Want to be more productive as a writer? Commit to it. Even if you’re not published yet, identify yourself as a writer. Repeat after me, “I am a writer.” Now, look in the mirror and declare, “I am a writer.”
Put Post It notes on your computer and every other device you write on: I am a writer.
Write Every Day
Now act like it. Write every day. It can be on your current work in progress. It can be a blog for your own website or someone else. It can be research on a story or article idea. Scribble notes about it. Write a very, very rough draft to capture your initial thoughts and identify questions you need to answer as you go forward.
Ideally, set a specific time to write every day. Maybe you can get up earlier to carve an hour of writing into your day. Maybe you write during lunch. Some write waiting in a doctor’s office, or during a child’s dance practice or sports practice. One writer recently shared she writes at her son’s baseball games while waiting for him to have his turn at bat.
Some of my writer friends have negotiated sharing family responsibilities with their spouses and children for time to write.
Carry Your Tools
Have a variety of writing tools because you never know when some writing time or ideas will serendipitously appear. You don’t want to have one of these moments and your laptop is at home. Write on your phone, your tablet. Record it onto your phone or tablet or carry a portable voice recorder. Or do it the old-fashioned way and carry pen and paper wherever you go. Jot down ideas for a scene, identifying some conflict and tension to include. Maybe a snatch of dialogue will pop into your mind. Write it down to flesh out later.
Maybe you’re like me—I’ll be out and about and I see something and I think it would be a great place to hide a body. I make a note of it. I may not put a body there but I’ll use it in some scene.
Being a productive writer requires being dedicated to the craft, to actually writing, and to continuous learning.
What are some of the things you practice to be more productive?