organized again works to get my mind back on track most times as well.
Set Regular Breaks
The regular breaks is something I do struggle with even though they help me. The problem is that it runs against being in the zone. One of the things that often develops is that I get deep into the zone while working on a story, and stopping is…inconvenient.
However, when I do take breaks and actually rest my mind, I actually work better and faster. When doing law firm work, prepping for a case or researching, I find it much easier to stop and rest my mind whether by getting up and walking or completing a simple mindless task. Because I enjoy writing or editing fiction so much, it’s far harder to stop.
In terms of number difference, my fastest writing speeds are generally within three hours of waking. I progressively slow throughout the day, until I hit my night owl burst. The writing during this time tends to be more emotionally focused and better for new starts rather than continuing on already started stories. If I take regular breaks, breathe deep, get water, and move around, I’ve noticed my productivity lasts longer.
Now how much of a break to set is up to you. I do vary mine, often basing it off the deadline. I try to keep it around 15 – 20 minutes of work per 5 minute break. It doesn’t always work out that way. On high deadline and high stress says, I sometimes push it to a 5 minute break once an hour, if that.
So these are just a couple little things that you can do. In addition to that, I do recommend taking a typing course if you’re able to. Building up accuracy and rhythm makes typing significantly easier.
Regardless though, what do you do to enhance your productivity as an author? Do you have any favorite tips?