How to Be a More Productive Writer

If you rely on your words to generate all (or a good chunk) of your income, then it’s essential that you’re productive.

Being a prolific and successful writer requires good planning and organisation so that your writing time is well spent.

Here are some tips on how to become a more productive writer:

1. Establish a daily writing routine that is manageable and achievable.

2. Write a daily ‘to-do’ list that is also manageable and achievable.

3. Keep your workspace organised and tidy so that you know where everything is. (No more wasted time searching for pens, files, notes, books, secret stash of chocolates, etc.)

4. On the subject of tidiness, clear or archive your computer files, documents and bookmarks on a regular ‘as you go’ basis so that you avoid ‘information overwhelm’. Remember to back-up important files so that you don’t lose essential work!

5. Write where you are free of distractions. If you’re tempted to check email or facebook every 5 minutes, you’ll find productivity a struggle. Make sure that your writing time is dedicated to the writing process.

6. Of course, writing is just part of the journey. Divide your time constructively between writing, research, admin, looking for writing jobs, marketing, and promotion.

7. If you’re working on several projects, prioritise your writing so that you meet the required deadlines.

8. Keep a clear record of all your communications with editors and publishers so that you can quickly refer to the information when needed.

9. If you’re struggling to write, don’t panic! Start with some creativity prompts or free-writing exercises for inspiration.

10. Create a writing resource, listing essential time-saving writing services and resources.

11. Update your to-do list every day so that you know what needs to be accomplished. It will act as motivation – especially if you treat yourself when you’ve checked everything on the list (note previous reference to secret stash of chocolate!).

Being organised will help your productivity and, if you establish a good routine, you’ll be on your way to becoming a prolific and successful writer.