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Friday, April 24, 2015

9 Writing Productivity Mistakes to Avoid

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Productivity Tips for Writers.
There are a lot of tasks we must master as we make writing a priority. But with these additional tasks, our productivity may drop. 

Learning how to juggle this multi-tasking is part of becoming a professional writer. 

Today I’d like to share 9 Productivity Mistakes to Avoid.

1. Multi-tasking. This one is a biggie. Yes, we have a lot of things we must do from, writing, to editing, to marketing. But it’s not an efficient use of our time if we try to do everything all at once.

Watch out for unlimited web-browsing.
2. Unlimited web-browsing. We definitely need to build an online platform, but spending hours surfing the web isn’t the way to do it.

3. Not scheduling your time. The way to get all the various tasks done that need to be done is by scheduling our time. Find the most creative time and guard it for your writing first. Then work around that time for the other tasks you have to do.

4. Avoiding the hard stuff. It’s only human nature to want to do the easy things first. But that’s not always the most efficient use of our time. Come up with a schedule, then do the tasks that are scheduled, whether they’re hard or easy.

5. Talking instead of working. Writers are like anyone else, we’re passionate about our craft. But we need to make sure we’re spending time practicing our craft, not just talking about it.

6. Not networking. We shouldn't spend all our time talking about writing, but that doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves. Others can give us much needed perspective and insight into things we're struggling with. 

No cheating allowed.
7. Using cheating as a reward. It’s great to build in rewards, but make sure the rewards aren’t sabotaging your progress. For example, if I’m on a diet and I lose five pounds, I don’t want to reward myself with a calorie-laden meal. With writing, if I make my word count goal, I want to build on it, not take the rest of the week off.

8. Thinking only about the big dream. Sure we all want to write a blockbuster. But that isn’t my only goal. I have lots of goals that will lead up to that one. Don’t be a big-picture writer and lose out on the chance to fulfill your dream.

9. Over planning. Yes, we need to make plans, and follow a schedule. But if we’re so concerned with the process of planning, we’re wasting valuable time. Write down your goals, come up with a schedule and then GET TO WORK.

10. Not learning. With writers, like most creative endeavors talent is a good start. BUT diligence trumps talent every single time. Doing the hard work to learn all that’s involved with becoming a professional writer will get you much farther than even a huge amount of talent.

This are the hindrances I’ve found to writing productivity, I’d love to know what you’d add to the list.

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. Don't miss her new book from Worthy Inspired, coming in May WHILE MY SOLDIER SERVES.

3 comments:

Ane Mulligan said...

Love this post, Edie. I've been guilty of a few of those at one time. LOL

Edie Melson said...

Ane, I think we all have!

Carrie Lynn Lewis said...

Edie,

LOL, I LOVE planning. I can spend weeks on it and end up with a summary that's multiple pages long!

I know there comes a time when planning must end and writing must begin. But, oh!, the agony!

By God's grace, I married an engineer and I often remind myself of the creed that comes with engineers (who also love to plan).

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start the work."

Fortunately, no shooting is required, but the thought is very applicable to my writing life!

Thanks for the tips. I must raise my hand for one or two others in addition to over-planning! Guilty as charged!

Best wishes,

Carrie