Writing loads of high-quality content regularly is not just for the pros. With the right discipline and practice, you can also equip yourself to be a more productive writer.
Productivity is the ultimate differentiator. What sets a successful person apart from others is the way they approach work. It is not a one day task, but a constant effort. Being productive holds a different meaning in different professions and fields. For example, a daily wage worker indicates their productivity in the number of hours put in. But for writers, the meaning percolates down to an impactful piece of writing.
As we approach the end of another year, it makes sense to look at the journey so far and chart out the way forward. A lot of us would be looking to become published writers, while others would be willing to score better commercials on their work. It thus becomes imperative to understand how to improve your current status of productivity to become a better writer.
We’ve come up with a list of the top six tips to be a more productive writer. Writers inherently tend to go against these steps even when they know they shouldn’t. Activities like casually checking social media or giving in to the sudden desire to have a conversation are some of them. Superciliously they seem quite harmless. But over time they can prove very fatal to the overall cause. Sometimes you need to reinforce these faint notions of how to be a more productive writer. So, here’s revisiting the basics and building a strong foundation for you as a writer.
1. Don’t Wait For Inspiration
Writing when you are driven by inspiration is a wonderful experience. As rewarding as it is, it is not going to happen as often as you like. Beginner writers usually wait for high levels of motivation before they start writing. However, to be a more productive writer, you have to stop relying on a whimsical muse.
This is one of the reasons full-time writers rarely talk about inspiration. Writing, like any other pursuit, is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you learn how to be a more productive writer.
2. Follow A Schedule
Develop a schedule for writing, and stick to it. Even on days when you don’t feel motivated to write, write something in the time allotted. Say you’ve allotted 30 minutes every day for writing. In that time frame, do not do anything else except writing.
Taking writing challenges is an excellent way to learn how to be a more productive writer. For example, the Fiction Hotshots Challenge could help you come up with creative pieces spontaneously. With the Freewriting Poetry Challenge, you can quickly write down your best thoughts as a masterpiece yet to be chiseled.
To be a more productive writer, everything you write doesn’t have to be brilliant, or exciting. You just have to inculcate the discipline you need to make writing a consistent habit.
3. Have A Writing Space
It is no secret that you need to feel comfortable in your surroundings in order to write freely. One great way to be a more productive writer is to have your own writing corner.
Your writing space can induce your creativity and keep you writing in a flow.
This little space can be anywhere. A cozy nook of your house, your favorite chair, your balcony, a beach, any place of your choice. Make sure to write in a place that lets you enter your creative zone and stay there as long as you like.
Your space doesn’t necessarily have to be a quiet, zen area. In fact, you may work fine even without one. Many writers are well aware that you don’t always need an ideal place to be a more productive writer. You can write anywhere, whenever the words and thoughts come to you. The important thing is to choose a place that you feel helps you write better.
4. Follow A Template
Deciding beforehand which template your piece is going to follow is great. It helps you get into writing without a hassle. When you have a solid layout to start with, you save time on decisions and thoughts.
Starting at the very beginning can sometimes be daunting. This way, you can even jump into the second part of your piece, and then go back to the first. You can pen down your ideas for any section you like first. This will help you finish quickly and not get stuck in between.
5. Write First, Edit Later
This is one of the most important tips on how to be a more productive writer. You may find yourself editing while writing even when you don’t really intend to.
It’s time to accept that the first draft will not be perfect, and that’s okay. Editing is what makes your piece a polished, overall better version of the drafts. But you can’t be a more productive writer when your inner critic constantly interrupts your writing flow.
When you write, don’t pay attention to the mistakes in your work. Just write everything you would like to. Let the words flow and capture every interesting thought you have on paper. Once you finish writing the first draft, then you can put on your editor’s hat. Be it format, spelling, or grammar, do it when you edit, and not while you write.
6. Eliminate Distractions
Some writers need absolute silence when they write, while others prefer white noise or soft instrumental music. Some find that they cannot be a more productive writer when they have web browsers open. On the other hand, some writers work much faster and better when they have tabs open for research.
This goes to show that it depends on what counts as a distraction to you. When you know for a fact that certain things will distract you, get rid of them. If you are one to easily be carried away by social media, turn your mobile phone off. Don’t use social apps for the duration that you write.
While all these tips can definitely help you become a more productive writer, don’t forget that every writer is different. For instance, one person may be able to write well even in blaring traffic jams. But they could be lacking time management skills. Once you’ve been writing for a period of time, you can assess your skills.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will tell you where you need to improve in order to be a more productive writer. If you’re struggling with making writing a routine, you can try some innovative writing challenges on GoSocial. These challenges can stimulate your mind and keep you motivated to write regularly.
Remember to take frequent breaks when you start feeling stuck in the same place. A change of scenery can refresh your mind and help you write much better. There is no easy shortcut to being a more productive writer. With practice and patience, you will gradually improve in the areas you need to. So, practice consistently to unlock the productivity levels of your dreams.