There are another 800 words to go before I finish this article. Time flies, but words are escaping my head. What does it take me to write more?
To deal with the problem I have to answer two classic questions:
- Who is to blame? – I am, for the lack of writing habit, self-discipline and willpower.
- What is to be done? – I am going to stretch my short story long and give advice on how to write more in this article.
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ~Neil Gaiman
My Rule of Thumb is to Keep Writing
As soon as I go back and start reading the earlier paragraphs it’s a totally different story. I start questioning my own reasoning and logic, correct typos, look for synonyms and so on. There writing ceases. So, don’t edit when you write, just keep typing. You can get back to it later and switch to the editing mode.
It’s later that you will proofread the text and maybe use the Hemingway app to get rid of clumsy sentences and passive voice. There is a popular trick – to reduce brightness on your screen so you won’t see your lines. I prefer just not to look up. Keep my eyes down on the keyboard as if using a typewriter.
Stay in the positive frame: “I think I can do it no matter how hard it seems”. Simple, but it works. I am trying to write more on how to write more… Isn’t it better to be ridiculous than boring?
A really great tip is to start your writing day early, before the world around you awakens. I try to get to my desk early to enjoy the most productive morning hours. I switch my computer and start writing right away. The sooner I’ll focus the better. I need to get to my writing before anything else.
So NO to reading unrelated stuff online, No to Skype and e-mail, No to Facebook and Instagram. Use one of many effective apps to block social media. At least for now.
Space Around You Matters
Yes, it may sound banal, but you have to organize a comfortable writing environment around yourself. I prefer a clear desk, my phone in the drawer. My coffee mug and the keyboard, nothing else.
Here Comes My Writer’s Block…
What else should I mention? It is 439 words up to here, by the way. Maybe it is time for a short break?
Or I’ll use this time when I can’t think of the next line for researching more ideas on the topic. Or I could edit my text a little bit.
Look for Inspiration and Useful Sources
There are excellent websites and blogs that can help you move on. Neil Patel , Joe Bunting, Joanna Penn share their personal experience on how to write more and develop a daily writing habit. I really like Joanna’s advice on behavioural charts. I will definitely try that.
“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~William Faulkner
Reading increases an ability to write. It encourages more words into a thinking process and provides tools to continue.
Develop a habit of writing a minimum number of words daily. If you set a goal of writing 750 words a day – it will become a lot easier to get down to work and hit the nail on the head.
The 750 Words website is a useful recourse to keep a good pace and make your first steps to a more productive writing. It offers curves and statistics to help you see the big picture. This resource is instrumental if you want to analyse your working process. It shows how much time was spent on writing, how many words were written, breaks made, typing speed and analysis of your feelings, themes and even mindset of your words!
If you’ve never tried such things and aren’t sure if it’ll work for you, learn a little about someone else’s experience with the recourse. In my case it was Mattan Griffel’s blog.
By and large that’s all it takes to write more. Keep writing, do it as often as you can and use tools to simplify your task. Even if your topic is a meta text on writing itself, it’s doable.
by Marina Pilipenko
Marina is a marketing manager at actiTIME, a time-tracking software company. She writes about productivity and work-life balance. She loves going outdoors in her free time. Follow her on Twitter and Google+