Perhaps the time you put aside for writing has been dwindling while other activities (whether vacuuming or a new series to binge) take up space on your calendar. Or writer’s block has hit, and you’re staring at a blank screen, hoping inspiration will strike. Either way, your writing output has suffered. But what if the experts here at Writer’s Relief told you there’s one word that will make you a more productive writer?
One word will help you write more and finish more work. That word is…
Before you can finish your poem, short story, essay, or novel, you must begin writing. Before you can get your work published, you must begin researching markets and making submissions. BEGIN is a small but powerful word that leads to more words like “new project,” “final draft,” “submissions sent,” and hopefully, “acceptance letter.” Let’s begin.
7 Simple Steps To Writing More, Procrastinating Less, And Becoming A More Productive Writer
Get inspired. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike—chase it down! Try something new to get your creative gears turning: writing prompts, freewriting, nature walks, or taking more time to read like a writer. Even a small change like writing at a different time of day may lead to new ideas and help you become a more productive writer!
Set concrete writing goals. “I want to write more” is too vague. Determine exactly what you want to accomplish. Do you want to reach a certain word count per day? Do you want to get a publication credit (or a few)? Do you have a specific editing plan you want to tackle? By setting concrete, achievable goals, you’ll find it much easier to successfully complete each task.
Give yourself permission to write badly. Perfectionism can be paralyzing—often, writers won’t even start a new project because they’re afraid their writing won’t be “good enough.” To fight the pressure to be perfect, take a deep breath and remind yourself: First drafts aren’t supposed to be flawless! Proofreading, revising, and editing will fix a messy first draft and turn it into a polished final draft. But you can’t get to that finished stage until you’ve started by writing something—anything—down. And if what you’ve written ultimately isn’t usable, so what? It may just inspire a completely different idea!
Make a writing schedule—and stick to it. Put your writing time on your calendar. Consider what time of day works best for you: Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you prefer to write in longer sessions or shorter sprints? If these answers fluctuate and you need to schedule writing time in different slots on different days, that’s okay! And remember, every minute counts when you’re trying to be a more productive writer. Even if you can only dedicate ten minutes a day to your writing, it will make a difference.
Team up with a writing buddy. When no one is holding you accountable, it’s easy to start slacking off. Sometimes, after a long day, it’s easier to flip through the channels for something to watch instead of parking yourself at your desk to start writing. The solution? Find another writer to be “writing buddies” with so you can cheer each other on and hold each other accountable to your writing schedules. Offer to trade critiques of each other’s drafts too.
Create a writing dream board. A dream board is a visual collection of your writing-related ambitions and desires. Being able to visualize your writing goals can be a powerful source of inspiration and motivation. Dream boards are also great for showcasing encouraging quotes and positive affirmations!
Find the fun in writing! Don’t think of writing as a task or a chore. Instead, focus on what you like about writing and the fun, joyful parts of the writing process. If you enjoy coming up with ideas, discover new ways to be inspired. If you prefer editing and revising to writing the first draft, remind yourself what you have to look forward to once that draft is done. No matter which phase of the writing process you enjoy most, begin and you’ll be that much closer to what you want to do!
Five Important Words: What Are You Waiting For?
Remember, you can’t submit your writing to literary agents or editors unless you first write something to submit! Once you’re ready to start submitting your work, Writer’s Relief can help you reach your publishing goals by researching and targeting the best markets for your writing. Stop procrastinating, begin writing, and take the first steps to achieving your publishing goals!
Question: What word inspires your writing process?