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How to Be a Productive Writer
8 Personal Productivity Tips
So, time is passing and you have barely embarked on the writing project you were so eager to undertake a few months ago. You have only written a few pages and are beating yourself up due to your apparent lack of discipline and consistency.
This is an evident tale for most writers despite setting weekly or monthly goals regarding their writing projects. The discussion looks at personal productivity tips that writers can use to achieve their goals.
Develop a Writing Ritual
Mastery of an authentic craft is only possible by following an uncompromising daily practice.
This way, you develop the discipline to practice the same thing over and over again. Similarly, when working on how to be a productive writer, you need to be disciplined in following a routine or ritual. The ritual does not have to be predictable and boring since you can include a little variety, e.g., listening to your favourite playlist, making a cup of herbal tea or lighting a cigarette. A ritual is a something that alerts your brain that it’s time to write. It also works as an anchor point during the day or week that contributes to your creativity or writing process and makes you productive over time. Following a writing routine over time will help realise these and more benefits:
- You have more time to relax and engage in social activities
- You have control over everyday activities
- You get to break bad habits
- Reduce procrastination
- You get to enjoy adequate rest
Working from Shared Office Space
Working from home has its perks but can be very disruptive for a writer.
Your neighbour, pet and kids create distractions that affect productivity. Co working spaces are designed for people to avoid such disruptions and concentrate on the task at hand. The spaces are equipped with all resources you need to work and enable writers to adopt a flexible work schedule. Another benefit of working from shared office spaces is that you get to network with other writers who have a diverse range of skills.
Designate a Special Place for Writing
There are two types of writers - those who designate a special place for writing and those who can concentrate regardless of where they are.
The first group may be more productive at a café, a designated study area at home or another desired place that helps them concentrate on writing. For the second group, noise, kids, cell phones, traffic or other distractions do not interfere with their activities. They can find internal quiet and embark on writing productively anywhere.
Identify a Specialty and Focus on It
Most writers can write about a vast range of topics. Having such a skill is a bonus, but developing a writing specialty improves your productivity.
This is because you develop specialist knowledge in the subject and are familiar with all the resources required for writing. You know where to look for a statistic, quote or results of a study to back up your points, and are well-versed with the context and vocabulary used in the subject.
Additionally, research for one essay or article introduces a flood of ideas for other articles on the same topic. Writers who specialise in a particular genre read, research and monitor trends in the subject. This practice does not disregard writers who write about different issues as it can be lucrative, exciting and mentally stimulating.
Using the internet most of the day can dupe you into checking into your social media accounts for a significant amount of time, which is unproductive.
You need to turn off the notification icon, wear noise-cancelling headphones and keep off social media and other platforms that may be affecting your productivity when writing.
This method is useful when you are dedicated to working free of distraction for an extended period. You can also apply the 90/90 rule where you devote 90 minutes to intense, uninterrupted work for 90 days to creating something that you love. It makes a significant difference compared to 90 minutes of multi-tasking and on-and-off work.
See our page: Minimising Distractions and Timewasters for more ideas.
Keep a Journal
Skilled writers have developed unique ways of expressing themselves by keeping journals.
Keeping a journal allows writers to record everyday flashes of insight and memorable musings that will otherwise disappear into oblivion. That’s how novelists, comedians and playwrights get fresh ideas for their writings. They are all too aware that simple conversations, feelings, experiences and anecdotes of the day provide ideas for the script. Keeping a journal enables them to store all such ideas for use at the right time.
There are no specific rules for keeping a journal; you can write as often as you want. Individuals living alone may have lots of flexible hours to create the journal, but a parent with kids may find it a little more difficult.
Here are tips for being productive when writing a memoir:
- Schedule specific writing times
- Make it a hobby and not a chore
- Use it to discover yourself
- Focus on the process instead of the product
- Use your own life experiences to get ideas for your journal
Keep it Short
Most writers have short bursts of creativity that last a few minutes to an hour.
During this period, they deliver the best work and break for a few minutes before embarking on the job again. While other writers prefer writing long texts for a long time, it may not be the best way to deliver the best work.
Obtain Feedback throughout the Process
Whether you are writing a book, a blog or other form of writing, a fresh set of eyes helps identify gaps you may have overlooked.
This kind of feedback makes the difference between creating an impressive book or essay and publishing substandard material. A writer creating a blog may engage editors to work on their text before posting it. They will look at the structure of the document, spelling and grammar, and provide useful insight regarding the content, which makes valuable tips to increase productivity. It’s easy for a writer to get lost in a post they have been working on for a long while, hence the need to engage a different party to edit and offer constructive feedback.
About the Author
Caroline Bird is a lifestyle travel writer who loves exploring the world, reading and spreading all the positive energy to others who also passionate about traveling out there!