Is Writing Faster Better?

Photo by Malene Thyssen

Just posted a new column about writing:

For some reason (possibly having to do with the end of NaNoWriMo), I’ve been seeing a lot on writing blogs about the subject of writing fast. The Atlantic published a fantastic slideshow of Writing Advice from History’s Fastest, Most Prolific Authors, that Seastarr08 linked on twitter. Rachel Aaron posted a really interesting piece on practical ways she went from 2,000 to 10,000 words a day. Lots of writers are posting about their successes and failures in their own NaNo challenge.

But I want to talk about speed.

I’m probably considered a pretty fast writer since I wrote the majority of my first book over the course of a few months, and it racks up over 100K in word count. By my best estimates, in the past year, I’ve written 675,000 words. About half of that was fan fiction, and the other half was original.

I’m going to call myself a pretty fast writer. (Not really fast. Trust me, there are people who write way faster than me.) Is that all finished, publishing-quality work in that time? No, absolutely not, so keep that in mind. We’re talking about sheer numbers, but it’s a worthwhile discussion to have.

Is writing faster better?

Posted in Fiction, Life, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , .


  1. I think the highest I hit was a little over 5k in a day. Lately I’m lucky if I can squeeze in 1k1hr a couple times a week (juggling 9 hour dayjob and all of life’s other realities). I am a slow writer. I tend to fall into rewriteritess instead of forging ahead sometimes. I’m also easily distracted. (Bright shiny! Bright shiny!) LOL I’m not sure if faster is better – I think it depends on what you’re putting down. If you write 10k a day and only 3k of it is worth anything, is that truly productive? I think it falls into personal preference and what works for each individual.

    • I can definitely appreciate being limited by life’s obligations! I think you make a great point that quality matters. However, if you’re a plotter (not a “pantser,” those wild ones fly by their own rules!) that writes 10K and only 3K is something you want to keep, it might be worth the time to go back to the planning stages and hold off on drafting until you have a better idea of where you want to go.

      Thanks for commenting!


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