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Blog 05.30.2024

BE A BETTER WRITER

Building Your Writing Routine: Strategies for Productivity and Consistency

A huge problem faced by any writer is finding the time to write. Another is finding the motivation to do so. Lack of consistency reduces productivity and can derail the career or hobby of any writer. Establishing a writing routine is a great way to avoid both problems. Here are some strategies to help you create and stick to a writing routine.

Determine the Best Time of Day to Write

The first step is establishing a consistent time of day to write. Picking a time of day is a two-part process. First, assess your own habits and environment. Some writers are known as night owls. Others are most productive early in the day. They lose mental steam and focus as the day wears on. Your personal preference may have to do with how alert you feel at a given time of day. It may also depend on the types of distractions present in your household. For example, if you have children, you may do your best writing when they are at school or asleep.

The second part of choosing a time of day to write is assessing your schedule and obligations. When looking at your schedule, make sure you consider daily, weekly, and monthly appointments or family needs. Set aside times to write that do not fall when you have other obligations. Examples of such obligations may include:

  • Your Regular Work Hours

  • School Schedules of Your Children

  • Sports Practice or Game Schedules

  • Regular Club or Organization Meetings

  • Weekly or Monthly Family Obligations

Create a Quiet Writing Space Anywhere You Go

You may have already read that experts recommend people who work from home have designated home offices. If you are a writer, whether professionally or as a hobby, you can certainly benefit from a home office. However, you do not necessarily need one. You can work from anywhere at any time. The important thing is to create a tranquil writing space wherever you are at the time. A quiet writing area eliminates distractions and improves productivity.

It is impossible to plan for every scenario. The writing routine you establish is difficult to maintain when the unexpected pops up. However, you can improve your chances of success by knowing how to create a quiet writing space anywhere you happen to be, even if you find yourself in a crowd. A perfect example is if you find yourself stuck in an airport due to a flight delay. Travel with earplugs or headphones to help you block out distractions in such circumstances.

Incorporate Prewriting in Your Daily Writing Routine

Prewriting is a process of outlining, thinking, or otherwise coming up with what you want to write about. Sometimes it might even involve recording yourself speaking aloud about your creative thoughts. Keep a notebook or recording device handy to help with the prewriting process. The flow of creativity does not always adhere to a schedule.

Another part of the prewriting process is closing out your daily block of scheduled writing time with prewriting for the next day. Make a few notes during the last five or ten minutes of your writing session. Use them to jump-start your next writing session. That way, you are less likely to waste time the next day or experience writer’s block.

Take Scheduled Breaks

As anyone who attended school knows, taking breaks is a key component of studying. Similarly, most office workers are encouraged to get up and stretch or take other breaks during their work days. It is the same when you are a writer. Never force yourself to sit still and write for too long. Either schedule short writing sessions or give yourself breaks in the middle of each session. One good option is to take a five-minute break every 30 minutes. Walk or stretch during your breaks to maintain your physical health. You can also use the time to clear your mind and regain your focus.

Write a Certain Number of Words Daily

Establishing a daily word count goal is a great way to make a set amount of writing progress. A word count goal serves two purposes. One is to encourage you to meet that daily goal. The other is to let you know when you should stop for the day. Both are important because a good writing routine requires you to maintain steady progress while avoiding burnout.

Establish Accountability

Accountability can help you stay on track as a writer. You can establish accountability in several ways. One is to tell a friend or family member when you complete your daily goal. Another is to use time-tracking software or some type of writing app to record your progress.

Reward Yourself for Writing Consistently

Many times, sticking to any type of routine is easy when there is the promise of a reward at the end of the process. Pick a reward that means something to you. Perhaps you will allow yourself to watch your favorite television program when you finish writing for the day. Maybe you would rather eat a favorite snack when your writing session is done. Whatever the reward is, it can serve as good motivation to keep making progress.

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