Writing is an odd business. Imagine a career solely depending upon pouring your mental output out on paper.
If you’re reading this, you’re intimately familiar with how we writers thoroughly examine life and are compelled to whip out our pens to comment.
However, the time comes in every writer’s life when words don’t flow as easily as other times. It’s during these times that the following tips will become indispensable to triggering a free-flowing stream of ideas.
So without any further intro, here are the techniques I routinely use to get words flowing into my computer….
Focus On Your Project
When I’m writing, my project is tumbling through my mind 24/7. Never leaves, constantly bubbling in the back of my mind.
When I’m shopping for groceries, I allow my characters to “whisper” in my ear. When I’m waiting at the doctor’s office, article ideas tumble through my mind. When I’m waiting in line, a client’s wrinkly lead for their sales letter will magically iron out.
Although writers often appear present and ready to participate in life, in reality I know I’m rarely completely “there” at any one occasion.
Like Walter Mitty, my imagination continually takes me places where I never expected.
And that’s fantastic… as it should be.
Invest In Technology
I know. The Internet can eat up WAY too much time.
However, used properly, this vast web of information can become your best tool in cultivating a thriving writing career.
Where else can you find an answer to a thorny question in the blink of an eye?
It’s a wondrous technology that will allow you to instantly find the full contact information of an expert in any particular field within minutes.
It also has the potential to become the hugest time-sucker of your entire day.
Every writer needs a website. Every writer needs to gather information that will help them earn the kind of income they desire.
However, you don’t need to frequent every discussion group. Forget about reading every zine that flits into your in-box.
Learn to skim.
Glean the information you need, snag the resources that catch your eye, pass on the rest.
But remain connected to your community, even if your connection may seem slim at times. After all, part of becoming a successful writer is to… write. This is non-negotable.
Create A Schedule
Many writers practice their craft first thing in the morning. They’re up at the crack of dawn, chomping at the bit, ready to pour their hearts onto the page.
I’m not like that. In fact, I find myself fortunate if I can get much of anything whatsoever finished first thing in the morning.
My prime writing time begins late morning and extends until around supper time.
Get anything on the page before 9:00AM, and I’m quite positive it would look like gibberish.
I rarely watch television, instead opting for my favorite activity… reading.
Ah, slip a good book my way and it’ll get devoured faster than a bag of Twizzlers. In fact, I just ordered four more books for my collection today. Found a new author I like and got ‘em all. (Don’t mention this latest purchase to my husband…. My bookshelves are already bursting at the seams.)
But here’s my point: Create a schedule that works for you. Don’t try to emulate my life. Don’t take advice that you’re not comfortable with. Make your schedule work for your lifestyle.
But do create a schedule. You’ll get far more work done.
Jealously Guard Productive Time
Forget the kids. Chuck The Drudge Report. Steer away from Huffington Post if you’re on a roll.
If you’re “in the zone” keep typing. Don’t stop.
Close the door. Bark at anyone who speaks at you. Tell them to eat peanut butter sandwiches for supper.
Right now, your top priority is WRITING.
Those “zone” moments can sometimes flit in and out of the creative process so when one graces you with its presence, do everything you can to nurture its arrival. Keep writing. Let the words flow. Don’t edit. Make that little burst of muse comfortable so it will visit on a regular basis.
And when you hit your stride and experience that “zone” on a regular basis, then you are truly a blessed writer.
Now, I realize this list is hardly exhaustive. However, I’ve found these four tips to top my list of activities I do on a daily basis to make writing nearly effortless. And (I’m speaking from experience here), you really don’t want to write your way into a situation where every word you nail to paper feels like an unbearable chore.
With just these few (and incredibly easy) modifications to your schedule, your words will flow like water and your productivity will skyrocket. Guaranteed.