Are you struggling to make the most of your writing time? Do you find yourself procrastinating or losing focus when it is time to write? Do you Want to start writing a book or blog but you are not sure where to start? My new blog and video series, How to Write, will focus on providing tips, motivation, and information that will help you get to get started writing, stay motivated to write, and make the most of the time you have to write.
I will be covering a variety of writing topics in this series. New Writing videos and blog post will be posted on Thursdays. I will have occasional bonus videos on Mondays.
Here are 5 productivity tips that will help you kick those problems to the curb and put you on the path to being a more productive writer.
TIP #1: Limit & Schedule Your Writing time:
Limiting the amount of time you have to write may sound like the opposite of productivity but allowing to much time to complete any project promotes procrastination. It is easy to lose focus and waste time when you don’t have a deadline. I find that scheduling 2 writing session per day works for me. Each session is no longer than 30 minutes. I can always write longer or add more sessions after I meet my daily targets. By giving myself less time to finish a task (deadline) I push myself to complete it. I know that there is no time to waste.
TIP #2: Voice Memos
Recording notes and ideas via voice memo is a great time saver. I take it one step further and record myself talking about my characters, story, and setting. It helps me move forward with my writing when I am stuck. Referring back to prior recording is a great way to find your passion for the story when it starts to fade.
TIP #3 Daily Tangible Rewards
Rewarding yourself every day for your progress will keep you motivated. The key to making rewards work for you is to make them tangible. They must be something you can do/have right after you achieve one of your small daily goals. Start by creating a list of specific rewards that you can choose from.
When I finish one of my scheduled writing sessions I Immediately reward myself by doing a page in my art journal, reading a chapter of a book, having a fancy chocolate, or watching a YouTube video. I chose these things because they are things I love. They are also things that might find myself doing INSTEAD of writing.
Yes. These are the things that I might find myself doing as a form of procrastination. Instead of setting myself up for failure for doing these things I am setting myself up for success.
I flip my guilty pleasures and turn them into rewards instead of possible forms of procrastination. I still get do the fun thing but only after I meet my goal. Make the reward fit the goal and make the reward something you want and can reward yourself with.
TIP #4 Remove Distractions
Now that you have set aside a time to write the last thing you want to do is set your self up for failure. Before your writing session takes a few moments jot down the things that are racing through your mind. Know what your potential distractions are and remove them. Do the things you need to do to stay focused. It might mean turning off your cell phone, disconnect from wifi or shutting yourself up in a quiet room. You only have a limited amount of time to write. You don’t have time for distractions.
Bonus Tips For Removing distractions
Bonus Tip #1: Is to clear your mind by spending a few moments before you session getting everything that could distract you out of your mind. A great way to do this is to use voice memo to record or simply grab a sheet of paper and jot down all the things that are cluttering up your mind. This will free you to be more creative and focused.
TIP #5 Prepare in Advance
Knowing what you are going to write before you sit down to write is key. Staring at the blank screen, waiting for inspiration, or rereading the last 2 chapters is a waste of your precious writing time. I end each writing session by rereading what I wrote and planning what I will write during the next session. I jot down those plans in my writing software. Some writers will end their writing day by stopping mid-sentence or in the middle of the scene so that it easy for them to jump into writing the next day. Experiment with different methods until you find what works for you.
Having a great outline will make your writing easier. This will help you do the thinking and planning before you start to write. New ideas may come in the writing process and that can be a wonderful thing but anyone who has ever gotten stuck while writing knows that you can’t count on it. Planning in advance and solving the plot issues before you write will save you time and effort. There is nothing more painful than having to scrap a beautifully written chapter because you discover later that it doesn’t fit with your plot.
Thanks for reading and watching. Do you struggle with productivity? Do you have a tip or question? Please comment or reach out to me on social media.