3 ways to increase your writing output

increase-writing-output

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I’m an impatient person. There. I said it.

But, being impatient, and being a writer has its moments. The writing and publishing game aren’t the best career paths for an impatient person. Not only does writing a book take time, but if heading down the traditional publishing route, you’d better be prepared for time to move in sloth-like fashion. And that’s being optimistic.

While there’s nothing I can do about the fact that the publishing world takes time, what I can do, is work towards increasing my output as a writer. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I may have even touched on the topic last year, during one of the final drafts of my manuscript currently out on submission.

So, why should you be looking to increase your output as a writer?

I think there are two strong points for doing so.

  1. Momentum. It allows you to move forward with current projects, get them finished and out on submission, and then move onto the next project.
  2. Increase writing skills. Improving productivity and output also improves your writing. The more you write, the better you write.

I always envy authors who can put out one, sometimes two books a year. Of course, it’s grueling work that takes ultimate commitment and sacrifice, but it’s something I’m ready for.

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Here’s my three tips on how to increase your writing output.

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Let go of perfection

Ah, the dreaded ‘p’ word. We all know there is no such thing as the perfect novel, but still, it doesn’t stop us striving to write it.
Increasing your writing output means that you need to let go of that pursuit of perfection. It means you must be able to decide and accept when your story is done. You could do another ten drafts and it still wouldn’t be perfect, so good enough needs to be enough.

How I’m going to do this?
By doing less drafts, involving my freelance editor earlier, and getting to the ‘enough’ point sooner. It doesn’t mean skimping on quality or putting in less effort, it just means knuckling down and less procrastination which brings me to my next point!

 

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Stop procrastinating

If there were a gold medal event at the Olympics for procrastination, I think the winner would be a writer. Why is it that writers love writing, yet end up doing everything but? Kind of like this…

We all have our own quirks when it comes to procrastinating, but to improve your writing output you need to kick them to the curb. It’s as simple as that.

How I’m going to do this?
Switching off social media and distractions for at least two hours (2 x one hour blocks) and put my bum in the seat and write. No excuses. Five days a week.

 

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Set Deadlines

I spoke about self-imposed deadlines last year, because… they work. The key here is to set them and stick to them. And once you’ve reached the deadline, set another one. Not only will this increase your writing output and productivity, but it will put you in good stead for when you finally get that publishing deal with real deadlines.

How I’m going to do this?
By continuing to set deadlines. I have one at the end of March (to get my current draft to my editor), and as soon as that is done, my next deadline is to finish the next draft of manuscript number 3.

 

And, your bonus tip!

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Try different methods

There’s a lot of talk out there about how to write faster, and with most things it will come down to what works for you. So trial and error is needed. Here’s a few things to try that might suit you:

  • Smashing out that first draft – no editing until you are finished. None. I mean it.
  • Dictating the first draft – in my social media circles this is the new thing it seems. I haven’t tried it yet, but many are loving this method.
  • Plotting – now if you’re a pantser this one might be tricky. But, being a pantser myself, I have found that after the first draft, small levels of plotting are absolutely necessary to move forward faster.
  • Skeleton drafts – A skeleton draft is also known as draft zero, and is kind of like plotting. It’s where you jot down notes for each chapter before you write. That way you know what’s going to happen in each chapter, the characters, the setting, and what is at stake in each chapter. It’s a great way to see the overall arc of your story too. This is something I’m going to try for my next first draft.
  • The following link was shared in one of my writing groups, and although it won’t be for everyone, it certainly sounds like it may help you get that first draft out: Kicking Out A Fast First Draft

 

I’d love to hear how you are planning on improving your writing output, so if you’ve got a technique that you swear by, let me know.

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