March 30, 2017

The Value of Fast Writing

Fast writing, as it turns out, is a bit of a controversial topic for some creatives. I’ve talked to a lot of writers lately who believe the creative process should not be rushed, and that doing so means sacrificing value—for the writer and the reader.

I want to take on this topic today to offer a different perspective on fast writing, and to talk about what it can do for you and why it’s a good practice. When I’m talking about fast writing I’m talking about diving into your content. I’m talking about seizing the moment and feeling into momentum.

Any of you who’ve experienced being “in flow” know exactly what fast writing feels like. The words are coming more quickly than you can type them. You know exactly what you want to say and you’re inspired. It’s exciting! Your pulse quickens. You feel ALIVE! This is the kind of fast writing I’m talking about. This kind of writing is you on fire. It’s you letting your thinking brain take the backseat for a little while. By allowing your thinking brain to go to the back seat, you’re inviting your emotional, feeling brain—or part of you—to the front. This is the part of you that is fully engaged in creation. If you can connect to this feeling (generally in your chest) right now then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Being in flow is not about going slow. Flow is fast. Flow is you in the current. It is speedy and edgy and dangerous and thrilling. The value of fast is to make it happen and get the words on the page. There’s no time for your inner critic here. By the time you see it, you’re already a half-mile down the rapids. So long, old friend! If you happen to catch a note of its nasty song—you can’t do this, you’re not good enough, this sucks!—it doesn’t matter because the words are undecipherable against the rush of the wind and the expansiveness of your soul.   

Write Your Book in Six Months is about having partners in a new journey to write fast and experience flow. It’s a process of learning how to allow yourself to write differently. Prolific writers know when to write fast and when to slow down. There are seasons for fast and seasons for slow. But too many writers get stuck in a pattern of slow creation. They buy into the idea that fast means sloppy, or inauthentic. It’s not so different from the notion that you must suffer in order to create—an idea I don’t buy into at all.

Julia Cameron encourages writers to do morning pages, an exercise that’s basically about fast writing. It’s about getting everything out and doing a free-write. I believe you can do this for the majority of the content in your book. Working with a lot of content and paring back is easier than working over months and years to coax your content to come out. It’s not for everyone, I know. But if the idea moves you and you wonder—could I?—then email Linda Joy and I to learn more about our course and how fast writing can help you finish your book.

Comments

  1. Hi, Brooke. What a fantastic post! I believe that when it comes to self-expression, our true selves are like children who just can’t wait to run recklessly across the page, and our inner critic is like the parent always telling them to stop running and basically ruining the party, the joy. Fast writing is always the writing that, when I reread it, surprises and delights me because I can’t remember writing it. I LOVE your suggestion to move this beyond morning pages to an entire manuscript. I will put it into practice beginning tomorrow. Best, Marilyn

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  1. […] people start writing for the love of writing. It’s soul-expanding. Being in flow and creating work I know is good is one of the most rewarding things I do. So when the thing we love […]

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