Hey y’all! This week I’ve really been thinking about productivity and how little of it I currently have. I’ve been so distracted these last few weeks, which isn’t surprising given that it’s almost summer. But once summer arrives, I’m going to be on a time crunch to finish the draft of book two of the New Covenant Trilogy.
I’m not the fastest writer. Other people can crunch out a thousand words in half an hour. If I’m to get anything substantial done, I need at least three hours and absolute concentration. It’s bad, I know. To that end, I’ve been investigating ways of boosting my speed, focus, and overall productivity while writing. There are a few common methods, and I hope they’ll be a good help to me, or to you!
Words sprints sound amazing. Unfortunately I haven’t mustered up enough focus to do one effectively, and have currently suffered a slump in motivation. But that will pass. A word sprint is a lot like what it sounds like: you sit down with your keyboard, and you crank out words without stopping for a set period of time. It could be twenty minutes, ten, whatever you feel comfortable with. A lot of writers like to do it with friends and see who can make the most progress. I love everything about this idea, and doing it with a friend would probably help me go through with it.
Location is undeniably important. Sometimes, your quiet desk at home is a great place to focus. But for many, monotony can become a drag. I’ve definitely experienced this. To that end, I find myself sitting in odd locations all around the house. Lots of writers can be found at local coffee shops for this reason. I’ve never gotten to write outside my house like this (coffee shop seating is still super limited, sigh), but I’d love to try it once my local coffee shop allows done-in again.
If you’ve ever tried to train a puppy or a small child (or anything, for that matter), the reward system should sound pretty intuitive. Set a goal, and once you accomplish it, treat yourself! My main problem with this is that I tend to get tired and just give myself the reward before I’ve earned it. The iced coffee is right there, who’s really stopping me from taking a sip? There’s no effective way to keep my from simply bestowing the reward upon myself, short of involving another person. Getting someone else to monitor your writing could hold you accountable, if It doesn’t sound too uncomfortable.
Silence (or background noise)
As I’ve mentioned, I love background music. I have headphones in as I write this post. But sometimes the music gets distracting, and I find myself mouthing lyrics instead of typing. The solution here is either find music that won‘t distract you, or don’t listen to music. Depends on the day, but sometimes silence is easier to write in. You just have to know yourself and your preferences.
This ties in to some of the other options, but writer friends can be a powerful help in staying
productive. You can hold each other accountable, talk about writing, help each other through writer’s block, do word sprints, whatever. I’m blessed to know several cool writers, but there are lots of online forums to accomplish this, too. If you want a writer friend, all you need to is look for one.
I’m slowly coming out of a slump, and hopefully these techniques will help me, and you as well! It’s going to be difficult going into the summer months, especially since I’ve been invited on a road trip that will span most of June. During that time I probably won’t be able to post here as frequently, but I’ll try to update on my adventures as I traverse the country. Real-life experiences are my goal, and I aim to explore as much of this planet as I can. Exploration is a common theme in science fiction, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
So, June will be a weird month. But until then, I wish y’all the best! Have a great week, and fly safe!