Have you noticed that some writers seem to write prolifically producing several full-length novels or non-fiction books a year whilst others take several years to complete one book. Since everybody has the same twenty-four hours each day if you want to increase your output then you either have to work more hours or achieve more in the hours you work. Productivity is a measure of output per unit of input – for a writer output is your completed work and input is your time.
Note that your output is completed work rather than just the word count. If you produce a high word count during your writing slots and then spend days, weeks or months agonizing over selecting exactly the right word then any initial increase in productivity will be negated. If finding and selecting the perfect word is your priority, such as when writing poetry, then you will need to allocate sufficient time to this task and look to other areas where you might become more efficient or find ways to increase the time you can devote to your writing.
If you want to generate an income from your writing then you will need to create a body of work; some work you will sell once, some work you will not be paid for but may attract readers who then buy your books, some work will continue to make you money over a long period of time. Whatever you write and however you get paid the more you produce the greater your potential income.
Any successful writer will tell you that if you want to be a published writer then you have to sit down and get the words written. Many will also tell you that motivating yourself to sit down and write is the hardest part of the job.
Procrastination sets in and you do all the other really important jobs (that aren’t really that important or urgent) instead of writing and when you run out of jobs you just invent a new one. After all you can’t do too much research, and you really do need to respond to emails as they come in, and, if all else fails, there is always that cupboard that needs to be cleared.
This book prorides you with tools and techniques to produce more in the time you have allocated to your writing and getting your writing published. It is possible, if you apply yourself with discipline and commitment (yes you really do have to switch the mobile phone off) to increase your output fourfold without increasing the total time you work on writing related activities.
Depending how much time you are able to commit to your writing business it is possible to write 2000 – 4000 words a day; some successful full-time writers achieve 8,000 – 12,000 words a day. Whether 2,000 or 12,000, with that type of output imagine how many books you could write in the next year.
This book is divided into sections each relating to a different aspect of improving your productivity.
Read the book from start to finish and select those techniques you want or need to adopt immediately. Once you have started to develop new habits and improve your productivity try some of the other tips and techniques. Some of these require an investment of time which, of course, eats into your writing time. You will receive a return, increased productivity, and it will be worth the investment however, you will need to manage how much time you allocate to learning new skills and organising your workspace else you may find these activities become procrastination opportunities and actually reduce your productivity. You can easily find yourself saying “I’ll start writing when I’ve learnt how to outline in Word” or “I can’t start writing until I’ve tidied the desk.”
In addition, for those who write part-time and have other commitments such as a full-time job, there is a section on how to create additional writing slots in your day and how to make the most of them.
After all there is limited benefit in creating a fifteen minute slot only to find it takes you fourteen minutes to take out and turn on your laptop.
Throughout this book your writing projects will often be referred to as a book – fiction or nonfiction – however the tips and techniques apply to all writing projects including articles, short stories, poems and blog posts. The activities related to writing will often be referred to as your writing business regardless of how much time you currently allocate to writing or how much income your writing generates.
Always remember it’s not how much time you have but how well you use that time. If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, you need to get the words written. No excuses. Get started and become a productive and successful writer.