Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tips for Being A More Productive Writer

I'm not going to share the usual tips on decreasing your social media time to increase your writing time, because we all know we'd be more productive if we spent our writing time actually DOING the writing. But I'm always looking for ways to write more. I've recently discovered three things that help:

Set a Quota

Following the advice of Joanna Penn in How to Write More and And Create a Daily Writing Habit and James Scott Bell in How To Work on More Than One Book at a Time, I've been setting a daily goal or quota for how many words to every day, and trying to stick with it.

Trying to meet a quota means that I'm thinking about my story every day. Momentum builds and carries me on to the next part of the story. It's hard some days. But every time I write 100 words, I'm 100 words closer to finishing my story.

Re-Read First...But Not Right Before
You know how your best ideas always come when you're in the shower, driving to work or walking the dog? This may sound crazy, but one day I thought, why shouldn't those best ideas be about my current project? If I read a chapter or a couple of pages of my project before I walk the dog or drive the kids to school, it gets my brain primed for writing later. Even if I don't have time to sit down at my desk right away, the story is in my head when I do get a chance to work on it.
This also helps with the problem of spending all my writing time rewriting yesterday's work. Because I've already done the re-reading a while before, I've already been working on it, somewhere in my subconscious. I can quickly skim and get on with the new part. 
Don't Write Too Much
Is it possible to write too much? Sometimes I get so obsessed with writing that it takes over other parts of my life. A couple of hours can zip by like nothing, even if all I've written is a paragraph. So lately I'm making sure writing stays in its place and doesn't spill over into time with my family or time for taking care of myself. Surprisingly, when I do write, I'm more focused.

Do you have any tips for being a more productive writer?



  1. That reread tip is great. I'm going to have to try that one.

    I keep a log of my writing and update it everyday. At the end of the week I email it to my writing group and they email me their's so everyone is held accountable.

  2. These are great tips. One that I've found working for me is trying to write during the same time of day -- easier said than done but now that it's a habit, my creative muses are catching on. :)


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