Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Writing Productivity—Don't Be Your Own Worst Enemy

By Edie Melson 
@EdieMelson

There are a lot of tasks we must master as we make writing a priority. But with these additional tasks, our productivity may drop. 

Learning how to juggle this multi-tasking is part of becoming a professional writer. 

12 Productivity Mistakes to Avoid
1. Multi-tasking. This one is a biggie. Yes, we have a lot of things we must do from, writing, to editing, to marketing. But it’s not an efficient use of our time if we try to do everything all at once.

2. Unlimited web-browsing. We definitely need to build an online platform, but spending hours surfing the web isn’t the way to do it.

3. Working without a schedule. The way to get all the various tasks done that need to be done is by scheduling our time. Find the most creative time and guard it for your writing first. Then work around that time for the other tasks you have to do.

4. Avoiding the hard stuff. It’s only human nature to want to do the easy things first. But that’s not always the most efficient use of our time. Come up with a schedule, then do the tasks that are scheduled, whether they’re hard or easy.

5. Talking instead of working. Writers are like anyone else, we’re passionate about our craft. But we need to make sure we’re spending time practicing our craft, not just talking about it.

6. Not networking. We shouldn't spend all our time talking about writing, but that doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves. Others can give us much needed perspective and insight into things we're struggling with. 

7. Using cheating as a reward. It’s great to build in rewards, but make sure the rewards aren’t sabotaging your progress. For example, if I’m on a diet and I lose five pounds, I don’t want to reward myself with a calorie-laden meal. With writing, if I make my word count goal, I want to build on it, not take the rest of the week off.

8. Thinking only about the big dream. Sure we all want to write a blockbuster. But that isn’t my only goal. I have lots of goals that will lead up to that one. Don’t be a big-picture writer and lose out on the chance to fulfill your dream.

9. Over planning. Yes, we need to make plans, and follow a schedule. But if we’re so concerned with the process of planning, we’re wasting valuable time. Write down your goals, come up with a schedule and then GET TO WORK.

10. Not learning. With writers, like most creative endeavors talent is a good start. BUT diligence trumps talent every single time. Doing the hard work to learn all that’s involved with becoming a professional writer will get you much farther than even a huge amount of talent.

11. Working without a goal. When I sit down to write, I've learned to have a goal. Sometimes it's a word count. Other times its to write a certain number of blog posts. Without a goal, I tend to wander. With a goal, I stay focused and make progress. 

12. Comparing ourselves to others. This is a biggie. Each of us will follow a slightly different path on this writing journey. None is better or worse than another. Be the best you can be—right now—and don't look to others to judge your progress.

This are the hindrances I’ve found to writing productivity, I’d love to know what you’d add to the list.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

6 comments:

  1. Good advice. At the moment I need to really focus on building my platform so that I can have my Easter book published.

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  2. Great list Edie! So many things can negatively impact productivity. Love these clear tips.

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  3. I need to work on getting a set schedule for writing. I have three projects, two plays for church and a collection of meditations, in the works. One is time-sensitive for this year, the second one is time-sensitive for next spring. But I have to have the first ready for review and consideration by the Thursday after Easter, in 14 days.

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  4. It's time to sign out, and execute. Thanks for the reminder to stay on task/target.

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