Writing professionally is a full-time job with part-time hours and never-ending responsibilities.
Most professional writers don’t actually spend 8 hours writing each day, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working.
If you want to become a more productive writer, you have to learn to manage your work, your life, and your mental and physical wellbeing. You can’t sustain high levels of creativity and productivity as a writer without working on yourself.
Here are the 10 things that helped me become a more productive writer, and I hope these tips help you too.
1. Schedule Your Work
You have to make time in your schedule for writing, marketing, and business time.
Don’t let a day go by without writing and working on your career. Even if it’s just 15 minutes here and there it adds up. The work habits you build will determine your success or failure.
Every day you skip your writing work, you bring yourself closer and closer to failure, anxiety, stress, and the really bad habit of procrastination that dooms far too many writers’ promising careers.
Learn everything you can about writing, publishing, and marketing. Ignorance is not bliss. It will ruin your dreams.
Check out the best books on writing.
Understand how to do market research for writing and learn more about your customers and readers.
Every day, study so you can learn a little bit more about the incredible art of writing.
3. Make Mistakes
You’ll learn more from your mistakes than just about anything else.
Be bold. Get rejected. Publish crappy articles and books (at first).
You learn as you go and you have to be willing to fail or you’ll never learn what you need to learn to succeed.
The only difference between you and the most successful writers in the world is they’ve made more mistakes than you have. Learn from your mistakes and keep going.
4. Get Rid of Bad Habits
To become a successful writer, I had to get rid of my addiction to video games, binge watching TV series, and complaining. I also had to develop new habits like working out, taking walks, meditating, and asking for help. I had to ask hundreds of people for help along the way. I never could have done it alone.
Bad habits and addictions will destroy your creative output. You need every extra hour you can get to take care of yourself and focus on your writing career.
If you waste that time on bad habits, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.
5. Build Relationships
Meet other writers and creative people with big ambitions and good work habits. Just being around people who published 1, 2, or more books since you started yours will motivate the heck out of you.
You’ll see that other people are succeeding and you’ll be inspired to work extra hard to make your dreams come true.
6. Ignore the Noise
Don’t waste time with complainers, energy vampires, or depressed people. Their energy will infect you. It’s nearly impossible to create while depressed or stressed.
If you find something or someone in your life is distracting you from being productive, happy, and fulfilled, deal with it now! Putting it off will only make you feel more stressed, anxious, and depressed. And if that’s how you feel day after day after day, chances are you’ll never become a highly productive writer.
7. Manage Your Emotions
Writing is painful as hell. You will feel miserable sometimes. You’ll be scared, angry, hurt, feel emotions you haven’t felt or haven’t wanted to feel for years. It’ll open up parts of yourself you never imagined we’re there. Embrace it. Get help. See a therapist. Talk about your feelings and problems.
8. Take Care of Yourself
You are your biggest obstacle to success. You have to learn to work harder on improving yourself than you do at your writing career.
When you work on improving your life, even if it’s just a little bit, it’ll help you become more creative and productive.
Take that walk around the block. Eat healthier. Meditate. Get rid of bad relationships. Make your relationships better. Reduce your stress.
Small things may not seem that important but they can make all the difference in the world over your lifetime. Creating is hard enough without adding 10 more problems to your life.
Solve the little problems and becoming a more productive creator will be a lot easier.
9. Add Value Always
Focus on adding value not making money.
Your readers need your help. Your job is to help them, no matter what kind of books you write. Your story and message could change their life. It’s your job to do the best you can possibly do to help your reader. Nothing else is as important to your career as helping your readers.
When you have a big decision to make about the direction of your work, the title for your book, or any other creative decision, ask yourself:
“What’s best for my reader?”
Whatever the answer is, it’s almost always the right choice. Do what’s best for your reader. Add value to their lives. If you do that well enough, everything else will work out.
If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, it’s up to you to change it. Do something different. Try new things. Experiment. Play like a kid. You are smart enough to figure it out if you really want to become a successful and productive writer.
Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, and believe in your work.
You can do it if you’re willing to do the right thing day after day after day.
That’s how you build a successful life and a successful writing career.
If you liked this post, here are some other articles you might love:
- 10 Creative Writing Exercises for Beginners and Writers
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block Once and For All
- 11 Things Good Writers Do: The Writing Habits of Successful Authors