Whether you’re writing every day, once a week, or some amount in between, you will always want to get the most out of your writing sessions. If you find that you haven’t been able to be as productive as you’d like, here are some things you may want to consider changing or experimenting with:
1.) Place — Try creating a space where you do nothing else but write. It could be a spot in your home, or it could be a cafe that you go to. Wherever it is, having somewhere you go to work can put you in the mindset of writing, sort of in the same way that people get into the mindset of doing their jobs by going to the office.
2.) Background Noise — Some people write very well with music or other forms of noise around them because they want something that will drown out their thoughts. Some people find that kind of thing very distracting. Try working in both conditions to see which one you favor. Don’t assume you need some sort of writing soundtrack just because other people have found it works for their process.
3.) Timing Techniques — I wrote an article about the Pomodoro Technique, and that might be something you should consider if you find you have trouble focusing (I’m sure there are other techniques out there as well). Forcing yourself to stay seated and type (or hand write) for bursts of time is a great way to avoid getting tied up in busy work and procrastination.
4.) Keep Writing — Tying into the above point, make sure you keep writing for however long you’ve planned to work. I read about an author who would go into sessions and simply write his name over and over again if he ran of things to say. Naturally, this would get boring pretty quickly and usually bring on other ideas. Don’t give up on a session because you don’t feel immediately inspired.
5.) Time of Day — A lot of advice columns I’ve read say that you should always write in the morning. I don’t think that’s really true. Our society is biased towards early risers, but some people are much better at working at night. Figure out what time of day you’re most creative or productive and try to carve out some time there. Another piece of advice: if you think you’re an early bird or a night owl but your productivity hasn’t been too great, try switching things up for about a week and see if that helps.
There’s no real trick to turning out more words; you just have to make the time to write. But hopefully some of these tips will help you find a better mindset that will help the words flow a little bit more easily.
Brain Pickings put together an article that features the daily routines of several famous authors. If you want to learn how the greats did things, check it out and see if there are any techniques you can apply to your own writing life.