4 Tips to Getting More Writing Done In Less Time

4 Tips to Getting More Writing Done In Less Time

4 Tips to Getting More Writing Done In Less Time
Photo by Martin Weller / via Flickr

4 Tips to Getting More Writing Done In Less Time

Need to increase your writing productivity? Finding it hard to get any writing done? Here are four tips to getting more writing done in less time.

1. Get off the internet.

Yes, that includes social media and email. Isn't it fun checking our social media feeds and seeing what else is new? There's just something about it that draws us in and makes us want more. We check the feed and then we refresh the feed and then we refresh the feed again like there was something we might have missed. It's not like we think hearing about other people's news is so important or that it's more important than focusing on our work. It's just something that captures our attention and gets us to procrastinate.

I'm an expert in this area of procrastination. I'm an expert in other areas of procrastination, too. And I'm sure many other writers are the same way because we're a great crowd. 🙂

The fact of the matter is if we want to get our writing done in less time, we'll need to get focused. And to get focused, we'll need to remove the distractions. If you can't trust yourself to stay away from the internet, you'll need to either remove the shiny devices from your writing station or turn the internet off.

2. Write when you feel energized.

Ever get to the end of the day and then decide you're too tired to write so you go to bed thinking you'll get up early the next day? I've done that more often than I'd like to admit. Or I'll lie down on the floor of my office for a little nap. Only when I wake up, I decide I better just go to bed. In Alaska where we lived in a cabin rental tucked away from the rest of the world, my writing sessions started at 9 PM, and I'd go until midnight or later. Now that we live in Virginia in farm and horse country (that's code for early risers), I've had to make adjustments, and it's taken a little extra time to get used to it. If I want a decent night's sleep, I can't stay up that late anymore.

My point is to write when you have energy. And if you don't have energy, then you need to make it somehow (i.e., coffee, essential oils, water). At least so you can get a few minutes of writing in every day. Only you know what your limits are.

3. Have a plan.

Having a plan helps to keep the momentum going. Even if you plan to write freestyle, it's a good idea to have a writing plan as backup in case you come to a stop in the story or the writing flow. One of the things I like to do before my writing sessions is brainstorm ideas and character and plot details. This gives me a sense of direction for when I start writing so I'm not floundering around trying to figure out what to write.

4. Set a timer.

Nothing says focus like a timer in motion. Without a timer, something to strive for, it's easy to make a goal take as long as it takes. And we know that largely depends on how much time we're actually giving it. If we are giving ourselves an hour to write, we need to have some kind of goal in mind. That could be a word count goal or a certain number of paragraphs or pages. It's shocking how much we can get done with a timer, a target, and a little determination.

Setting ourselves up for success will help us get more writing done in less time, keeping us focused on our writing goals and making progress every day.

Jody Calkins
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