How To Be A More Productive Writer in 2019

By on December 24, 2018

At the start of the new year, it is time to put strategies in place to improve our writing and make it even better in the year ahead.

One common problem that so many writers struggle with is just not getting enough done. Procrastination, distractions and not having enough time are all obstacles to face when trying to be a more productive writer. However, feeling as though you are doing as much writing as you can is not only satisfying but will also help you improve your craft as well.

Writing productively, however, isn’t just about writing lots, it’s about writing well - and trying to get into a habit of doing so is even trickier.

Here are some practical strategies to help you be a more productive writer in 2019.

Get into a rhythm

All writers are different and only you know when you are at your writing best. Don’t just guess it. Experiment with writing at different times, in different spaces, when you are in different moods. It might be that you find you do your best work after a run first thing in the morning, or you might find getting into comfy clothes with a big mug of coffee and a plate of biscuits in the afternoon is when you feel most creative. Whatever works for you is what works best, and once you are in that rhythm that’s when you are at your most productive.

It’s all about habits

Getting into a writing routine is essential when it comes to productivity. Without doing so, it is extremely difficult to write well consistently. Once you have figured out your peak writing times, you need to build a realistic but demanding writing schedule around them and then make sure you stick to it. Once you have gotten into your writing routine, it will become second nature - make sure you continue to prioritize it though as if you let it slip you have to work hard to get back into it again.

Get some headspace

Some writers love to write in amongst the chaos or find they can only write when out somewhere in the hustle and bustle of life, and that’s great. Other writers, however, need to have things calm and ordered to write and any sign of clutter gets them totally distracted. There is no right answer, but understanding what kind of setting makes your brain feel most in tune with your creative self, that’s the place you should write.

Practice before you start

Do a writing warm up before you start every session by getting into the practice of free writing. This is where you write about anything that comes into your head, no restrictions, no judgment. Doing this for just a few minutes at a time can help get rid of the muddle of the day and get you ready and focused to write at your best.

Keep it short

Don’t make your writing sessions painfully long otherwise you’ll end up just writing nonsense to fill up the pages. If you want to write at your most productively keep sessions short, and always end when you feel as though you have more to say.

Don’t critic your own work (at the start)

Make a rule that you are not allowed to go back and read over what you have written until a week later. Instead, focus on getting that story down. It’s so easy to get caught up in editing in the early stages that we can ruin our own stories or run out of steam too early. You are likely to be your own worst critic so just let your writing rest for a while before you go back and chop it to pieces!

Congratulate yourself

Remember to give yourself praise. Keeping your momentum going is all about having a positive mindset and making sure you are in good spirits. So take the time to congratulate and reward yourself every time you get one step closer to achieving your writing goals.

What do you do to stay productive? Share with us here.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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