Want To Boost Your Writing Productivity? Here’s How

By on September 15, 2016

Being a writer requires lots of hard work, determination, and more often than not, a little bit of luck too!

However, one thing that many writers don’t expect when they start dedicating more time to their craft is how organised and disciplined they have to be as well. Unfortunately, organisation and discipline don’t necessarily come naturally to us creative types. I certainly find myself rushing around late for everything, always writing and rewriting lists of things I need to get done (but inevitably giving myself an unrealistic amount to do and never completing them)! I also find myself wondering where I filed receipts and invoices (if at all), staring hopelessly at my screen clicking between two versions of my book and trying to figure out which one is the most recent one, and putting off important jobs that I don't want to do - the list goes on!

Getting organised is critical if you want to become a productive writer. Essentially, by having all your affairs in order and creating streamlined processes for other tasks such as accounting, research, idea pitching, chapter structuring, marketing, blogging, social media and so on, you are freeing up more time to do what you love i.e. write.

So how can you finally get your act together and boost your writing productivity?

Here as some tips:

Get through your list, or kill it

You know those tasks that keep being transferred from one list to another, the ones you never get round to doing? Well either do them or take them off altogether. Some tasks are too vague or too complicated to put on a list, for example ‘learn about Photoshop’ ‘understand how social media works’ - these tasks take up huge amounts of time, and the actual goal is not quantifiable.

Having unrealistic expectations of yourself will only leave you feeling disheartened and embarking on a half-hearted attempt to tackle them when you have a spare half hour - and inevitably getting nowhere. If you like to have lists to structure your day make them short, and make the tasks specific and achievable.

Spend less time organising and more time doing

Often the problem is that we ‘over organise’ ourselves and this takes up far too much of our precious time.

Do you find yourself spending an hour each day re arranging then colour coordinating your schedule to make sure it is as slick as it can be? Let’s face it, most of the time we know what we want to get through in a day to feel satisfied and on top of things  -so use your time wisely and just get on with it.

Prioritise wisely

You may have a number of deadlines to juggle, and these will play a part in how your organise your day/week/month, but also make sure that you aren’t avoiding those pesky tasks that you secretly just don’t want to do.

Often by starting your day doing the things you enjoy the least you’ll find it so much easier to work and get everything done.

Many writers also love to procrastinate, they find themselves doing their tax return three months early because they can’t face sitting down and pushing themselves to be creative. If this sounds like you then make writing your priority - do it before anything else and you’ll feel so much better about yourself.

Know what you are capable of

If you continuously compare yourself to other writers or give yourself an impossible amount of work to do you are going to feel stressed out, never get on top of your workload and inevitably feel like a failure.

Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time, and sometimes you might have an ‘off’ day and not get as much done as you had hoped - that's OK. Go easy on yourself, and be realistic about what you can do.

Being a productive writer is achievable, and using these tips to get organised will help you get there. How do you stay organised and productive as a writer? Let us know!

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

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

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