Writing Quote, January 26, 2010 — “Fast Writing is Good Writing”

“The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.”
— Raymond Chandler

When it comes to your writing, is your muse pulling you or is the other way around?

When it comes to your writing, is your muse pulling you or is the other way around?

www.inkthinkerblog.com — How many of us have had the experience of writing so fast our fingers can barely keep up with us? And not just because we’re on deadline and don’t have a choice — that doesn’t count.

I can tell I’m writing something really good when, as Chandler said, the words are just pulling me along. But when each word is less like being pulled along than like pulling a tooth, that’s a place I don’t enjoy being.

How do you get a hold on that fast writing, to make it part of your routine and the rule rather than the exception? A valuable lesson I learned during National Novel Writing Month 2009 (NaNoWriMo ’09) is that to write well and to write fast, I have to turn off my “inner editor” — that mean little voice telling me to go back over every sentence ad nauseam before I proceed to the next. In other words, my “inner editor” is the one who tries to get me to spend my time rewriting instead of just writing.

Today, try turning off your inner editor for a while and see what happens. Write with abandon, and don’t change anything until you’ve finished. When I did this, I was surprised at the gems that came out, the glimmers that before I would have been too anal to appreciate, much less to cultivate in future drafts.

Do you believe that writer’s instinct will lead you down the right path if you just get out of your own way? Or is rewriting during the process a must for writers?

– Kristen

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

8 comments… add one
  • Karen Swim Jan 26, 2010

    Kirsten, I did my first NaNo in 2008 and learned that same lesson! Yes, I completely agree when we kick the cranky critic out of the room, the writing comes easy. I missed NaNo last year but look forward to 2010. I need the kick it provides!
    .-= Karen Swim´s last blog ..Unleash Your Passion for a Perfect Performance =-.

    • Kristen King Jan 26, 2010

      Karen, I absolutely hear you on the “kick.” It was something I really needed and really enjoyed in 2009, and I’m looking forward to 2010, too.

  • Kate Bowen Jan 26, 2010

    I completely agree as well. Sometimes if I’m writing steady and well I worry that I’m going TOO fast and not paying full attention, but in the end it is always a better piece. When I go slow and every thought is drawn out then it feels like it’s dragging and ends up a weaker story.
    .-= Kate Bowen´s last blog ..Send me to Costa Rica. =-.

    • Kristen King Jan 26, 2010

      Kate, that is my experience, too. I love writing so hard that I don’t realize how many pages I’ve produced until I’m done. It’s such a cool feeling to be that caught up in your story.

  • Casie Jan 27, 2010

    Whenever I’m writing a blog post, I have to just go and write whatever comes out. When I stop and think about it, or leave it and try to come back hours later…I lose it and the post never gets done. I always go and modify it at the end but I definitely am with you on the fast writing mentality.

  • Customized Fat Loss Jul 19, 2011

    For me, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I need to put the idea into a structure to get things done. But sometimes, the words just come out of my fingertips and I’d type really good writing without so much effort.

  • Bodybuilding Diets Aug 2, 2011

    I think this is only true if you’ve already pictured out what you want to say, otherwise you’ll just end up mocking yourself.

  • writing fast is good specially when there are a lot of good things floating in your mind that just keep on spilling and you may not want to missed it by writing slowly.

    – Jack Leak

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