Sometimes it’s hard to focus as a writer. This blog article is all about ways to increase productivity. If you have any other ideas… please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post! It would be great to hear from you!
Clear Your Writing Path
Before you sit down to write anything, trying asking yourself: Why am I writing? What’s the desired outcome that I want with this particular piece of writing? Am I writing to brighten someone’s morning? Motivate our team to head back into the ring after a crushing defeat? Encourage folks to say “yes” to a new meeting time?
The best writing tends to have one clear, ringing intention. Choose it—and commit.
Writing with a Target
For most people, the longer you fuss over a piece of writing, the worse it gets. When you have a clear reason for writing and feel happy and relaxed, your first draft is usually best. There’s no need to endlessly chew it over. Clearing out your inbox, for example? Give yourself a time limit—say, two minutes per email—to prevent yourself from slipping into analysis paralysis.
You can set up a playlist on YouTube or on iTunes comprised entirely of upbeat songs, to keep yourself moving along. When the song changes, hit “send” and move on!
Simply Does It
Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Imagine that you’re writing for an audience of little kids—impatient, easily distracted, with zero tolerance for jargon. You have to keep things simple so they grasp things very quickly.
You can practice by having actual conversations with people. If your pitch is clear and intriguing—or not—you will know very quickly, but you have to try to practice with real people.
What Would They Write?
If you’re struggling with a sensitive piece of writing where hitting the right emotional tone is essential, try channeling one of your personal heroes. “What would Stephen King write in this situation?” “What would Dean Koontz say?” “How would Richard Branson handle this business book?”
Read Aloud—You’re a Writer and Proud!
Whenever possible, read your writing out loud. Does it sound like it was written by a human being or a cyborg? Are you stumbling over excessively long sentences? Catch any typos or duplicate words? If so, tweak and read it out loud again.
If reading aloud isn’t possible—because you don’t want to disturb your colleagues—try lightly tapping a finger on your desk or thigh as you silently read each word in your head. It’s bizarre, but it works almost as well as reading out loud.