Productivity Tips for Writers

I don’t know about you, but as a writer I’m always looking for ideas for ways to be more productive – heck, I’m always looking for ways to be more productive in my life, not only as a writer. So I decided to find out what productivity tips other writers had by going on to one of my favorite sites, MyBlogU, and asking some of the writers there. Here are some of the productivity tips they had:

Q. What hacks or techniques do you use to achieve your word count goals?

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM Writers)

My productivity tip is to turn on Netflix.  Yes, turn Netflix ON.

(WARNING: This tip works only for parents.)  I find that having Netflix on keeps the children from interrupting as often with “Daddy, look at this.” and “Daddy can you help me?”  In fact, the kids are very good at running marathons on Netflix, watching several seasons of a show in rapid-fire order.  And that allows me to be a more productive writer.

(WARNING: Turning Netflix on if you are not a parent could result in LESS productivity.)

A. Leigh Langston (Dangerous Lee) (Publisher/Author/ Web Content Creator, Marketing & Distribution)

I’ll tell you what I did when I was writing my first book, Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down – Six erotic tales of safe sex: Write when you’re at your day job. I did! Of course I made sure that I did my job but there is always downtime in life. Use it to reach another goal.

A. Steve Counsell (Mr)

I found that working on a word count goal pretty tricky to begin with but soon found that if I just focused on the detail of the subject I could be quite prolific in my writing. The word count went up for every article I produced. Bringing in detailed explanation of the concepts that you’re writing about and then expanding that detail into plain english explanations can be a real boon if you;re struggling to get up to a specified word count.

However, I do find it a little more challenging to cut words out once I have produced, what I see as, a great peice. It’s painful to chop great chunks out but it can be done.

For my serious writign I use a application called “Typed” in full screen mode. There are absolutely no distractions from the words on the page which is really useful. I turn off email and notifications, turn off mu phones and sit in a quiet space so that I can fully concentrate on the job at hand.

I use Typed as it allows me to write plain text and is a full “Markdown” html editor so it’s easier for me to translate into web copy if I need to.

In short I write about concepts, expand those into plain english and then cut back on those plain english expansions when I go over the word count I have been allowed.

A. Kari (Blogger And Writer)

Whether I am writing an eBook, an article for someone else, or a blog post for myself, I always try to beef up the word count in a way that (hopefully) still engages readers.

Unfortunately, my brain can only think of so many subtopics and points, so to achieve my word count goals, I plug in my keyword or topic into Twitter and Google, and then I skim through the results. Certain ideas always pop out and inspire me to research and add new ideas to my eBook, article, or post. And usually just one idea can bulk up the content by 500-1000 words.

A. Lukasz Zelezny (Head of Organic Acquisition)

I don’t believe in setting word counts when you are writing a blog post.  Is there any such thing as a good word count?  Some topics can be covered adequately in just a couple hundred words, whilst others can be as many as 1000, and others may need to be split into parts in order not to overwhelm the audience all in one go.

I’ve spoken to a lot of new bloggers who have asked me how they can increase their word counts to at least 500 words.  If you are asking this question, you don’t know enough about a topic to be able to write about it adequately.  Read more on the topic you want to cover, and see if there are any other angles that you could look at it.  It’s always good to have numerous sources of information at hand so that you can have a sustained opinion.

Bloggers, stop thinking about word counts, and start thinking about what is natural, and what your audience wants to read.  Don’t add fluff to an article just to make it longer – it will only distract away from the message you are trying to give, and your readers will lose interest.

A. Scott D Lewis

For a blogger it can be hard to produce content week after week. I find that I am much more consistent if I have a system in place. I keep blogging ideas and stubs on Trello.com to “prime the pump,” and a paper editorial calendar to schedule posting. That way I know what’s coming up and can plan out what I’m publishing. I do my best to publish my posts on Mondays and Thursdays. This is scheduled in my time manager along with blog writing the day before.

Every blogger should have an editorial calendar whether it is paper or online along with a system to support their publishing consistently.

I hope you’ve found these productivity tips helpful – if you have any that have worked for you, please feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Hey!

    Really got attracted with David’s reply. That’s something unique BUT he has a great point.

    Sharing this around (too good not to share) 🙂

    Keep it up!

  2. Hi David,
    Turn Netflix ON? Really, is it a hack or a technique to increase productivity? Hmm! 🙂 Its quite funny to me but still I see the sense in it.

    One of the interesting part of this piece that caught my attention is the word count. I like the response of Lukasz Zelezny to this effect. If you really don’t know about a topic you may be concerned about word count.

    Word count naturally flows and if a writer has instruction to stick with a word count all he needs to is to become be creative around the count.

    At the end, productivity motivation, inspiration, hack, or technique for a every writer differs. What works for one may not work another because of time restraint, the environment, and experience!

    This post was found in kingged.com where this post was shared.

  3. I may be going against the masses here but I have to say that while some of these “hacks” may have worked for those who posted them, they are pretty controversial and not often realistic in the mainstream.

    For instance, as a parent I know the difficulties of trying to get work done with a child in the home but I’d much rather limit Netflix and promote educational games (there are some great ones that are like playing video games so the child is learning but enjoys it, such as prodigy math game.)

    Writing at your day job is not usually a great idea if you want to keep your day job (unless it is literally part of your day job to write.) It isn’t realistic to think that your unproductive moments at work are yours to do with what you want…your employer is paying you to do a job and you should be filling those down times with catching up on organization (cleaning, prep work, etc.) Obviously there are always exceptions to the rule, but you should use caution when going against the grain.

    Some of the points made here were very helpful though, such as shutting off distracting devices, looking at other content to get inspiration, and setting up a system so you know you have everything you need to get the job done.

    It actually is important to have a good word count. Some may think short and to the point is the best way to go, but most people need real-world examples. My best advice on increasing your word count is to tell a story or give examples regarding your topic. Maybe rather than planting your kids in front of the TV, you can write about something that they did and how it applies to your topic. You can even get their input to add more depth to your writing. People like stories…use that to boost your word count!

    Sincerely,

    Andrea

  4. These are some great productivity tips that can help you improve your productivity. I think the biggest part to productivity is being very knowledgeable on your subject. We you master a subject, you see it in a new light and the ideas will flow. I like the lady who said when a new blogger asks her how they can make their blog posts up to 500 words, she know right then that they have not mastered their subject. I like to keep my blog posts long and very detailed, so up to 800-1100 words or longer. If I can’t do that I do more research and find more ideas. But in order to really be productive, you really need to focus.

  5. Great tips here and I do have to say David’s tip was very original 😉 You would never think of turn on Netflicks but it does make a lot of sense. Keep those kids occupied so that you can concentrate on your work. Yes, you will get a lot done if you have this time

    Also I like Leigh’s tip! I use to do this whenever I have down time at work (usually at the end of the day), but I tell you that you also get a lot of work done with this. Who said you can’t do this at your job!

    Thanks for sharing these great tips on being productive!

    I found this blog post on kingged.com under the category of writing
    http://kingged.com/productivity-tips-for-writers/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *