8 Tips for Productive Writing

Photo cred: yours truly
  1. Keep a notebook on you at all times or use the Notes function on your phone. Inspiration will arrive at any given moment, so being prepared is a must. An idea springs to mind, write it down, type it up. Don’t let it slip away from you. Example: Last time I got my hair done, I outlined the next three scenes of my WIP while chilling beneath the dryer.
  2. Plan ahead. It’s difficult to sit down and start writing when you have no clue what you’re supposed to be writing about. Make a plan. Jot down a few bullet points between writing sessions. It doesn’t have to be a perfect outline; just something to refer to before you start your next session.
  3. Stick to routine. There is a certain time of the day when you’re most productive. If you’re a morning writer, wake up an hour early. If you’re a night writer, set aside a specific time at night to get in your words. Train your brain to know when it’s time to write, otherwise known as discipline.
  4. Change up your writing environment. While I do believe in having a core writing space, sometimes you just need a shift (whether literal or cosmic) to really get the creative juices flowing. Sit outside, write from your bedroom (regardless psychologists tell you not to) or close yourself up in the bathroom. Remember: Stephen King locked himself in the laundry room to write his bestselling novel Carrie.
  5. Work off the grid. No, I’m not talking about booking a flight to Barbados just so you can write, although that would really be something. I mean stay off social media. Stay off the internet. Put your phone away or on silent. Just write. No temptations, no distractions.
  6. Let go of expectations. Worried about whether or not what you’re about to write will be good? Stop it. If it’s good, you’ll keep it. If it’s bad, you’ll rewrite it. Don’t put expectations on yourself when you’re hammering down the first draft. That’s what editing’s for.
  7. Write, yes, but take breaks. Try the Pomodoro Method and remember to reward yourself. This is a disciplining tool used by professional writers and one proven to not only keep you on track, but to keep you interested in what you’re writing.
  8. Show up to the page. And be consistent. Whomever said you’re not a writer if you don’t write everyday is full of bologna. Writers write even when their butt’s not in a chair and their fingers aren’t pounding away on a keyboard. But showing up consistently for yourself and your writing means you’re that much closer to completion. To publication. To putting your story in the hands of readers who will potentially connect with what you’ve written. I always say: if I can reach one person, if ONE person reads what I’ve written and says, “Man, I love that story,” I’ve done my job.

Now, write.

xoxo – Alyssia

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