How to Write Productively

One thing most of us don't have, is a lot of time. That being said, we need to be able to use our writing time wisely when we do get a free minute.

Here are a few tips.

Alleviate Distractions. Shut out noise, shut off the internet, turn your phone to silent or better yet, turn it off so the notification light doesn’t bother you (It bothers me when it blinks, so I turn mine off entirely). Block your time and protect it.

Schedule your time. If you have only so much time to work on your writing, schedule it like an appointment with yourself. Hold yourself accountable to it, put it on the calendar, make an alarm notification, whatever helps you remember. Just make it a priority and then actually sit down when the time comes, open the laptop and write.

Write down every idea related to your topic, so you can come back to those later. Give yourself an outline to work off of so you know what to work on when you come back to writing. This helps build your projects so you can actually see results from day to day.

Why are these things important? Because you need a method to the madness, a time and place where writing is the most important thing, and some space from the world so you can focus.

When you sit down to write, sit down to write. It’s hard to turn thoughts and images into words that the rest of the world will understand. It’s almost impossible to make the rest of the world see what you see exactly. They probably won’t anyway even if you get every last detail written.

Here’s the thing: When you go into Writing mode, you need to focus on the writing itself and not on how your reader will perceive your words. That comes later when you edit. When you’re writing, just focus on recording the thoughts and feelings as they come. Let your book unfold in your mind and then describe that as best you can.

Don’t focus on word count. Focus on making the words count. That means not stopping to check how many words you’ve writing every two seconds. Focus on the story itself. What is your book trying to relate to you as it’s writer? What little things are you missing? What’s moving your scene from moment to moment?

If you’re on a deadline, the worst thing you can do is to pull yourself out of one river of thought to check on word count. The best thing you can do is explore that thought or image from every angle and then describe it as best you can.

Get the idea down. Close your eyes and focus on your topic. Do some critical thinking before hand, see the flow of the scene and everything that happens in it. Then just describe that as best you can, just to get the whole idea down. Then you can flesh it out from there.

I’ve lost many good ideas because I didn’t write them down. I suggest writing the idea, then writing as much as you can remember about what you see and how you feel. What little side details will be relevant and connect this portion of the story to the whole? Write those down too.

There’s one thing you learn as a writer when you put your head down and grind at your goals. You learn that the work, while time-consuming, hard as hell, and reluctant to come, can be sweet. The words will get down. The goals will become reality. You just have to sit your ass in the chair and make yourself do the work.

I hope this article helped you.

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