3 Ways to Write More Words Faster


Setting a daily word count goal and actually reaching it is sometimes the easiest thing in the world. But sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. Here are three ideas to help you write more words to reach and maybe even exceed your goal:

(Note: some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, it will not affect the price to you, but I will earn a small commission. Your purchase helps support my work on Wordquill.)

1. Increase Word Count by Listening to Music

Increase Word Count! 3 Ways to Write More Words Faster
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Did you know stores play fast or slow music depending on how fast or slow they want customers to shop? (No, really! Read point #4 here.)

If music can affect shopping speed, it’s likely it can affect writing speed. I have found this to be true for me. I write my very fastest when playing high-speed Irish jigs and reels in my earbuds! Your music tastes and mileage may vary, but I recommend listening to something without words.

Unless you’re a genius.

If you can have song lyrics bouncing around in your head and still construct sentences on a page—good for you! I certainly can’t!


2. Increase Word Count by Having a Word War

Increase Word Count! 3 Ways to Write More Words Faster
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Don’t worry; word wars are more friendly than they sound. Also known as “sprints,” they add a little competitive motivation to reach your goal. All you have to do is grab a writing buddy—in person or via text message or online chat—and set a timer.

15 minutes, 1 hour… it’s up to you!

Then each of you tries to write as many words as possible before the timer finishes. At the end, you compare notes on the number of words written to see who won. It’s super fun and a great way to turn off your inner editor and see just how fast you can write.


3. Increase Word Count by Writing Distraction-Free

Increase Word Count! 3 Ways to Write More Words Faster
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Let’s face it: distractions are the nemesis of word count. It’s so easy to give in to the Facebook or Pinterest black holes especially when we’re already feeling a little uninspired. Luckily, there are some great solutions to cut the distractions and force ourselves to get to work.

Programs such as FocusWriter and Ommwriter (I’ve been loving this one! Dana I for: Mac, Windows. New version: Dana II)* allow you to make your writing completely fill your computer screen so there’s nothing distracting in sight.

One of my favorite ways to cut distraction is to use a very cool piece of older tech. It’s a tough, portable word-processor called the Alphasmart Neo2. It runs forever on 3 AA batteries and from what I hear (I haven’t tested this), it holds up really well to being jostled and bumped while on the go.

When you’re ready to transfer your writing to your computer, simply hook it up with a USB cable, open your document on the computer, and press a single button on the Neo. It will type everything you’ve written into the computer document as if it’s an external keyboard.

Super low-tech but effective!

If you write by hand or on the Neo but are distracted by notifications popping up on your phone, try silencing it (all the way if having it on vibrate is still too distracting) or putting it into Airplane Mode.

Those are my top 3 tips for increasing word count! I hope they’re helpful!

What are your favorite ways to increase word count?

*Download programs from the internet at your own risk. 

9 thoughts on “3 Ways to Write More Words Faster

  1. What are your favorite ways to get more words written? Have you used any of the ideas in this article? How did they work for you?

  2. These are some great tips! One of the most prolific authors I know uses a NEO. I’ve found word sprints very helpful. It’s fun to give the winner the incentive that they get excerpts from the losers. 😉

    1. Yes, NEOs are AWESOME! 😀
      Excerpts are delightful incentives for sure!
      I think we might try doing word sprints over in the Wordquill Facebook group sometime… what think?

  3. I’ve never tried any of these, but they just might help. 🙂 I might get too nervous with a word war, haha, but maybe the fast music will help. (I usually write in silence, but it wouldn’t hurt to try writing with music to see what happens.) And that cool contraption at the end would be amazing! Though since I don’t have one at the moment, I’ll look into those distraction-free programs. 🙂 Eliminating distractions is usually the most effective way for me to up word count.
    Thanks for all your suggestions!

    1. Oh, yes! Definitely try music. It may not work for everyone, but I’ve found it to be remarkably helpful! And I’m completely loving the older version of OmmWriter. It has a really nice environment and cool, subtle sound effects.

      1. Cool, I’ll check that out! Oh, and I also thought of another thing that helps. As April said on FB, knowing what I’m going to write in my writing session usually assures me a high word count. 🙂

        1. Yes, me too! Something about starting in with a sense of purpose really boosts confidence in what I’m writing which seems to boost speed. I’ve heard advice to read through what you wrote last time to help you get back into the story and remind you where you’re headed. That helps even in the absence of a tight outline with scenes already planned. (I should know since I kill my stories if I over outline them. I’m a strange hybrid creature known as a plantser.) 😉

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