you ever wondered how some writers manage to churn out so
much material in such a short amount of time?
these amazingly prolific authors do nothing else with
their lives but write. They would have to in order to
produce the sheer volume of work that leaves their desks,
The key to
increasing your productivity is to fully utilize your
allotted writing time by writing your already-planned
material first. You do have an allotted
time scheduled for your writing, don't you?
better skip straight to the tips then.
the top ten ways to increase your writing productivity
Create a weekly time-table for yourself. Be honest about
how much time you can afford to set aside purely for
writing without distraction. This time is NOT to be used
for reading or researching. This is pure creative writing
time. Stick to this time-table as rigorously as you can.
Read everything. Read books you've read before because
you love them. Read really bad books. Read outside your
usual genre. Read advertisements on cereal boxes. You'll
quickly learn what makes a story or article memorable and
how to spot a lemon at 500 paces. Just read.
Always have a basic idea of what you will write before
you sit down to the task. Think about this in the car (or
bus) on the way home. Create the upcoming conflict while
you are in the shower. Talk over the impending scene at
dinner (and if you are alone, tell the dog/cat/plant - it
doesn't matter!) However you arrange it, by the time you
sit down to write it, the scene will be almost perfected
in your mind. Writers block cannot exist if you've
already planned what you are going to write.
Set yourself a realistic, yet strict deadline. If you
are writing an article, set your deadline for the day
after you anticipate finalizing the research. No excuses.
If you are writing a longer piece, be aware of your own
limitations, but don't be so lenient on yourself that you
Put yourself under pressure. Nobody creates their
best work under pressure, but it will be enough to get a
completed draft finished. You can always revise and
perfect it later, but get it done first. Set that
deadline, then email your friends and call your family.
Tell them what project you are working on. Tell them when
you plan to have it ready. Then tell them they must
call you (or email you) on that day to read your efforts.
If you have not completed this task, they are allowed to
tease/taunt/chide you until your ears burn. That's
pressure! And accountability, which is a key motivator.
Keep a file or notepad of ideas that strike you. Take
it with you everywhere you go and write down every little
thing that seems interesting. It might not fit into the
story you are working on, but it just may inspire
something else later on.
Never work on only one project at a time. This sounds
like the easiest way to distract yourself, but it works.
The mind is a strange creature. If you actively begin
three projects at once, then anytime your mind refuses to
cooperate with one storyline or character situation,
switch to a short story or article instead.
Be ruthless. Remember, you're on a deadline here, so
cut your beloved words to the bone, where the real story
is hiding beneath all that flowery prose. Be sure your
character's eyes are the same color at the end as they
were at the beginning. Check that your plot makes some
kind of sense, and know when to throw out words you love.
You can always put them into the 'ideas file' and re-use
them later, so don't panic.
There is no point in writing if you are never going
to submit it to the judgmental eyes of a complete
stranger. So do a little homework, find a suitable market
for your piece and send it out the door. Not
tomorrow, but now. It's written, edited and
polished, so it's no good to you sitting in the bottom
drawer. If it is rejected, send it back out. A rejection
is not personal. It's an editor's way of telling you they
already spent their budget this month. Send it to someone
with better money sense.
Number One way to Increase Your Productivity is...
Silly isn't it? But it is true. Switch off the
television. Put the kids to bed a little earlier. Get out
of bed an hour earlier. Take a pocket-recorder with you
in the car. Jot things down in your lunch-break. Pretend
to have a tummy-bug and lock yourself in the bathroom for
an hour (this works!!) Take a notepad to bed with you
instead of a book. Stop surfing the net and open a new
Copyright Lee Masterson. All Rights Reserved.
Lee Masterson is a freelance writer from
South Australia. She is also the editor of Fiction Factor
(http://www.fictionfactor.com) - an online
magazine for writers, offering tips and advice on getting
published, articles to improve your writing skills, heaps
of writer's resources and much more. Check out Lee's
newest book, "Write, Create & Promote a Best-Seller"
here and jump-start
your writing career.