When was the last time you had a super productive day of writing? Now tell me, how often does that happen?
If you’re like me, the answer is “Not as often as I’d like.”
I totally get that. But the good news is… we don’t have to suffer from unproductivity. We can rise above the procrastinating writer stereotype and get things done! However, it does require making a few changes. So, let’s talk about 3 ways you can become a more productive writer.
Tip #1: Write According to Your Body’s Rhythm
We all know the body needs its rest in order to operate at peak performance. And that includes your brain too. You need to be properly rested. But writing around your energy level has to do with more than just getting a good night’s sleep.
Have you ever slogged through the morning only to hit your stride mid afternoon? Or are you one of those night owls who stays up all night binge watching Netflix, dreaming up ideas for the epic sci fi series you want to write, and eating all the snacks in the house?
These aren’t necessarily bad things. In fact, you should treat them as clues from your body. Me personally, I’m a morning person. So, I like to accomplish my writing early in the day–after my coffee of course.
If you’re a night owl… You’ve probably worked out a schedule for your other daily tasks. For instance, maybe you go to bed at 3:30 AM every morning and wake up at 10:00 AM. You may have your lunch (brunch), then tackle your daily tasks. You get dinner delivered at 7 PM, and then boom. Time to unwind. Now… here’s your chance. Get in some primo writing time!
Point is… Everybody has a different bodily schedule. And when you work with your body, by planning your writing time around your energy level, you can get more done in every writing session. So this week, why not try writing once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night? See when you feel the most ready to write productively, and consider adjusting your routine accordingly.
Tip #2: Use Professional Writing Software
You know what really irks me about writing? All the “other stuff.” By this, I mean editing, formatting, converting, graphic manipulation, etc… Most of the writers I know would rather keep writing than work on tasks like these.
And with pro writing tools, you can finish these to-dos faster and get back to writing sooner.
Take Scrivener for instance. Formatting and filling in outlines can feel kind of boring. But if you’ve listened to James Patterson’s MasterClass (which you really should), you know that plotting out the anatomy of a book can make writing it so much easier. Scrivener makes this process simple – or simpler I might say.
It has awesome planning, brainstorming, outlining, and organizational tools to help you get through those sticky wickets.
And what about ProWritingAid? Grammar, style, spelling, tone checks — all made simple. Honestly, if you’re not using a top-notch editing software…You need to get on that. It can save you so much time.
The fact of the matter is this: Don’t overcomplicate things. Make life easier for yourself and utilize pro writing software. Once you do that, you can focus more on your writing and get back to doing what you love.
Work smarter, not harder.
Tip #3: Write Like It’s Your Business
Whether you’re a full-time writer or a budding hobbyist, write like it’s your job. You see, being a writer normally means working from home — with the freedom to work whenever you feel like it.
But here’s the thing…Some days you won’t feel like it. And this lack of urgency can lead to procrastination or even failing to write at all.
Take each day seriously. Set writing goals and do everything you can to achieve them. Whether it’s a word count or a number of articles written, go in and make it happen. Even some of the most prolific authors in the world use this technique.
Stephen King is quoted as saying, “I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to two thousand words.”
2000 words a day. With a properly formed outline, that can easily be done. Does this mean you should stop at 2000 if you want to keep going? Heck no!
On the other hand, you don’t even need to hit 2000 a day. Maybe 1000 is your target. Or 500.
In fact, the big point isn’t even about words.
Or maybe you’re writing a cookbook of Mexican recipes. In that case, you might want to set a daily recipe goal instead of a work goal.
The point is to always keep moving forward. You’re as talented when you don’t feel like it as you are when you do. So just write.
There are countless methods you can use to write more productively. But the real trick is this…
Find out what works for you.
These three tips are relatively universal. You can use them whether you’re writing a book about zombies or an all-German blog post about air frying without oil.
That said, these strategies can always be adjusted. Don’t get stuck on trying to force yourself to adopt a strategy that isn’t going to work. That can definitely add to the counterproductivity you’re attempting to get rid of.
One of the best ways I’ve discovered to get new strategies is watching and learning from the best. MasterClasses and other online courses can really inspire and guide you to bigger, better things.
Well, I hope you can take something away from this article just as I have. So, if you’ll excuse me… I gotta go write!