Keys to Having a Productive Writing Session

Keys to Having a Productive Writing Session

Remember these?

Far removed from the days of typewriters, writers are faced with distractions right in front of their face as they write. The Internet.

As you are reading this right now, I bet many of you have multiple tabs or windows open in your browser.

Besides this one, I have eight other tabs open. Eight. Why?  I don’t know. I don’t want to miss out. I want to jump back and forth when there is an uncomfortable pause. Maybe an excuse to procrastinate. Let me check Facebook one more time.

Hold on…

Okay. Now, I only have this one open. Time to focus. I am quite sure I am not the only one that works this way. Many of us have SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) in this digital age. We have to check our phones, our social media sites, the news, our tablets, and our email. Many, many times throughout the day. It is like our mind is not allowed to focus on one thing for more than five minutes.

Try it. For five minutes, stop multi-tasking.

Hard, isn’t it?

As a writer, this makes it difficult to get any writing done. It seems I can never get past the “research stage.” Well, when I am productive, I have learned some things that have helped.  Although I don’t stick to these things as I should, I am aware that they work.

1. Write when you first wake up.  

This is one of the most challenging. Because after eight hours in a restful sleep, the whole world went on without us. We HAVE to check our email and Facebook in case we missed something. I mean 8 hours is a LONG time to be away from electronic media. What if Kim Kardashian got married again or your ex-boyfriend emailed you wanting you back? Skip it – get to writing.

2. Disconnect.

This is another challenge. What do you mean, “disconnect?” Like the Internet, my smart phone? Yes. Use a blank screen. Remember Microsoft Word? Yep, you can still use it to type your ideas. For those who have wireless, this may be more difficult, but you actually can turn off the Internet. I know, shocking.

3. Only write when you are in the mood.

I don’t mean that you have to feel overwhelmed with creativity. We all know that inspiration comes when it is well and ready. However, you should be in the mood to sit down and put down your thoughts. All it takes is an idea. Your fingers will take it from there. Accomplishing things works so much better when you are in the mood for it.

4. Don’t neglect the rest of life.

When you stare at a computer screen all day, writing does not become easier. Sometimes, it can be counterproductive. Go for a walk, or a run, call a friend, read a book, watch the news. Go be social. Don’t get lazy and become a recluse. You still have to leave your house, pay your bills, and buy groceries.

5. Don’t stress about it.

I know many successful writers will tell you that you should write everyday. And maybe you should.  But there will be days you just don’t feel like it. Or you are busy with other things. For those who own a blog, this adds to the stress. You may think, Google will punish me if I don’t write in my blog everyday. Probably not. Don’t neglect it for weeks, but if you miss a couple days of writing, don’t stress. And remember, it doesn’t always have to be a masterpiece! Hakuna Matada.  Um, that dates me.

 It really is amazing at the results you will get when you try some (or all) of these tricks. All writers have their secrets of success. These are just mine. Find ones that work for you and follow them. As often as you can.

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