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5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter Kindle Edition
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Chris gives you a plan for increasing your hourly (and daily) word count. A real, practical plan. One that you can start on immediately.
Not only does he give you a plan, he provides one tool to do it and recommends others that have helped him. Although he frequently mentions is iPhone app (which is related to this book) he also provides a spreadsheet. BTW Chris, you can take my money now if you develop an Android app or Chrome browser extension version. Don't mistake this book as simply an ad for the app though, he says the spreadsheet will do most of what the app does.
This book is very short. There is NO fluff. It is full of "Do this" and "This is how doing this will help" kind of advice. Simple and direct to the point. It's worth the price if not much more.
This book is the ideal companion to 2000 to 10000 by Rachel Aaron and Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker. I'd really recommend reading 5000 Words Per Hour before them as it provides basic techniques that those two books are missing or gloss over. I think together, these three books cover the topic of increasing your writing productivity from concept to minute by minute writing.
I really like the section on gamification. I think this may be the core of Chris' technique to faster writing. The idea of making writing as addicting as playing a video game is probably going to change my writing career.
I've been writing for several years and have always struggled a great deal with slow writing, due to allowing the inner editor to hamstring my forward momentum. 1,000 words a day was always my aspiration, but I didn’t often get there. It's a big, ongoing frustration.
The very first time I sat down to use the suggestions in this book, I more than tripled my previous word count per hour. Using short, timed writing sprints, I produced over 2,000 words in less than three hours of writing. I did the same thing on day two, and by day three I wrote more than 3500 words. This is a brand new novel manuscript I’m working on, and I fully expect the writing to be first draft caliber, but I can say with great confidence that it is no rougher than the rough draft material I’ve slowly sweated over in the past. In five days I've written over 11,500 words, and I am absolutely confident that I can sustain this level of writing. If this sounds like hyperbole, all I can say is that it’s a push toward a level of productivity that I have wanted for a LONG TIME, so I’m feeling quite enthusiastic.
I've read probably a dozen books on motivation/speed/overcoming resistance, and while there are always takeaway ideas, none of those books actually got me writing faster or more efficiently. Suddenly I'm looking at 3,000 words a day of fresh composition as not only do-able, but as a reasonable springboard for eventually writing at least 5k a day.
There’s a free iPhone app that can be downloaded in tandem with the 5k method in the book. I don’t have an iPhone, but Fox provides a spreadsheet alternative. I used a simple timer with the spreadsheet, and it worked great. My understanding is that the author (who is also an app developer for Apple) is looking to work with an android app developer to get an app made for non-iPhone users.
The reason I describe this book as elegant is that it’s streamlined information. You won’t have to wade through a long-winded introductory chapter that tells you what to expect in the rest of the book. Fox just dives in and gets you moving. At the end of the book, he shares some very inspirational information about his own development as a successful author, businessperson, and man—I found it moving and am quite impressed with his work. Highly recommend!
When I began reading it, I was typing 3500 words an hour - that is, when I actually sat down to write. In the entire month of June, before buying this book, I wrote 14,000 words of fiction. After reading this book, the month of July began. I did 14,000 in three consecutive days.
My typing speed soared up to 4500 words an hour, and more importantly, the word sprints conditioned me to write nearly every single day. Consistency is more important than speed, but if you can combine both? You'll be publishing fiction like it's nothing.
The best part is the section on dictation. I'd tried dictation in the past and thought that I just wasn't "good" at it. I took his advice and am now doing 5600 words an hour speaking into an external recorder and then transcribing with Dragon. My wrists aren't killing me, I'm not distracted by the Internet, and I am able to "write" even on the days when my chronic illness would normally keep me from writing. I'm always looking for ways to tempt myself away from the computer, and transcription accomplishes that.
Buy this book. It will be the best $2.99 you've spent in a long time. Thank you, Chris!