Before I start, this writing speed is referring to typing. I don't actually write on paper a lot now unless I'm marking my student's papers or recording their class slips.
Without further ado, here are some tips that could help modern writers write faster. Not to be confused with writing habits and writing tips!
Patreons to credit: Anechke. -This could be you. Join now.-
#1 Typing with 10 fingers
I had to ask my mom, who is a certified typist back in the 1990s, for advice because my 2 finger typing habit was giving me finger arthritis. It was horrible when I thought that I could no longer be a writer.
Back then, I thought clocking in anything near 30wpm was considered fast as I often typed with only my index fingers. However, now, I can reach 40wpm easily and 30wpm casually. Although it is still a dream to hit 60wpm, I believe that I can accomplish that with a little more time.
At the date of writing this blog, I believe I've been typing with 10 fingers for almost three months now and honestly, this is probably something I should have done earlier. Three years earlier to spare me the pain and despair. Nevertheless, it was a good investment of my time despite the extreme frustrations at not being able to write at the speed I wanted to be writing when I first started changing my typing habits. I wanted to cry so much when I saw how it was 9wpm.
There are many tips on the internet on how to type with 10 fingers, but to each their own. As a natural left-hander but forced to be a right-hander by society and circumstances, I find that using the right shift saved me a lot of time thinking about where to shift my fingers.
Here is an image I found online for everyone else curious about which keys to assign to which finger in the 10 finger typing style.
If you don't know what sprinting is, think of it as timed writing intervals to help improve concentration. Some students use the Pomodoro timer technique, and I found many great workstreams and Lo-fi music channels doing this. I normally sprint for 15 minutes each time because that's my ideal speed for 500 words per round.
Sprinting with the writer bot on discord alongside friends also help me because I'm competitive in nature. The writer bot gives you XP after every sprint, and you can level up. I'm addicted to this, and it helps me become better because there is a personal best record function. I might have made many typos that caused me to get an impossible personal best of 91wpm, but I have a feeling that if I continue to work hard on familiarising myself with the new laptop, I could reach that someday.
#3 Proper Set Up
This is very important. If you are a full-time writer or office worker, back, shoulder and neck aches are very common. They happen because of poor sitting posture. Invest in a good desk, chair and lighting if you're working long hours looking at a screen.
Honestly, I wish I knew this when I was younger. I'm now paying the heavy price of health from neglect. I cannot share with you my set up although you could see the set-up from my Instagram. It works for me but not everyone because I'm not very tall. If you're about 150cm tall, then maybe this could be ideal for you.
This was my old set-up, but the current set-up is rather similar. You could reference this for your consideration :)
Also, a writer's keyboard is an extension of their body. If you don't feel comfortable typing on your keyboard, take the time to go shopping until you find your work wife/husband. I found mine in the form of a laptop because mechanical keyboards started to hurt me. I needed flatter keys because my pianist nature subconsciously told me to smack anything I could press with fingers while assuming that curved finger formation.
To each their own, every writer has a secret that works for them. The above are some proven tips I thought would work for everyone starting out as a writer. Along the writing journey, I discovered that I'm someone who needed constant stimulation and the covid lockdown took that away.
I could no longer hang out at McDonald's or a cafe to write in air-conditioned environments for hours with a coffee during the day. Instead, I started to abuse caffeine more at home due to the pent-up frustrations. I played more clicker games, listened to every kind of music I could find until I ran out of things to listen to, exercised myself to an injured body and suffered all sorts of mental illness relapses.
Eventually, I was forced to settle for taking on more jobs and expanding my activities outside of writing to cope. Without a proper outlet for my explosive creativity, I fell into slump after slump, so managing mental health is extremely important for writers. These tips are just supplementary for when you've got your shit together.
I learned the hard way, so I hope you'll do better than me and write smarter now that you know the things that took me a long time to discover. All the best to our writing journeys!