The easy way to increase for writers to improve their productivity overnight
My super-secret, life-changing advice isn’t to learn touch typing, because that’s an, ahem, touchy subject for me.
I’d be so productive if I could touch type. And I am trying to learn, but my own childlike, four-finger method is faster than learning to type properly.
I know, I know.
This tip is for all of you, by the way. Novelists, freelancers, bloggers, journalists.
Let’s dive straight in. The easy way for writers to improve their productivity overnight is…
Know what you’re going to write
If you want to write for 30 days straight, write down 30 blog post ideas.
Imagine if you added up all the time you’d spend staring at your computer screen. It’d almost be as bad as if you added up all the money you’d ever earned.
How much time/money have you wasted?
Oh, but don’t dwell on that. It’s not productive. It was meant to be rhetorical. Draw a line under that, and we’ll move forward.
But it’s not just about wasting time
It’s stressful, not knowing what to write.
Let’s go back to the idea of a 30-day challenge.
If you struggle coming up with ideas on day one, imagine how you’ll feel by day 30.
You’ll be dreading going to sit at your desk, and you’ll procrastinate.
You may even convince yourself you’re not cut out to be a writer.
Writing isn’t meant to be easy, so it’s incredibly important not to make it any harder than it already is. And even more important to make your journey easier, and treat yourself with kindness.
The annoying thing is, you often don’t realise that you’re getting in your own way until someone points it out. You just assume that that’s the way things are done. In this case, you may assume that writing works by sitting down, thinking of something to write, and writing it.
I’m sure there are some people brimming with ideas that do do this (Leonardo Da Vinci springs to mind). But there are others that can’t. And are still laughing at do do.
AND THAT’S OK.
This isn’t a test. There isn’t the proper way of writing and then the other way that’s kind of cheating. As long as the words are down it doesn’t matter how they got there or how long it took.
Writing and coming up with ideas are two different things
I have no idea if we use different parts of our brain to do them, but they’re different processes.
You know that feeling when you're writing a novel or an article or a blog post and you get in the zone? Words pour out of you faster than you can type (especially if you can’t touch type 😭) and you’re sure you can keep going forever?
That can happen with coming up with ideas if you let it. Set aside an hour or two, and come up with ideas until your brain bleeds.
I’m not saying it’s easy. But it is necessary if you want to get into a writing routine.
The barrier to entry is gone. You go to your desk knowing what you want to write about.
Maybe you don’t feel like writing about that today — write about what you had scheduled for tomorrow instead.
Put the ‘I didn’t feel like writing about this’ article in a separate note section — it may turn out that there’s a part of your niche that doesn’t spark your interest.
When you’re rich you can pay someone else to write about that stuff.
Creating your own ideas schedule
Yep, I’m talking about content calendars.
I’ll just embed some posts, rather than go through it all again.
I swear that this can change your writing life. I went from struggling to write two articles a week to pumping out ten.
I actually have different schedules for different projects. I come up with ideas for Medium posts a week ahead of time, and regularly change them or scrap them.
It’s all pretty flexible because this is just for fun. I mostly write about blogging, but also a bit of whatever the hell I want.
My ‘real’ writing schedule is both stricter but kind of laxer. Weird, I know.
Blog posts require keyword research, actual research, image curation, and all that dull stuff.
Medium just needs words.
I could do a strategy, but for now, I do it for fun.
I have a master list of blog topics that I’m going to cover. If I run out, I force myself to write the boring ones. I aim to produce ten posts a month, but when I write them varies.
We were housebound due to bad weather last week so I churned out five (pre-prepared — I just had to add words) posts in a day.
If I do the ten posts super early, I either spend that time on Pinterest images, or I produce more posts in preparation for any time I have off.
I try to post every day on Medium.
To be honest, I don’t really know why. I just do.
I think it’s a combination of a little challenge to myself and the vague hope it’ll start netting me thousands of pounds.
YOU NEVER KNOW.
I’m confident in saying that knowing what you’re going to write about will help you develop your writing habit.
Unless you’re an ideas magus, in which case you probably didn’t make it this far down the post.
To the rest of you: good luck, and happy planning/writing.