Staying Productive as a Writer: 8 Essential Tips
– by Jessica Fender –
What do all famous writers have in common? They have outstanding writing skills, and they are productive. They create great books, novels, and articles and do it fast and effectively by following these techniques for staying productive as a writer.
Do you want to achieve success as a writer? You need to level-up your productivity and speed up your work.
Here are a few ideas on how you can improve your productivity and get one step closer to your big dream.
Don’t fool yourself – you can’t multitask. You can’t send fun memes to your friend and write your novel simultaneously. You need to focus on one task at a time – that’s the only right way to get more things done in less time.
Do you get distracted by Instagram and Twitter notifications every couple of minutes? Are you addicted to your phone? You can stay productive as a writer by doing one of the following things:
- Leave your phone in another room before you start working on your writing project.
- Turn your phone off.
If it’s not an option for you, use an app that blocks distracting websites and apps on all your devices, including phone, laptop, and tablet.
Set a goal
What do people do to achieve success in life and business? They start every project by setting SMART goals (the goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, rational, and time-bound) and defining milestones. For instance, when an entrepreneur sets a goal “to increase sales of product X by 20% by the end of October”, he also defines milestones like “to increase sales by 5% by May” and “increase sales by 10% by July”.
Is goal setting applicable to creative writing? Yes, it’s applicable to all kinds of projects. You can use it in your writing practice to boost your productivity.
For instance, if you are currently working on your first book, your goal may sound like this:
- “To write a sci-fi novel (200,000 words) by August 2021”
To ensure that your goal will be achieved, you should set such milestones:
- April – Write first 50,000 (introduction + chapters 1-5)
- May – Write 60,000 (chapters 6-11)
- June – Write 60,000 (chapter 12-19)
- July – Write first 30,000 (write final chapters + edit all 200,000 pages)
The goal-setting will help you to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable. Besides, it will make it easier for you to track your progress and stay focused on the task.
Focus on your achievements
Some writers say that they can’t work under deadline – they can create only when inspiration comes. They ignore milestones. And know what? The vast majority of these writers never achieve success and never become famous.
If you follow their example and will work on your writing project for too long – you will waste your potential.
Well, deadlines are terrifying. But they are not your enemies! They help you to stay motivated and productive.
Are you one of those creative people who get a panic attack when getting reminded about the deadline of the milestone? Here is a little trick you can use – try to focus on the tasks you have already completed rather than on the things you need to do.
Let’s say you set a goal to write five chapters by the 30th of April. Today is the 22nd of April, and you have written three chapters. You need to write two more chapters in 8 days. It sounds like a challenging task, but you shouldn’t get anxious about it.
YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED MORE THAN 50% of your writing tasks. YOU DID A GREAT JOB. You can be proud of yourself. You are capable of meeting the deadline, so you have nothing to worry about.
Use adequate software and hardware
Are you using your old laptop and experiencing technical glitches on a regular basis? Staying productive as a writer is difficult with problems like these. You should fix them immediately.
Technical bugs and glitches distract you from work and irritate you, and that kills your inspiration. If you keep using your slow-working device, you will likely want to quit writing.
You should try to install new software or buy a new laptop if you can afford it. Once you get a device that works smoothly, you will skyrocket your productivity and enjoy the writing process to the fullest.
If you want to stay productive as a writer, you should always start your work by crafting an outline. You should put your main ideas and key concepts on the paper before moving to character development and plot advancement.
Pretty often, newbie writers decide to skip the outline. They mistakenly believe that it helps them to save their time. But the truth is when authors have no outline, they have to spend twice more time editing their works. And that kills their productivity.
Don’t make this mistake. Whether you are writing on a 2,000,000-words book or 1,000-article, start your work by crafting an outline.
Automate editing and proofreading processes
We live in an age where all tedious processes can be automated. So why don’t you benefit from it?
Do you spend many hours on editing and proofreading? You can optimize these processes by using online grammar checkers or academic writing and proofreading services. It will allow you to focus on writing and get your creative juices flowing.
Just imagine how much free time you will have if you stop editing all your texts manually. You will unlock your hidden resources and improve the quality of your writing.
Do you naively believe that you will stay productive as a writer if you work 10+ hours a day? You are a human, not a robot. When you work for too many hours in a row, your productivity levels go down.
You need to have enough hours in a day to relax and recharge your creative mind. Otherwise, you will likely experience burnout and give up your writing project.
Well, you can keep working 24/7 as long as your inspiration lasts. But if you don’t feel like it, you shouldn’t force yourself to work 60+ hours a week.
When we say that you “need to relax,” we don’t mean that you should sit on the sofa and do nothing. We mean that you need to choose a task (simple or challenging) that distracts you from writing and work on it. It can be anything from solving puzzles and playing with your dog to cooking and gardening.
Do whatever brings you joy to unwind your mind. It will positively impact your mental health and take your productivity to the next level.
Find a proper workspace
As a writer, you can work from any place. You can work from your home, co-working space, hotel, café, park, library – choose whatever option suits you the most.
If you feel like you are not productive enough, try to find a new spot for work. Let’s say you have been working on your book from your home for a long period of time. Where can you organize your “new office”? You can try to work from a local café or rent a desk at a co-working space. The new surrounding will inspire you and trigger your creativity.
Don’t hesitate to make a change
You have the power to change your habits and change your life. You can become a better, more productive writer. All you need to do is to start using these eight tips.
Take the first step today, and you will achieve outstanding success.
About the Author – Jessica Fender
Did you like this article about social media marketing tips? Then you might also like:
Content is King: Content Marketing in the Digital Age
How to Promote a Book or Anthology
Best Email Marketing System for Authors
What is SEO and Why Writers Make Great SEO Marketers
Dictionary of Marketing Terms and Acronyms
Storytelling in Marketing
Or,consider the following:
To check out all the marketing articles available on Dreamers, visit our Marketing for Writers section.