In a moment I will give you three tips to help you increase your writing output. I’ve written and published six books, completed three of five attempts at Nanowrimo, have six blogs, and I’ve written 38,326 words in January and 49,572 words in February. I currently maintain a sixty-four day writing streak of at least 750 per day.
I give you those numbers not to boast but to let you know my writing life has not always been this productive. Over the past decade, my writing consistency has sputtered. I’ve hit periods of high output then low to nonexistent output. Usually during the high output times, I’m in the throes of writing a book. Once the manuscript finds completion, my productivity falls off.
What I’m about to give you most likely sounds very familiar to your inner ear. Your mind. Your heart. That is, if you are anything like me. I am a walking testimony to the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
I’ve been listening to the advice I’m about to deliver to you for years, but I never applied this knowledge to my heart until this year. Please do yourself a favor, open your mind, your heart, your will, and consider taking this advice:
1) When you say you have no time to write, realize what you are saying to yourself. The truth is, writing 750 words takes around 15 to 25 minutes of your time. Realize you are selling yourself short. Realize the truth. You have 15 to 25 minutes each day. You simply DO NOT CHOOSE TO USE THESE MINUTES TO WRITE!
I am not aiming to be harsh, just honest. The FIRST thing you must to to increase your writing volume is to create a shift in your thinking. All change begins in your thoughts. First and foremost, stop the thoughts that say “I need to…, I have to…, I should do…” and replace the phrasing to simply. “I desire to…”.
Catch yourself when you think, write or speak these words I call “pressure words”. Have to, need to, should do – all beat you down before you begin. In order to get to the next of the three steps, YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR THOUGHT PROCESSES! Otherwise, you will stay mired in the same rut of ‘no time’.
We’re all busy. Yet some of us write loads of words and others complain of no time. Often, the folk writing tons of words appear busier than those who don’t. Everything begins with your thoughts. Change your mindset.
2) Commit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know you’ve heard this before. That does not change the validity of the statement. Commit to your writing like a lover. Come on! You know you love writing! But you treat writing like some vagabond streetwalker. Treat your writing like a lover. Commit to her/him. Breathe life and passion back into your heart.
When you commit yourself in this manner to your writing, combined with the change in mindset that says “I am doing this!”, you will find you go directly to the third step.
3) Action. Yes, there will be voices inside your head that still attempt to derail you. Voices that say you should wash the dishes or do this chore or that. Voices that will tell you how poor your writing is. These voices need to be disregarded. Remember the first step. CHANGE YOUR THOUGH PATTERNS. Don’t allow these inner voices to thwart you. If you must (and I have had to do this on many occasions), tell those voices, “Yes, I am writing crap – but I’m writing and it will get better.”
If you think those nearly 50,000 words I wrote in February were all pristine and perfect, I have loads of swampland I’d like to sell you. As you exercise your body, your muscles tone and improve. So too, your writing skills. Take action. Grab a pen, pencil, crayon, computer, smart-phone, anything that will assist you in your act of writing.
There are loads of other tools you can use to help you write, but successfully adopting these three will have you well on your way to increasing your writing output. Change your thought process to first-person-present-tense (I desire…), commit to your lovely writing as a lover, and take action – WRITE!
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