Monday, April 20, 2020

Simple Tips on Writing, Productivity and Mindset

Productivity

Productivity is a big player in your writing routine.  If you want to be a full-time writer you need to be able to write consistently, and regularly, otherwise you won't make any money.

For many, writing can be fun and easy to do, but don't be fooled, it's actually really tough and requires a lot of time and energy.  But I wouldn't change it for anything. 

Here are some useful hints to get you started:

Fix your writing routine and habits

Writing shouldn't just be a hobby, or something you do in your spare time, it should be a habit.  Habits are something you do on a daily basis without thinking.  Like brushing your teeth, or combing your hair.  When I first started writing online I did it as a form of therapy.  It took a couple of years to realise it had developed into something else.  From writing articles weekly on Hubpages, I started a blog and ended up devoting my time to writing regular posts.  I used to sit for hours (and still do), writing blog posts each week.  This eventually formed into a weekly routine of writing and publishing.  Before long I used the content I had published and started turning them into books.


Make the time to write

Life can be pretty chaotic at the best of times, and can often be difficult if you suffer from depression.  As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I used writing as a form of therapy and something to take mind off things to get through my depression.  Writing can be difficult to fit in,no matter what your situation is.  Instead you make time to write around your daily life.  At least that's what I did.

Some people prefer an early morning start to write, I prefer to do my writing at night, when my brain is the most alive, and keep my marketing for early in the morning. 

Choose a time in the day when you're most creative and stick with it.

Writing books and blog posts can be tiring, so you need to find a good work life balance.  I enjoy walking and exercise during the day.  This helps keep my mind clear when I write at night. 

You can't write unless you clear your schedule and make time.

Make sure you have the right kit for the job

Writers have a very simple toolkit, consisting of a laptop and connection to the web.  I'm currently using an ASUS VivoBook, but usually look for the most reasonably priced laptop that will suit my needs.  This handy VivoBook is used for writing blog posts, books, email and Internet browsing. 

So find yourself a quiet space to sit down and just write, in a corner away from any distractions.

Get to grips with editing after writing your first draft

It would be wonderful if words came together perfectly after your first draft.  Unfortunately writing doesn't work that way.  You need to spend time refining your text readying it for publishing.   There are plenty of good books on editing such as:

Dreyer's English - Benjamin Dreyer
Developmental Editing - Scott Norton
Beyond the Spell Check - Terry Erie Clayton

Editing requires words on a page, so get writing!

Research, write, publish

As a non-fiction writer I get my ideas from reading blog posts, books, and articles from all over the place.  There's a whole library of information out there, you just need to start digging, and turn that research into a book, or blog post.  Get into the habit of making notes, anything that comes into your head may become an idea one day.

Have faith in your curiosity

Carry a notebook with all of the time, if you can.  Ideas can come to you at the strangest times, when you're asleep, out and about, or even when you're in the shower. 

Start writing and discover your voice

Practice makes perfect, and writing is no exception.  It takes time to find your writing voice, and you'll make a plethora of mistakes in between.  But that shouldn't put you off writing.  For many writer's, the first book can take years in the making, and then it's never to the standard they imagined it to be.  Self-doubt and failure go hand-in-hand, and never stops even for the most experienced writers out there. 

If  you haven't written a book already, get rid of that fear by taking the step and writing it.   Then write another book, and another.  Mistakes will be made, but each one you write, you learn from that one, and so on.  Learn from the best, and keep building. 

Don't take your writing too seriously, enjoy it! 

Give your readers something to come back for, be inspiring, entertaining, and educational.  But most all of be yourself.

Mindset

If you want to be a successful writer, you need to have the right mindset, otherwise you'll never get anywhere.

Here are some important points to consider about your mindset:

Stay positive and be proactive

This is easier said than done.  There is no one-size fits all when it comes to writing, because everyone is different.  You need to find your own way,  and to do that you need to experiment with different self-publishing platforms, and start your own author platform.  You'll have plenty of disappointments that I can guarantee.  But for every letdown you have will be a ray of sunshine that will raise you up again, grab hold of that and forge your way forward. 

Criticism can be hard to take, especially when it's negative.  But don't let that put you off.  We've all been there.  Stay positive.

Write down your own definition of success

Everybody has a different view on what success is, and what it means in their own life.  Half the battle is knowing what you want to accomplish through your writing. 

Sit down and really think about what it is you want, and what needs to be done to get there.  Then write down your goal, and keep it somewhere you can see it, on your desktop or workspace.  Let that be a reminder of what you're striving for.



Locate your tribe, and share other people's work generously

Community is important, and will help build your name, as well as support you when times are tough.  Social media is all about other people, connecting with like-minded people like yourself, and also sharing their work.  Paying it forward is the key to being a successful writer, not just helping yourself, but helping others be fruitful as well. 

If you're not a reader, now is the time to start.  Find your niche and start reading other writer's blogs and books.  This will help improve your grammar skills, but also enhance your self-editing skills as well.  Enriching your work life, and keeping the fountain of ideas fresh.

Change is inescapable and learning is essential

With technological innovation happening at a rapid rate it's important to stay up-to-date with the current trends, and changes that are happening all of the time.  As time goes by you'll find your own voice and your path will become clearer.

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