So you want to be a more productive writer, eh? You’re definitely not alone in this — productivity is an issue we all have to tackle. And with all the distractions available to us, it’s no wonder we can’t keep focused on one task. So let’s talk about how to become a more productive and focused writer.
Form a Writing Habit
To be a productive writer, you need to make a habit of writing. If you’ve got other things to do during the day, it can be easy to make excuses for why you’re not writing (I worked hard today, so I deserve some time off; I’m not in the mood, etc.). Set up a time and place for writing (daily or weekly, whatever suits you best), and keep at it. The only way to form a habit is one step at a time.
Gretchen Rubin wrote the book on changing habits. You can read all the lessons in her book here, distilled into 21 sentences. Now that’s productive!
Multitasking is out, singletasking is in! You might have heard that multitasking is bad for productivity, but sometimes, that’s the only way to keep up with everything you’ve got on your plate. And sure, when you’re watching TV while ironing your clothes, it’s not likely that the result of either will suffer from spreading your attention too thin. Writing, on the other hand, demands razor-sharp focus.
Typos aren’t the only thing you should worry about when it comes to distracted writing. Lots of writers would agree that even some background noise can be a huge distraction and result in disjointed, meandering text. Even if you think your focus is unshakable and you can write well when you’re talking on the phone, give the no-distractions a try. Close all the tabs in your browser (except for the one with music in it, wink), put your phone on ‘Do not disturb’ and start up Write!’s Focus Mode to create the ultimate no-distractions environment, and watch your productivity skyrocket.
Track Your Progress
Pick a few metrics you’re going to be judging your productivity by, and track them for a week or two. It can be daily wordcount, wordcount per document, or even pagecount. What you’re measuring is inconsequential, what matters is what you do with that information.
So let’s say that you put in a solid 1000 words every other day, and somewhere under that on less productive days. The goal is clear: get up to 1000 words every day at first, then increase it to 1100, and so on. Soon enough, you’ll be a writing machine.
Check out our post on how to use Write!’s counters to increase productivity.
Don’t Wait for Inspiration
We all need some inspiration to get us going. For some, the only thing needed to get inspired is the wish to make something worthy of greatness. For others, it can be money or fame or anything under the sun. The problem with inspiration, though, is that it only works in the sort term.
If you keep waiting for inspiration to come, you’re at risk of not doing anything at all. Instead of getting inspired, get disciplined. Inspiration is what will make you write the first sentence of your story. Discipline is what will make you finish it.