Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day to do the type of work that always seem to fall by the wayside, like blogging or listening to podcasts?
Well, I killed two birds with one stone the other month by listening to a podcast (while walking on the treadmill,) that provided 9 hacks that you can use to improve your writing process.
These 9 tips will help you lay the groundwork to, and establish a routine that supports, writing more in less time:
- Write in the morning: tons of writers start their day practicing their craft. By getting in the zone first thing in the morning, before checking email and social media, you can avoid distractions. Many writers are more creative in the morning; getting your thoughts and ideas down first thing helps you clean the cobwebs of your creativity. Similarly, by avoiding email and other tools, you write from a clear head.
- Schedule writing time: by scheduling set times in your day or week to write, you hold yourself accountable to following your plan. Scheduling writing time helps you build writing into your routine and stick to it consistently. To make your schedule even more powerful, categorize the time into creative vs. marketing writing, since that is very different content to create.
- Create a detailed outline: before sitting down to write, create (and utilize) an outline. Breaking your core concept into smaller pieces helps you stay organized and on point. Similarly, breaking the task into smaller pieces creates the feeling of small wins – this helps keep up the motivation to continue making progress.
- Write in sprints: breaking down your writing into small pieces makes it almost impossible to bail on the task. These timed sessions of writing, where you’re not doing anything else (checking social media, answering emails, etc) keep you productive and help you get into the flow state easily. Starting with 8 minutes is a great idea because it is short enough to stick with and long enough to make progress.
- Bring it with you: make it easy for yourself to write on-the-go. Give yourself the space to allow your ideas to develop, and start to write when they start flowing. Always keep a pen and paper handy.
- Prompt tomorrow’s ideas: to avoid writer’s block, prompt your next section by writing an introductory sentence. When you’re wrapping up writing for the day, jot down a few ideas for the next section you plan to write tomorrow so that you’re not starting from scratch.
- Plan ahead: once you’ve prompted the ideas for tomorrow, plan ahead for the time you’re going to dedicate to write through those ideas while they’re still fresh in your head.
- Turn off social media: when you’re trying to get into the flow, avoid outside distractions like email and social media. Social media is a powerful tool to use to share your writing, but don’t fall down the trap of checking it during the creative process.
- Know your ideal environment: know where your creativity is sparked. Be it familiar or foreign space, or noisy or quiet, songs with lyrics or sounds. Whatever environment and music you write best in, make it a point to seek out those places, and prime those tunes, on your writing days to help get into the flow.
Do you use any of the hacks mentioned above to help you get into the flow state?
What tips or tactics do you use to improve your writing speed?