Tips For Becoming A Productive Writer
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Productivity has been a topic discussed in writers’ groups for decades, but it will remain relevant in the ever-changing publishing industry.
I would like to share some of my own perspectives on productivity. I have worked as a freelance writer since the age of 16, and I have developed my own method for achieving high-quality work.
What follows are a few of my top tips for being a productive writer.
Learn to leave the office
This isn’t strictly speaking the point of this article, but it will be relevant.
Productivity doesn’t mean working from home. It means leaving the office.
After all, you aren’t going to get anything done if you’re in the office. For most of my career, I was a solitary writer.
I wrote during my free time when I had nothing else to do. It was only in the past few years that I have embraced the world of social media.
With the advent of social media, I now have access to an incredible variety of people and information.
Some writers publish their work on social media, and some write for this medium only.
Most writers find some way to use social media, and there is no reason why you should not do the same.
The point is that social media is a powerful marketing tool, and it can make a writer much more productive.
Realize that marketing will always be a part of the writing life
You need to understand that writing is just a tiny part of the writer’s work. There is marketing, there is publicity, and there is pitching to editors.
It’s a fact that you will always have to do some marketing work in the professional writing world, and that is perfectly reasonable.
It’s all a bit like a carpenter who isn’t a carpenter. He has a set of plans for his home.
He knows where he wants it to be, and what furniture he wants to put in it, but he doesn’t really know how to build it.
Therefore, he uses plans from a book or website to build his home. That’s fine.
However, the fact that he hasn’t actually built the house doesn’t make it any less a home.
Similarly, the time that you spend marketing, pitching to editors, and blogging is doing something that you wouldn’t normally do.
It’s giving you the chance to develop your marketing skills, but it’s not making your writing more professional.
What I have found is that if you can effectively market yourself, you can generate more work.
For example, my first paid writing job came after I’d written a book that was subsequently successful.
This meant that more people would see my work. This resulted in more work from clients, and the snowball effect continues to this day.
As a result, I’m currently writing more for clients, and my work is more effective.
Use your voice
A common element to many successful writers in their own voice. It may seem counterintuitive, but writing that is “You” is far more likely to be read than writing that is not.
The difference is that writing that isn’t you (a hack) isn’t likely to be effective.
The voice that you use to produce something that you’re happy with and happy to read is the voice that will be used to publish your work.
The reason that you use a pen name is so that your voice doesn’t get confused with someone else’s voice.
In the same way that being conscious of your voice is crucial to your writing success, so is being conscious of the voice that you use on social media.
To make people more inclined to want to hear what you have to say, you need to be clear about your reasons for being on social media, and why you choose certain topics.
A common mistake is to use social media for a quick snack of content. This tends to make you jump around rather than write in a consistent voice, and this is not what people want to hear.
A final word about the voice of social media. A lot of people believe that they have to be boring in their social media.
That they have to be bland and use boring words. In reality, this is not true.
The average person on social media reads three hundred or so words a day, so a good idea is to make sure your social media posts fit that average.
Paying attention to your time
One of the problems with social media is that there is very little focus on the time you spend writing.
A lot of people go online to watch videos, read blog posts, and engage in other forms of social media.
This means that they never stop. By contrast, writing in a diary is a way of creating a structure for your own work.
The problem with journaling is that you’re not paid to do so. You have to create time for writing.
The lesson is that you need to have a clear plan for your writing time.
For example, you should put your next writing project into your calendar.
This way, you can ensure that you’re not wasting valuable time on other things.
By making it clear to yourself what your priorities are, you can determine the best time to write.