You might be like my girlfriend - she's great at writing, yet she writes at a snail's pace. Now, whether this is due to writer's block or perfectionism - we've all been there. It feels like whenever you write 3 words, you find 5 words to delete and before you know it - you're back to where you started. Writing fast isn't a talent, it's a skill - and here's how to hone it.

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Plan, plan, plan

If you have no idea what you're going to write, of course it's going to be really hard to write something down. If your mind wanders in and out and there's no clear voice in your head as to what to write then your writing is going to crawl.

You need to know what you're going to write about. Some people make massive plans so when it comes to writing - everything is already set out, they just have to get from point A to point B.

For me, headings are my plan. Headings contain the essence of a section or a paragraph. They encapsulate your writing in a few succinct words. Add some headings before you write - who knows you might find it much easier to write with a set out plan in place.

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Don't be a perfectionist

Writing is a skill, you need to be able to practice day in and day out. Some people are scared that whatever they write down is final, permanent. So whatever they write has to be 100% correct. This is the worst thing you can do when you write.

I want you to write as wild and as reckless as you can. There may be spelling errors, grammar errors, or you might not even make sense to yourself when you read back on to it. But the point is - getting something down is the first step. The next is honing it, revising it, working on it just like a master blacksmith.

Be one with your pen (or keyboard!)

Have you ever noticed, that whenever you have ever written fast - it seems like the words are coming out of your head faster than your hand can keep up with? This is what I'd like to call being in the zone.

Being in the zone means you only have one task and nothing is going to get you distracted from finishing that task. This requires having zero distractions around you, and focusing only on the words in front of you. Forget all the fancy features on your word processor. Open up notepad (or a plain piece of paper!) and make the only thing between you and your words are the fingers that write/type them up.

Writing faster, means writing more, means getting more practice, means writing better. There's no way to get better at writing than to practice - so, on your marks, get ready, go!

- Mark

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