Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How Do I Write Faster?

I'm a fast writer, and occasionally I receive emails like this: "I wish I were a fast writer like you. I tend to write slowly and to keep pouring over my words as I shape my work. I have many writing projects which I need to complete, so I desire more speed, yet keeping the same quality. Any suggestions?"

To this one I responded, "There are no secrets to writing faster. It's who I am. I walk, talk, and think quickly; I'm also a fast typist. And I have a lot of stamina—sometimes joyfully writing 10 to 12 hours a day. Why wouldn't it be the same way with my writing?"

I never thought much about speed until I lived in Kenya, East Africa. As I learned, the nationals watched those of us with colorless faces and tagged us according to our actions and way of relating to others. They gave me two names. The first was Omore. Literally it means a person who has joy within himself, or we'd say, a happy person. The second name was Haraka, which means quick or fast.

Until then I hadn't thought much about either quality, and I was surprised at being called Haraka. I've always been quick at everything, so it didn't seem like anything usual. But they helped me see that's who I was, and I'm grateful for that.

I tell writers, "You are who you are. I'm sure there are things you can do to discipline your mind to focus more quickly or to stay focused, but I doubt that you'll change much." I ended my email with a question: What's wrong with being exactly who you are?

I am who I am,
and my writing reflects me.

2 comments:

  1. Getting comfortable with "who I am" is difficult. I'm thankful to still be pliable at 75

    ReplyDelete
  2. Getting comfortable with "who I am" is difficult. I'm thankful to still be pliable at 75

    ReplyDelete

What are your thoughts?