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5 tips for becoming a much more productive writer

16 December 2018

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If you work independently or from home, there can be many distractions that harm your ability to be a productive writer.

If that sounds rather familiar, worry not, because if you implement these five strategies, you’ll build a productive writing habit:

1. Take time to research

Research is vital for productive writing. A lack of solid preparation can lead to poor foundations for hour work and a muddled structure.

For non-fiction, you should research what others have written to ensure you’re not missing any vital information, background or facts. It will also help you to see if your angle or approach is in any way unique.

For fiction, you need time to create and develop your characters, settings, and uncover any plot holes. You can use mind maps or other creative methods to get your ideas down.

2. Have a positive mindset

We’ve all woken up feeling tired or not in the mood to work, but if this mindset becomes a regular occurrence, it can seriously affect your writing productivity.

Whether it’s a morning shower or a healthy breakfast, we all need something to kickstart our day.

Sitting at your computer with a positive, motivated attitude at the beginning of your day will increase your writing productivity.

3. Give yourself regular breaks

While taking a break from writing may feel counter-productive, having some much-needed space from your written work can help create clarity and increase productivity when you eventually sit back down.

Breaks can also be structured in different ways. On a day-to-day basis, the tomato timer method (otherwise known as the Pomodoro technique) works for people who need breaks little and often, while some need a solid hour away from their work.

Whichever way you work, ensure regular breaks are incorporated into your routine and at least one day is taken away from your writing each week to repair your mind and rejuvenate your thoughts.

4. Get off your smartphone/internet browser

Any research you need to undertake for your novel should be done at the beginning or end of the day, so you can immerse yourself into your writing without any distractions.

Social media and the internet are common causes for procrastination, which can affect your writing productivity. You’ll quickly find that less time spent on the internet will give you clearer thoughts, and ensure less time is wasted.

5. Create a dedicated space

Having a clean, organised and dedicated working space will also increase productivity.

The space will be associated with your work and if possible, you should be able to close the door behind you when you finish for the day. Using this space as a workspace without any outside distractions should motivate you to be more productive with your writing.

Variety can also help productivity. When that space just isn’t cutting it that day, take your work somewhere new (the local coffee shop, perhaps), for a clear headspace and change of environment.

Wrapping up

Whether you wish you had more time to write or could use the time you do have more effectively, the five tips above will help you become a much more productive writer.

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