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A Simple Strategy to Increase Writing Productivity

  Posted by Lora Palmer , 25 November 2018 · 207 views

Photo by BonnieHenderson at Morguefile.com
If you're anything like me, you find it's all too easy to get caught up in hectic everyday life, and a daily habit you want to build and maintain slips by the wayside. For me, this was writing. Between a full-time job, taking online coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis in preparation to eventually become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and making time for much-needed fun, I could let days could go by without doing any work on my stories.

Lately, the inspiration has struck to write again, and I started to remember all the things I love about writing. I love creating new characters and new worlds and bringing them to life. I love the process of trying to just get all the ideas down, the struggles to find just the right words, and even editing and polishing a story to make it the best it can be.

Then the latest unit in my coursework covered self-management, among other topics, and it galvanized me into action. What I needed was to arrange my environment to support returning to a daily writing habit and to reward myself for meeting the daily goal. For my first step, I found a productivity/habit-building app for my iPhone that lets me set the goal and mark it done. It has a calendar that even displays each day the goal is accomplished and how much of it. Because I'm not a fast writer most of the time, I started with a somewhat low, achievable goal during this baseline phase. My current goal is to write or edit 200 words, but after a week or so I may re-evaluate to see if it should be raised to 250 or 300 words. The app even reminds me to complete the goal, so it offers a great set-up to keep on track. Another strategy you could use if you want to up your writing productivity is to make yourself a simple data sheet with the date and number of words written, or you could create a NaNoWriMo account and utilize their goal tracker. If it's simple and easy to use, you'll most likely keep using it.

Once you have your goal tracker, you need to reward yourself whenever you meet your daily goal. For me, I chose time playing my favorite game app. But the key to success is not letting yourself access the reward unless/until you meet your daily goal. Also, going public with your commitment (for example by having an accountability partner like a critique partner) can help.

Maybe you know all this and are already living it, or maybe this little reminder is just what you need right now. Either way, I hope this #writetip helped. Happy, productive writing! If this inspired you to develop a new writing goal or habit, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below :).


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