15 Jul 10 ways to write smarter
We all benefit from being more time effective and cost efficient. Here are ten tips on how to make your writing day run smoother.
- Know what you are going to write before you sit at your desk. If you’re working on a novel this can mean finishing halfway through a scene so you know instantly where to pick up from the day before.
- Listen to your biorhythms. If you write better first thing then no emails before you’ve done your 1000 words. Don’t start something new in the groggy mid-afternoon period, do research instead.
- Have regular breaks. Research shows that sitting is the new smoking – our sedentary lifestyle is literally killing us. Try the pomodoro technique. Answer phone calls standing up. Have a proper lunchbreak.
- Make priority lists to plan your day if you’ve got so much to do and don’t know where to start.
- Prefer mindmaps? Write them out with coloured pens or use one of the many software programs like Novamind.
- Get to grips with Scrivener for big writing projects. I know I’ve said it before – that’s because it works. It will save you time sifting through Word documents trying to find that one para you know you’ve written.
- Give yourself personal deadlines – very helpful if you’re working on a book. If necessary do a spreadsheet with dates on when you will finish sections/chapters by.
- Clean your desk. It makes a difference to how you feel when you sit down. You’ll find things you’ve forgotten that might be useful.
- Meet up with fellow writers once a month to swap ideas, to read each other’s work, to have a moan, to inspire each other.
- Avoid social media when you are writing. No Facebook, no Twitter, none of it. Make use of the ‘focus’ option in Microsoft Word: View > Focus (Scrivener has a similar tool) which blacks out everything else on your desktop. Then dedicate a particular time of day to virtual connectivity – perhaps during the 3pm blues over a cuppa.