How to be a more productive writer or blogger

The writer’s life is a minefield of potential distractions. Getting control over these distractions is the key to being a productive writer or blogger. Here is a list of some very practical things you can do to increase your productivity.

  1. Write first: ignore the email and RSS feeds first thing in the morning. Get a substantial amount of writing and editing done before you allow such distractions. In most cases the incoming emails will not generate income, but your writing has that potential. Put first things first.
  2. Turn off the television: switch off that huge distraction in the living room. Better yet – get rid of it. If you must have a television, limit yourself to only a few select favourite programmes. Record these and only watch them as a reward for reaching your writing goals.
  3. Turn off talk back radio: I know this is a particular problem for me. I enjoy listening to radio but it is so distracting I get nothing done, so I rarely allow myself this distraction. The world will still go on if I don’t listen.
  4. Set firm goals: if you have no set goals for your writing and blogging you are on a slippery slope. Set firm goals, strive hard to achieve them and constantly monitor your progress on a daily basis.
  5. Remove games from your computer: I used to have a problem with this in the early days of computing but it rarely concerns me now. These days I only use them for relaxation or as a reward. Sometimes months go by without playing a game. Get control of this distraction or it will control you.
  6. Take the phone off the hook: this can be a problem on some days for me and I’ve been known to take this drastic step. If you receive many business calls related to your writing, this may not be a practical solution. Consider letting all calls go to the answering machine, then do all your calls back in a block at a more convenient time. This is a more effective use of time. Train your friends to only call when you are not writing, for example, in the evenings.
  7. Carry a notepad: When you are away from your computer always carry a notepad. Waiting in line at the supermarket, in the doctor’s waiting room, waiting for the traffic lights to change, in a train or bus or plane, use those precious minutes to write. Jot down blog or story ideas. Do a character sketch, write a plot outline, make a “Writing To Do List.”

Share your ideas:

Now that you’ve read my list, I’m sure you will come up with other strategies for being more productive. Share them in the comments section so we can all benefit.

The easy part:

Reading this list is the easy part. The application is the hard part.

Good writing.

 

4 Responses to “How to be a more productive writer or blogger”

  1. Andrew says:

    8. …and finally: Don’t stand in the way of your fingers (or pen). Keep them moving and edit later.

    nice post!

  2. Trevor says:

    Good point Andrew – and sometimes the hardest for me to keep. My fingers just itch wanting to go back and edit before the whole story has emerged.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. […] Trevor put an intriguing blog post on How to be a more productive writer or bloggerHere’s a quick excerptThese days I only use them for relaxation or as a reward. Sometimes months go by without playing a game. Get control of this distraction or it will control you. Take the phone off the hook: this can be a problem on some days for me and … […]

  4. […] How to be a more productive writer or blogger – includes a list of strategies […]

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