An Extra 100 Words in Just 10 Minutes …

At AWAI, we often focus on the writing strategies and mindset you need to be a successful writer. Learning to finish projects quickly is definitely a key success factor – and it’s not just about pure speed.

When you can finish work fast, you have more time to focus on polishing your work. You can make sure you’re turning in your best quality while still hitting your deadlines.

So this week, I’ll show you five fast and super-easy strategies to fill your blank pages.

Today’s “trick” focuses on the ultimate writer skill … typing!

Now, I first learned to type way back in 1990, when my sixth-grade class got computers. Mr. Kay ensured I knew all the basics of touch typing, the technique that lets you get words on a page accurately without needing to look down at your fingers.

Little did I know how much I’d come to appreciate this skill!

When I started my professional writing career, I realized the faster I could type, the more work I could finish. That meant happier clients, faster paydays, and of course, more free time!

Suddenly, my typing speed was very, very important to me …

I started using online tutorials to consciously work on my touch-typing skills. It felt strange at first, but the end results were impressive.

While the average American types at a rate of 40 words per minute (WPM), my typing speed tops out at close to 100 WPM, with 98% accuracy.

It helps – a lot – especially when my workload is intense.

Plus, even small improvements can make a big difference. Add just one word per minute to your average, and that’s an extra 60 words an hour.

Bump your average from 40 WPM to 50 WPM, and you’ll whip out an extra 100 words in just 10 minutes.

But you may do even better …

Chris Bailey at A Year of Productivity says working on touch-typing skills can boost your speed by 50% to 100%.

And, he shared four free online typing tutorials you can try for yourself:

  1. Typing Club: With 100 touch-type lessons to try, Typing Club really digs into the details of great typing.
  2. Typing Web: Oh, it seems simple at first … but the exercises here will truly help you reform your skills.
  3. Ratatype: This site has both general exercises and speed tests you can use to measure your progress.
  4. Typeracer: I’m hooked on the competitive races here. They’re just one-minute challenges against strangers, but I love testing my skills against real opponents!

Take a few minutes right now and try out some of these typing tutorials. Share your results in the comments. And, I encourage you to bookmark your site of choice and return to it often to work on your skills.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you another quick tip to boost your personal production speed – and here’s a hint … it’s a fun but “chunky” strategy.

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Published: September 29, 2014

11 Responses to “An Extra 100 Words in Just 10 Minutes…”

  1. Ha! That was fun; I type all the time, but I haven't "practiced" typing since high school back in the late 80s.

    Guest (Scot F Martin)

  2. Jen, I just learned about the advantages of using a mechanical keyboard rather than a conventional keyboard to increase speed significantly. (Source: John Allen's Kindle book on how to make 6 figures annually by writing e-books).
    2. The QWERTY keyboard is antiquated, a frustrating example of incumbency. The Dvorak keyboard (aka "American Standard") holds all the speed records, is much more efficient, yet few are aware of it and it isn't taught in schools, even secretarial courses.

    Richard Lacey

  3. I am dexterity challenged so practicing will help. Has anyone compared their typing rate to the results of using a dictation program like Dragon?


  4. For those that are starting out, consider changing to a Dvorak layout instead of the Qwerty. That would help get up to a 50% increase in speed.

    Guest (Ed)

  5. Thanks so much, Jen.

    I took a typing course in summer school in the early 80s and didn't even finish it. I've been winging it as a typist ever since I took my rist office job. I know there are holes in the technique.

    But it never occurred to me that it might be something to improve, which could in turn improve my business. (I now work freelance full time.)

    I think I found my depth with Typing Web. It's the perfect workout.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Steve Wagner

    Guest (Steve Wagner)

  6. Great topic post and thanks for sharing this information. Any time I can improve my skills is a plus for me and the websites you've listed will definitely improve typing and concentration.

    Guest (Jeannie George)

  7. I also highly recommend the Dvorak keyboard layout. Once I switched (took a few weeks to retrain my fingers) I found it to be much faster... not to mention much easier on the fingers. About 80% of your typing is done on the home row.

    Mike Sweeney

  8. BTW, did you know that average wpm speed for adults is only 41/ Source: www dot ratatype dot com/learn/average-typing-speed/

    Guest (Aleksey)

  9. That was fun! I was curious about my speed. Turns out that I'm 67 WPM. I don't know that I could change from a Qwerty keyboard though. I'd be hunting and pecking.

    K Bernard

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