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Share Your Writing Productivity Tips

by The Procrastinating Writer on April 23, 2009

courtesy of spud

courtesy of spud

Over the last year I’ve shared the many writing productivity tips I’ve come across throughout my journey to overcome my procrastination.

Now I open the blog to you.

What are your writing productivity tips? What helps you get your writing done? How do you overcome your procrastination?

Overcoming procrastination isn’t a one-time deal. It takes time to develop writing habits that stick. But we can all learn from and help each other. So please take a minute and share a tip with us!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Perry P Perkins April 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

When I’m having trouble getting motivated, I read a chapter or two out of a writer’s biography.

I have several, including Chicken Soup for Writers, but my favorite is “On Writing” by Stephen King.

I’ve read the story of him selling his “Carrie” manuscript at least a hundred times and every time I do, I want to rush back to my laptop and start writing.

“The Deer on the Bicycle” by Pat F. McManus is another great writer’s bio.



2 Eric Harris April 23, 2009 at 10:31 am

I carry a voice recorder EVERYWHERE. Some of my best ideas come while walking or riding in the car.

Doing this allows me to quickly gather random thoughts and get back to life. When it comes time to work on my writing for blogs or podcast content, I take out the recorder and write brief notes in a Word file.

Once in a word file, I can actually organize them into a more coherent structure.

Good topic!

3 devonellington April 23, 2009 at 10:36 am

I have several tips that helped me move into full-time writing:

–Write as soon as you wake up, before you’re “tainted by the day”. I still write my first 1K of fiction after yoga but before anything else, and then switch between other projects as needed all day.

–Be ruthless about your writing time. If you have have a day job, treat your writing as your second job until it becomes your ONLY job.

–Remember: Writer’s block is the luxury of the unpublished. Enjoy it while you can. Once you’re published and paid, there’s no room for that kind of indulgence. You sit and face the page whether you feel like it or not, or you stop getting published and you stop getting paid. Everyone has a rough day or a series of rough days. The pros figure out a way to push through.

–The ultimate question is: How badly do you want this. And only YOU can make the decision about where writing falls in your own life.

4 Thursday Bram April 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I think one of the biggest productivity tips I have for freelance writers is to keep all of your information in one place. All of my articles and manuscripts are saved in the same file folder (and backed up!). Every step of every project goes in to the same task list, so that I can see what I need to work with in the same place.

5 The Procrastinating Writer April 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm

@Perry P Perkins What a great suggestion! I think Stephen King’s “On Writing” is a GREAT book, especially his anectodote about selling Carrie to a large publisher. “Did you say $40,000?” “No, I said $400, 000!!”

@Eric Harris Thanks for the tip! My mom gave me a voice recorder once, but I never ended up using it. Your suggestion is a really great way to use it thou. I think I will get another one and try it out!

@devonellington Thank you! Your tips are not only amazing, but they are right-on with what procrastinating writers TRULY need…a kick in the pants!! It’s exactly like you said–HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER?!

@Thursday Bram Great tip! Keeping everything in one place DOES make it a whole lot easier to know what needs to be worked on.

Thank you all for submitting your tips…and writers…please keep them coming!

6 Jennifer (Conversion Diary) April 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm

What a great discussion!

To echo what devonellington said, I think that my best tip is to “just do it.” I have a tendency to sit in front of a blank screen and analyze everything to death. But when I just force myself to start typing, even if I think it’s terrible, it always ends up working out.

(Full disclosure: I wrote this tip while I was supposed to be working on my book.) 🙂

7 Laura Lee Bloor April 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Wow, these are some great tips! I would add that know when you are at your most productive and pump out as much as you can in that time. Yes, I know life and obligations get in the way sometimes, especially for those of us with full-time jobs, but squeeze some form of writing in every day.

8 Chris April 25, 2009 at 9:35 am

“–Be ruthless about your writing time. If you have have a day job, treat your writing as your second job until it becomes your ONLY job.”

Well said! I actually schedule my time for writing.

9 Glynis Smy July 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I get up a half hour earlier and go to bed half an hour later than I used to. This gives me an extra hour a day, I whizz through the house in that first half hour. The second is to prepare for the following morning. I have never been organised like this before but it is working (1 month). The rest of the day is now mine for research and writing.

10 Sam Tornatore October 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

The answer lies in understanding why you procrastinate. You simply cannot solve a problem as painful as procrastination without fist knowing why you procrastinate. Once you know why then you can change it to get a new outcome ie results. Go to my blog I explain one of the reasons. (There are 4 in total that cover almost 100% of procrastinators.)

Hope that helps a little.

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