How to Increase Your Productivity as a Writer (Part 2)

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

sleeping writerMy previous post was dedicated to the matter of maintaining writing productivity—I shared my methods of remaining capable of writing on a daily basis. Today, I’d like to provide you with even more advice so your productivity will reach the sky and even higher than that, and you can write 10 books as thick as “The Forsyte Saga” every day.

1. Be playful. Writing is not something stiff or prestigious (which is boring). On the contrary, playing is easy and fun, and this is why it can affect your productivity positively. Although there is a bit of planning, and outlining, and organizing your work, there are no strict rules that prohibit you from having fun while writing. Ask yourself questions like, “What if I do this?” or “What if I write about that?” If you feel like writing about something, do it, and don’t bother yourself with thoughts like “it’s not serious to write about things like this,” or “I am not sure if it is appropriate,” or “how am I going to steer clear from this plot twist then?”

2. Remember the 80/20 rule. If I am not mistaken, it was suggested by Vilfredo Pareto, and says how 20 percent of effort yields 80 percent of the result. This is what keeps me motivated. I remind myself about this whenever I feel discouraged by the perspective to spend the whole day writing an article I must (but don’t want to) write, for example. Just 20 percent of the effort, and it’s almost finished!

3. Brainstorming. This is the number one rule if you feel stuck and don’t know how to proceed with your writing. Give yourself 10 minutes, and within this period of time, write down every idea that comes to your head, even if it does not seem to be anyhow related to what you are working on. This is exactly the case when quantity becomes quality: the more ideas you can come up with, the higher the chances something worthwhile will come out.

4. Feed your mind. This is as obligatory for a writer as going to work five days a week for an office worker. Our minds need fuel, otherwise they start to masticate older thoughts and impressions, which is a direct way to creative stagnation. Attend galleries and museums, go to concerts, poetic evenings, and the cinema, talk to interesting people about writing, participate in creative events, and read, read, read. The more new impressions you get, the more your mind will have to process, and the more material you will have to write about.

See my first post on this topic for more advice. I hope these tips help you always stay afloat.

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