In recent weeks, I have been fascinated with the idea of writing fast. I’m not sure how I ended up on this… at some point early on it involved reading Dean Wesley Smith’s blog post about Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Speed.
Since then, I have timed myself writing. I can consistently write 1,000 words per hour.
In his blog, Dean talks about accepting the notion that writing fast does not equate to writing badly. I already know this to be true at work writing news articles and other content — why should it be any different with fiction? Not only that, it’s really nice to realize that I can trust those 1,000 words to be good words and not waste a lot of time second-guessing myself. Or rewriting myself. That the first words out can, in fact, be the freshest, most honest and risk-taking words.
This flies in opposition to the thinking that in order to come up with one good idea, you must think of at least ten, because the first bunch will be too simplistic and you won’t get to the real gems until you get those obvious ones out of the way.
Can both be true? Probably.
But there are many tricks to get past the obvious and to the good stuff.
What if I let my subconscious sift through the options for me? Then, instead of jotting down ten ideas/options on index cards, I write fast, without self-editing and self-questioning, and trust that my subconscious has already figured things out. Trust that the story will pull me forward and I will automatically choose the right path once I start moving.
That’s a whole lot more fun, isn’t it?