[Day 18 of 90] Double Your Writing Speed By Writing Less

You write too much.

Too many words where a few would do.

If you want to write fast, write less.

Tell me what is happening, not what happened.

Remember, I have to choose between your book and a 5 season binge of Breaking Bad.

My attention span is short. Getting shorter all the time.

Want to finish a story faster?

Cut out all the boring parts you’d normally write. Just tell me the story.

Yes, I understand you’ve put a lot of thought in your character’s backstory.

Yes, I’m sure your world is big and wondrous.

Yes, I understand your setting plays a big role in the theme of your novel.

But don’t overwrite it.

Embrace the mystery of not knowing (and writing) everything about your characters or setting or world.

Your readers will.

It’s what keeps them turning the pages.

Write faster by trusting your reader.

The more you explain in your book, the weaker your reader’s desire to press forward.

The weight of a page is heavy. Getting heavier every day.

To turn a page your reader must work.

Watching TV is not work.

Gabbing with friends is not work.

Playing video games is not work.

Reading is work. It takes energy to process the written word, to engage the imagination, and to engage with the emotional experience.

To turn away from distractions.

You may disagree.

But remember, you love reading so much you want to make a living out of creating books.

Your readers just want a break.

Have pity on them.

Write for them.

Unless you want your books to be read only by fellow novelists, you must learn to write less.

And a result, you’ll write faster.

Mike “I Wrote This Email In 3 Minutes & 26 Seconds” Shreeve

P.S. Today I wrote 4,235 words. It was a slog, but I got it done.

Want to try for 6,000 words tomorrow.

P.P.S. Also, I will be doing live over-the-shoulder videos here very soon.

Stay tuned.