There is literally no person in the world that has not gone through a blank phase when words are there, but simply cannot get out. Not even the most popular writers are motivated and productive at all times, which is probably why some of the best tips for better writing come exactly from those who are best at it.
Even though writing is best when it comes from people who are talented to do this, this is still something that needs constant learning and improvement. So, regardless of your writing abilities, the same two principles always apply to writing productivity – focus and discipline. In order to achieve equilibrium of the two, you should follow the following 10 productivity tips for better writing.
Get to Know Yourself
People are most productive at a specific time of the day, a specific environment and even place. Every individual has their best time of getting things done and getting them done right, which means that you must have it to.
In order to know yourself, you must ask yourself some questions. Try out how well you work in different places and at different times to understand if you are a night owl, a morning person or someone who needs to take naps in between writing.
Some people enjoy rest at the quiet of their home, while others need a getaway once in a while. Find out what environment suits you best and if you feel tired of the place you are at the moment, take a trip. Finding your best self is the first and most important step for boosting your productivity.
Stick to a Schedule
Procrastinating is something most writers share, which means that you probably put off things for later often. If writing is your priority, you need to learn to stick to a schedule. Schedule your time to fit that which you found to be most productive for you and simply say ‘no’ to anything else that may come up, as long as it is not of high importance.
Find the Perfect Writing Space
Finding the perfect writing space is yet another part of the ‘getting to know yourself’ equation, but it may take more time than that of finding the perfect time of day. See if the best place for you to write is at the desk in your home or a spot that is fully quiet and nothing is disturbing you. If you are enjoying crowds, your best place may be the café around the block or the living room with the TV on and the family chatting.
Your perfect writing space is the spot where you feel free and there is nothing that disturbs you from your writing. Therefore, you also need to pay attention to things like room temperature and even lighting. This may sound strange now, but such things are very often the reason for a lack in productivity in writers.
Organize your Thoughts
Writing always goes better if you have a clear idea of what you are about to write ahead of time. This does not necessarily mean that you need to sit down and spend an hour on a full outline of your work, except in cases where you need such approach. You can always research, organize your ideas and brainstorm with others so that you get some idea on the direction you are about to follow.
Visualizing the next part of your story is known to be very helpful. Some writers even say that when they put themselves in the character’s shoes, they find the writing process much easier. Others find inspiration in the writing of other people. Find what your source of inspiration is and organize your thoughts from there.
Eliminate All Distractions
When we say eliminate the distractions, we do not only mean of noise, lighting or temperature. With the advance in technology nowadays, our minds are often distracted by the social media, the notifications from our emails, Facebook or Twitter and even the messages and calls on our phones.
Even though some people find it more comfortable to work when accompanied by music, distractions like the phone and the social media is never a good thing when one tries to concentrate.
Find Your Attention Span
People who can focus on one task for a long time are very rare and even that time is limited. Our brains are simply not able to continue functioning with full speed without any break, so you need to find your attention span.
Try writing in bursts until you get tired. You can always use a timer and set a specific amount of time like 15 or 30 minutes. Until the timer beeps, write your thoughts as fast as you can. Once your time is up, you are entitled for a short break.
A break does not have to last long. A short break can simply be walking around the block or making a cup of tea. Consider such breaks as your re-charge time before you get back to writing.
Once you discover your attention span, you will know when the time for break comes. Still, you have to know what relaxes you the most in order to let your mind rest. This is not as easy as it sounds, we know. However, once you understand the best way to loosen up, this is something you can do regularly when you get stuck in between writing. Do not be afraid to experience or change your tactics. Sometimes several things can be your best methods for loosening up.
You can try exercises to release the tension and get some motivation for working. You could stop writing for a minute and listen to your favorite song. Some people find snacking to be their best way to loosen up, especially if it is a food that is their favorite. Find your groove. Loosen up.
Do Not Give Up
Every writer gets stuck with a difficult task once in a while, but this can only prove your qualities. Your editor may not know that you have gone through a rough draft phase, but it is important that you know that you did not give up. Forcing yourself to cross every barrier will greatly increase your confidence and make you a better writer.
Celebrate and Reward Yourself
If you are a writer, there is probably no one to go through all the phases with you and say ‘Good job’. This is why you need to reward yourself for things that were hard to complete, but you managed to do them anyways.
This does not mean that you need to tantalize yourself with big rewards. Of course, big goals come with big celebrations, but you can allow yourself a tiny reward for small accomplishments.
As a writer, you must understand that you always have to be ready to write. Knowing that inspiration can strike at any time and any place is crucial. Therefore, make sure that you always have a way to record your ideas while they are fresh.
The fact is, every writer has experienced a time when they cannot stay focused on their writing or simply lack the ability to express themselves. Try out these 10 tips to boost your productivity in order to stay on track with your deadlines and schedule.