Writing is hard. If you didn’t already know that then you probably aren’t a writer. It’s pretty fun, too, but we bounce back and forth between write and promote, there are so many things tugging at us when it comes to getting our work done. So here are some of my best tips on how to improve your productivity as a writer:
1. Set a timer. I find that one of my main productivity sucks is all the distraction available on my computer. So for half hour increments I’ll often set a timer and during that half hour, I can’t do anything but write. No email, no phone, no games, no internet, no twitter. Just write. You will be amazed how productive you can be.
2. Set boundaries. The way you are treated is often created by the way you act. Don’t apologize for the time you need to write. Your family and friends will treat your writing with more respect if you do.
3. Plan. This may not work if you’re really productive as a ‘pantser’ (you don’t plot), but one way I keep my productivity high is not writing myself into corners. To avoid this, I plot. Then I already know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. From there, it’s just letting the story unfold down that path.
4. Schedule. Make sure you schedule when you write. If this is going to be your job, you need to make time for it.
5. Set goals. Daily page goals, goals on chapters, goals on time you’ll be writing, goals on when you’ll finish a book. Goals will help you guide your scheduling and writing.
6. Concentrate. Focus on projects and FINISH them. Having twenty-three starts to books will never sell you a book. Editors and agents like finished books. So finish your projects because that is REAL productivity.
7. Give yourself breaks. Everyone needs a day off and if you’re working full-time and writing and doing stuff with your, you know, LIFE, you can easily get burned out. Give yourself some flex days or scheduled days where you just don’t write. Recharge and relax on those days.
8. Love what you write. Loving your project and putting your whole heart into your characters and stories is the best way to keep your enthusiasm high and your fingers flying across the keys. And your readers glued to the pages.