1.I wake up early. Because of my chronic disease (endometriosis) I need to follow a strict regime to just function. It involves having a slow breakfast and exercising for at least an hour in the morning (often my exercise consists solely in running with the dog). My regimen takes a lot of my time, so waking up early helps: At first it was difficult, but I’ve learnt to incorporate my writing into my early morning schedule and it has skyrocketed my productivity!
2.I write everyday, always at the same time. This create a good habit that helps your brain going into “writing mode” faster, getting “in the zone” for a longer period. I’m not saying it’s easy, it takes time to be able to achieve it, but it’s really worth the effort. You can start by trying to write as often as possible, like 3 times per week always at the same time, and then build it from there. Baby steps are a thing, so please don’t feel like a failure if you can’t achieve this goal in a couple of weeks, not even if you can’t in a month! Treat this as physical training: You can’t run a marathon if you haven’t run around the block first!
I block out time.This is strictly connected to the above point: I manage to block out time (usually two horse in the morning, two more in the afternoon if I’m lucky) to write my FICTION. Yes, because I’m a copywriter, so I write web content and press releases the rest of the day (and those have the priority, since they put bred on the table).
3.I Establish REASONABLE word count goals, and TRACK MY OUTPUT.Now, whether you’re a seasoned writer or not, the important thing is to establish reasonable goals and stick to them. “How do I know that my goals are reasonable?” You may ask. Well, again, fitness can help us here. If you are a seasoned writer, you already know how much you can write on average in a day. You can decide to slightly increase it, like you’d do if you were training for a marathon or simply go to the gym regularly. If you run, once it’s established that you can run, say, 2 miles per day, you can start slowly increasing it and try to run 2.2 miles on day one and then build it up until you’ve reached your goal. If you’re an amateur writer, on the other hand, and you want to step-up your game, you should try to write regularly FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE OF MONTHS. Then, once you have at least 60 days worth of data, you can figure out how much you can write in a day on average and decide if you’d like to increase it or if, for now, it’s OK with you to stick to your current routine. Data are everything and, before you say it, let me say it first: yes, I’ma nerd and proud! Remember, IT TAKES TIME TO BUILD A VALID WRITING ROUTINE, so DON’T bit yourself up if you can’t do it overnight. Again, you don’t become able to run a marathon overnight, it usually takes A YEAR OF PRACTICE!
4.I Block out the world with music, or relaxing sounds. As for the music, you can see my playlist here. As for the sound, I put on nature sounds recorded in the Irish woodland, there are free videos on YouTube, very relaxing, here’s the link.
5.I sometimes create an outline. Or I don’t.As you probably already know, writers can be divided into either outliners or pantsters, I’m personally a little bit of both. Thanks to my screenwriting studies, I was able to create a system that divides the book (or just its first part, sometimes) into “sections” or “acts” and write a few keywords under each, to guide me through the story. It’s not like producing a detailed outline which, to me, is just pure control freak neurosis, but it’s not writing without a plan either.
6.I simply write following my random inspiration, when I need a break.Yeah, some call it “brain vomit”, but I’m a lady, so I’d rather use a more refined metaphor and call it “random inspiration”, or writing “following your flux of conscience” … whatever. My point is that sometimes I get frustrated or I feel like my brain is going to explode because it’s too crammed with characters and possible plot twists and stuff, so I just take a break and write about my let’s, or I describe what’s out of my window or … I write a useful article for my blog, like the one you’re reading right now!
So, that’s all folks! These are my tips to be a more productive writer, they totally work for me, hope that they can work for you too. And, in case you have different tips, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WRITE THEM IN THE COMMENT BELOW, I CAN’T WAIT TO KNOW!