In the past year I’ve published over 100 short stories on Amazon. I’ve also blogged from time to time. This may seem like a heavy work load, but it’s not if you manage your time and stay consistent. Here are few tips to help your writing output if you’re feeling stuck…
The Pomodoro Technique is time management method where there is work intervals of 25 minutes followed by 5 minute breaks. I use this method every time I write because it helps me get into a flow.
My word count increases every work interval. The first 25 minute interval I may only be able to get 200 words but by the fourth interval I’ll be up to at least 500 or more. It also helps to have short breaks between working intervals to prevent burnout.
There are plenty off places online where you can download a Pomodoro timer, I use an app called Focus Keeper.
I use to block certain sites online, but now I just turn off the Wifi. Getting lost on the internet is the biggest killer to being a productive writer.
It starts out innocent. You go on the internet to do research for your latest post, but hours later your watching compilation videos on Youtube. We’ve all been there.
Don’t give yourself the option. Turn off your Wifi. If you need to do research for your blog or book just make a note of it and do it after when your editing.
Also, put your phone on airplane mode. You don’t need to be taking calls and texts while your writing.
Pick up a pen and paper and make an outline of what you plan to write. Don’t go in blind.
It doesn’t have to be a full on draft, just scribble down some notes so you have an idea of what you want to communicate.
For my short stories I write the general plot. Usually it’s only a few sentences. I also write down names of characters and describe the setting.
You will be able to save a lot more time and prevent writer’s block when you have somewhat of a plan mapped out.
Go For A Walk
I get the best ideas for stories/posts during or after exercising. Why? I’m not going to give you some bro science explanation because I really don’t know why. It just works.
And it doesn’t just work for me. It also works for Henry David Thoreau who once said “Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow.”
If it’s a good enough for Thoreau than it’s a good enough for you.
Free Flow, Avoid The Edit
Don’t stop to edit your writing. Save the editing for later. This is advice that I don’t always follow myself but should.
When you go back and reread every sentence you can’t get into a flow. Achieving a flow state is important when it comes to being more productive as a writer. You want nice bursts where your fingers are pounding on the keys and your mind is blank.
Get Rid Of Shame
Being ashamed of your writing is useless and won’t get you anywhere. Write as if no one will ever read it. Write for yourself.
Second guessing yourself will interrupt flow.
Treat It Like A Job
Writing may not be your job but you should still treat it like one. Set aside a part of the day that will be dedicated to writing and nothing else. An hour will do.
Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Inspiration is amateur hour. Just stare at the blinking cursor in the left hand corner till you’re so bored that you begin typing. Some days your writing will be gold. Some days your writing will be complete shit. It doesn’t matter, as long as you show up.
You can also set word counts each day. When your starting out it’s better to shoot low. Steve Pressfield goes by “200 crappy words a day.” The idea is to set a small goal to trick yourself to show up even when motivation is not there.