For some reason, writers and procrastination go together like bread and butter. It seems as though every writer struggles with staying productive to one degree or another. And why is that? It could be just a natural trait of every author—that they were born procrastinators. However, I think it may be the often difficult process of writing.
Even though the outcome of writing can be beautiful and captivating, the process is usually filled with struggle. Writing can be an overwhelming and stressful activity, and I’m sure even the most seasoned authors can agree.
But, if the process of writing causes procrastination, then how can anyone overcome it? To be a more productive writer you must change your writing routine by analyzing old habits and implementing better ones.
So, today, we’ll look at four facets of a productive writer.
Productive Writers are Consistent Writers
Have you often looked at authors who have written dozens of 80,000-word stories and just thought how? How have you written so many books when I can barely finish one.
The simple answer is that they write. A lot. But writing a lot doesn’t mean ten hours a day every single day. The key to doing anything is to just, well, do it.
Being consistent is how productive writers stay productive.
Instead of writing for hours and hours, getting burnt out, and then not touching the story for weeks, productive writers work little by little each day until they have a complete novel.
Even five minutes of daily writing will eventually lead to a finished story. Granted, it may take a while with only five minutes, but as you develop a routine of regular writing, you’ll find five minutes often turns into fifty minutes.
The point is to build a habit of consistent writing. The amount of writing you get done will increase with time. You don’t need to write for large amounts of time to feel like you’ve achieved something.
Stray Far From Comfort
Staying in your comfort zone may feel safe, but to be a productive writer, you must venture out.
Each person’s comfort zone is unique to them, so you have to find what scares you with writing and overcome it. For you, it may be a fear of criticism. Another person may feel uneasy having so many people read their vulnerable writing.
Mostly, straying far from comfort means opening yourself to opportunities.
Enter contests you don’t think you’ll win. Start writing stories even though you’re not sure how they’ll end. Every step you take away from your comfort zone will bring you closer to your goal.
Release The Fear of Failure
Most writers, and most people in general, don’t like to fail. We may feel disappointed, embarrassed, or self-conscious. But, this fear can hold us back because it keeps us from trying.
This fear of failure can keep you in your comfort zone.
That is why it’s so crucial to find a way to rid yourself of this fear. And, trust me, I know it’s not easy. It may take a long time of conscious effort to release the fear, but the effort will be well worth it.
As a writer, you will receive criticism and you will be turned down, but you must accept this as part of the process.
If you worry too much about failing, you will be overly critical of everything and anything you write. And, it will take a year to write two pages of your story—not very productive, is it?
A tip that helped, and still helps me, is to look at other beginner writers who are putting their stuff out. You’ll find that although their work might not be “perfect”, they’re still getting seen. They’re having fun. And, their confidence might help you.
Productive Writers are Seen Writers
Speaking of getting your work seen, productive writers are those who put their stories out into the world.
The writing industry can be intense. There are thousands of authors all trying to get noticed. So, getting your work noticed can seem like an impossible feat. However, you still must try, because the only way for people to read your work is for you to show it.
It’s not just your work that needs to be seen, though; it’s also you. You have to put yourself out there with your work.
Try speaking with other authors in the writing and entertainment industries. Make connections and make friends.
To get your writing seen, try starting a blog or creating an online portfolio. As a writer in this day and age, it’s absolutely necessary to generate a presence online.
To learn more about building a brand as a writer, you can check out this post here.
Entering contests and submitting stories to online magazines are also great ways to get noticed.
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