How to Type 1667 Words in 30 Minutes

A picture of a person typing at a keyboard with two hands.
Type like lightning!
To me, 500 words in thirty minutes is unacceptable. Yet, in a couple #wordmongering sessions on Twitter, that was what a few of my partners got out of it.

On the other hand, I can pound out 1100 words in the same amount of time, but I still have a long way to go.

So, forgive me for giving advice on a matter I have little experience in, except that I know I can reach this goal. I once been able to reach this goal, but months of not writing regularly left me rusty. My goal for NaNoWriMo is to regain this speed.

So, want to know how to write 1667 words in thirty minutes? Proceed.

The Math Says It's Possible

According to my handy dandy computer calculator, 1667 divided by 30 is about 56. So to complete a NaNoWriMo daily word count in such a time, you have to write 56 words per minute.

Sound daunting? Indeed. Yet, it's only slightly less than a word per second. Let's think theoretical here. In the end, it all averages out. You can batter out three or four small words within a second, while the longer ones might take slightly more. If you're a fast typist, it's not only possible, it should be a breeze for an expert typist!

I mean, I've encountered at least one typist who can do 90 123 words per minute! Yikes!

Yet, that's probably not for thirty minutes straight, but still...don't you think it's not a far-off goal, to dedicate only fifteen minutes of writing for an entire 50k word draft?

Now How Can You Make This Reality

The answer to all of this is momentum. To build momentum, you have to eliminate as many writing trip-ups as possible.

What does this means?

  • You have to prevent yourself from hitting the backspace.
  • You have to prevent yourself from getting tripped up from a thought.
  • You have to learn how to type as efficiently as possible, and to prevent the trip-ups and typos that cause that backspace temptation in the first place. (By the way, that last turn of phrase was from not getting tripped up from a thought).
  • You have to kill your internal editor and send her million pieces throughout known civilization.

Tall order, eh?

I'm working on accomplishing all of those. I'm working on banishing the trip-ups, and pushing through as fast as I can, thinking as quickly as I can, eliminating those typos as fast as I can or just not causing them in the first place, along with thinking about the next though to batter out, as I'm writing this blog post.

I'm training right in front of you. I hope you don't mind.

Now, About Those Thoughts...

Have a basic idea of what you're writing each session.

It should be easy. It shouldn't be extensive. All you have to have is an inkling of what you want to write, whatever it's a scene, some tibbet or word drip you want to include, or whatever you want to throw onto the wall.

Because if you want to be as efficient as possible, you can't stop to think about what you want to write. You need to know what you need to write before embarking on the journey to manifest it onto your computer.

Make sense?

Also, give yourself liberty to stray the path if it leads you to gets those more spontaneous yet creative thoughts out. I'm finding that I'm more of a "plotter that pants". Meaning? I make the skeleton, then use whatever atoms that happen to get into line to stuff it with skin and organs.

Create the Zone

Last of all, you need to find the mindset so you can lock yourself into your writing.

Create the perfect environment. Shoo away everything that can distract you, or use something like music or white noise to block them out. For me, I find that any kind of music can do. Just a few days ago, I wrote a dire fight scene to "Gangnam Style". I might also decide to play a similarly goofy song when writing the bloodiest death in the novel.

Hey, let me have my fun! Isn't that what writing supposed to be? Besides burst veins and sweaty tears?


Overall though, think of NaNoWriMo as a way of improving your craft. Think about it as a way of learning how to get all of those great thoughts out in the fastest way possible. It's a juxtaposition between quality and quantity, and learning how to churn out the former while doing the latter is what I want to aim for.

Now, this approach isn't for everyone. If you're the person who can never get pass slow-writing, yet that works for you, continue doing what you do. Anything that work goes, after all. But if you're more of a newbie writer, experiment. Splatter paint on a canvas, and find out the best way of making a mess.

Besides, messes can always be cleaned up later.

YOUR TURN: What are you primarily working on for NaNoWriMo? Are you working on your craft, aiming for a publishable product, or are you just getting yourself to write?