How to Be a More Productive Writer
Author stereotypes can have a huge impact on writers. Write drunk and edit sober? No problem. Insomnia from staring at the computer screen far past our bedtime? We wear those dark circles under our eyes like badges of honor.
But can these things make us more productive? Probably not. Here are ten tips to increase productivity so you can produce more words and publish more books!
1. Adjust your schedule.
Have you ever set your alarm an hour early to write? If you're not a morning person, this might sound like a terrible idea.
But think about it. Early mornings are typically quiet—especially if the rest of your household is asleep. Watching the sunrise can even inspire you to work details from real life into the book!
2. Pick up that ball point pen.
Thanks to the pandemic of 2020, humans are spending more time than ever on their screens. Because everything is connected to the internet, distractions are everywhere.
Step away from your electronic devices and grab a journal and pen—or pencil, no judgement here. If you're unsure what to write, try free writing.
3. Sprint with a writing buddy.
Merriam-Webster defines sprint as a verb meaning to go at top speed for a short distance. A writing sprint requires you to set a timer and do nothing but write until time runs out.
Sprinting with friends helps increase productivity. While sprinting can be a friendly competition, the real value is the encouragement from the writers with whom you're sprinting!
4. Change your scenery.
If you need to brainstorm for ideas, step away from your usual writing space and go anywhere else. Pack up your laptop and head to the nearest coffee shop or, if it's a nice day, a picnic table at the local park.
If you don't have the mobility a laptop affords, open the notebook or Google Docs app on your phone and tap in some notes. If you prefer to dictate through speech-to-text, that works, too!
5. Stay hydrated.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted a study about hydration and brain function. The results showed that staying hydrated is imperative for cognitive function.
But staying hydrated offers more than a boost in brain power. It also increases physical energy, improves digestion, and adds elasticity to your skin. And those are just the tip of the hydration benefits iceberg.
6. Get some natural Vitamin D.
You don't have to be a ray of sunshine to benefit from them. Slather on some sunscreen, don a hat and some shades, and get outside to enjoy time away from technology.
Going outside is more than a natural source of vital nutrients. Spending time outdoors can reduce stress, improve your mood, burn excess calories, improve eyesight, and relieve insomnia.
And it doesn't have to be a lot of time. You can start enjoying the above benefits and more in as few as 15 to 20 minutes per day.
7. Catch some zzzs.
Block off 15 to 20 minutes each afternoon in your calendar, dim the lights, and catch some zzzs. Give yourself permission to enjoy the naps you fought against as a child.
According to the Sleep Foundation, any nap over 30 minutes risks putting you into a deeper sleep which could result in grogginess upon waking. So resist that rabbit hole of cat memes and take a catnap instead!
Want more tips?
Do you want more productivity tips? Check out the Quick Tips course at Melissa Storm's Your Author Engine. Enrollment for this sample of the full-sized courses is free so it fits everyone's budget, and the lessons run under 15 minutes each.