If you’re writing full time, or even part time, it can be difficult to stay productive throughout the day. This is because creativity can be a difficult state of mind to maintain – it often appears spontaneously and wanes when we need it to write to the best of our ability. In addition, writing can use up a lot of mental energy, making writing and editing for many hours a day quite tiring. Read on to learn some productivity hacks for writers who wish to accomplish more, allowing you to not feel burnt out at the end of the day.
Overcome Writer’s Block
One of the biggest productivity drains for writers is that dreaded state known as writer’s block: when you lose the ability to produce new work or experience a loss of creativity. Rather than just sitting in front of your computer or notepad getting frustrated about the stagnation, try the following:
- Go for a walk – The act of moving, exercising, and taking your mind off work can lead to spontaneous thoughts about new ideas. A person’s creative output increases by 60 percent when walking.
- Spend time in nature – Spending time with mother nature also helps to enhance creativity.
- Eliminate distractions – Try working in an environment with fewer distractions and less noise; if you normally listen to music while working, see if silence helps.
- Freewriting – This involves writing continuously and quickly without taking time to judge what you’re writing and without worrying about any conventions. This can help encourage new ideas and different perspectives.
- Do nothing – Doing nothing, also known as niksen in Dutch, is the art of being idle without a purpose, not engaged in anything in particular. This lets your mind freely wander, which is associated with greater divergent thinking (exploring many possible solutions).
The Benefits of Reading Books
Reading books is beneficial for writers as well as others. The benefits that can aid writing include:
- A strengthening of brain networks
- Increased vocabulary
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Reduction in depressive symptoms
By benefiting cognitive capacities and mental health, reading can boost a writer’s productivity. One of the other key benefits of reading (not just books, but articles and blog posts as well) is that it can stimulate new ideas, perspectives, and sources to draw on when writing. Reading widely allows you to write from a place of greater inspiration and is one of the most important productivity hacks for writers.
As a writer, you want to ensure that your work is always of the highest quality. This often means editing your work so that it is free from errors and highly readable. But editing can be quite a time-consuming process, especially if you’re being meticulous about it.
Fortunately, there are many free online tools that can help you save time on the process of editing. One example is Grammarly, a digital writing assistance tool that uses AI and natural language processing to provide feedback on your writing. After pasting your text into the app, potential issues relating to spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, tone, and style will be highlighted. Using Grammarly, as well as performing a quick manual edit, will help you to efficiently produce clean, high-quality work.
Another potential tool to consider is the Hemingway App which checks the readability of your content, providing you with a readability grade. (A lower grade indicates that more people will find your writing readable.) The app highlights aspects of writing that can impact readability, such as the use of adverbs, passive voice, and complicated phrasing. Creating highly readable content is often a key aspect of writing professionally. Your client will want the content you produce to be read by as many people as possible.
With these productivity hacks for writers in mind, you’ll get more accomplished. Writing professionally is not for everyone, as its demands on productivity differ greatly from other professions. However, by prioritising breaks and the need for creative inspiration, you may find that you can write more often – and write better work – than you previously imagined.