Have you ever experienced a time when you’ve been “in the zone” during a writing session, only to go back later to read your writing and find the words are almost unrecognizable to you? Ever wonder why that is? Well, it’s likely you tapped into the flow of creativity!
The goal is to get into that creative flow during each writing session and to do that we must resist the urge to self-edit as we write. Now, I’m not saying that we don’t need to be conscious of word choices, punctuation, and grammar. We certainly do, but there is a time and a place for self-editing, and it’s not during our dedicated writing time. That’s what the revision process is for, and that comes later.
When we allow ourselves to write freely and resist the urge to go back and make changes and edit as we write, we unlock our greatest potential, allowing our creative mind to express itself freely.
Ready to give it a try?
Here’s a 7-Day Challenge to Increase Your Writing Speed and Unlock Creativity:
I challenge you to write freely for a minimum of one hour per day for seven days. Every day, try to surpass the prior day’s word count. If you commit to this exercise, I am willing to bet you will not only increase your writing speed, but you will find your writing is far more creative and heartfelt than ever before.
Here’s how it works:
- Keep a notepad near your computer or dedicated writing space. You may also elect to use an app on your phone or computer. There are many websites and apps that you can use to record your daily word count, but for the sake of keeping it simple, I suggest starting with a notepad for this 7-Day Challenge.
- Time yourself for one hour each day. Be sure to schedule your writing time for when you will be free of distractions. You may choose to leave your house and find a small cafe or park to write. I tend to do my daily writing early in the morning when I’m the only one awake in my home. Schedule your daily writing into your calendar for one week and commit to 60 minutes of writing during each session. Now, you may choose to continue to write beyond the hour, and if so, by all means…write on! But I want you to break at the one-hour point to record your word count. For this, you will need a timer.
- Use a stopwatch, hourglass, kitchen timer–whatever works. Something to alert you of the one-hour mark. You could use the stopwatch feature that comes standard on most smartphones, or you may even set an alarm clock. Personally, I like to use an hourglass.
- Record your daily word count each day. The goal is to not only meet your current word count but surpass it by a few words each day. Consequently, you will begin to write or type faster, and you will get out of your head and into your zone of creativity, and that’s where the magic happens!
Tips for success:
- Focus on one project for the duration of the seven days such as a book, short story, or an article. Resist the urge to jump from project to project for this challenge.
- Stop writing mid-sentence each day, so when you pick it back up the following day, you will not stall when trying to get started. By stopping mid-sentence today, you are setting yourself up for success tomorrow.
- Turn off your spell/grammar check during your hour of uninterrupted writing. Often those red lines under our words can be a distraction, and many find it hard to resist the urge to correct as they go. Don’t worry; you can turn it back on when it’s time to revise and edit.
If you take the time to commit to this challenge for seven days, you will not only increase your writing speed and unlock creativity, but you’ll also have a nice chunk of writing completed by the end of the week.