Happy Work Wise Week! As this is the week to work better and wiser, QuickBooks is sharing tips on productivity. So I thought I would take this opportunity to share my best productivity tips for writers. After all, we writers are sometimes more productive than we ever thought we could be, and other times we sit and stare at a blank screen.
So here are my top five tips to stay productive and stay writing!
1. Write Every Day
I'm sure you've heard this before; most writers say it a lot. That's because it's really important. Writing is like a muscle; it must be exercised. You wouldn't expect to be able to run a marathon without training. You wouldn't expect to be great at a sport you haven't played since you were six. And writing (and creativity) is like that. It doesn't matter what you write or to what standard, but writing something makes all the difference. If you write every day, it makes it easier to write every day, and before you know it, your word count will be growing, and you'll be that productive author you always wanted to be!
2. Set Aside Time To Write
Never underestimate the power of a routine. If you set yourself an hour each day and stick to it, you'll find it'll get easier and easier. We humans love a routine, so it makes sense to make writing part of your normal life. If writing is something you do each day, you'll get better (and faster) at it. This will only work if you keep to it and make sure you spend your hour (or however long) actually writing. Don't let anyone or anything get in the way - that includes your inner editor. This time is for writing ONLY, so write on!
3. Turn Off The Internet
This is the first thing I do if I find myself dawdling to start a chapter or continue on with yesterday's work. The distraction of the internet is too huge and has too many possibilities, so it has to go. Block the Wi-Fi on your computer during your writing time, and if you have to look something up, leave a mark in the manuscript and come back to it. I'm not saying the internet is your only distraction, but it is the biggest. And it doesn't hurt to put your mobile phone out of reach.
4. Set Daily Goals And Stick To Them
Just as important as writing every day is having a word count to reach. Don't panic, you can start small. If you have a word count to reach, you're more likely to write more in an effort to reach it. Otherwise, you might just sit there for your hour and then move onto something else, satisfied. I don't know about you, but if I haven't reached a certain amount of words, I am not satisfied. Once this becomes a habit, you'll find yourself going over the word count in a flash and not quite believing your eyes.
5. Get Help From Your Friends
There are all sorts of different people who can help you stick to your writing. Friends and cheerleaders are amazing because they keep asking for more work, and that gives you the added pressure to keep writing as you've got people you don't want to disappoint. But an underrated helper is the friendly rival. I wrote a novel in less than twenty days once because I wanted to beat my friend to it. Neither of us expected to finish so fast, and we were both flabbergasted by the results. Sometimes to be at your most productive, you have to initiate a 'word war'. I've always considered myself a prolific, productive writer, but never has that been as true as when I took part in my first 'word war'. I encourage all of you to try it at least once. You'll be amazed with the outcome!
Of course, some days are easier than others, and that's a fact of life, but I hope these tips can help you power through the hard days and write like the wind through the good ones.
Happy Work Wise Week, everyone!