6 Ways to Increase Your Writing Output

Written by Ellie Matama | June 30, 2016

Many of the leading authors in the world do not just sit back and rest on their laurels after attaining best-seller status. If anything, they go on to write more books that are just as good, if not better, than their previous ones.

If you want to have a chance at succeeding as a writer, you too need to follow their example. You need to work just as much to increase your writing output. After all, if you don’t write, you can’t call yourself a writer, can you?

So, how should you go about being more productive as a writer? What steps should you take? What strategies should you implement?

Plan Your Plot

Simply deciding to write, without knowing what you want to convey to your target audience, is a recipe for disaster.

Stories must have a plot. So, what’s yours?

Taking time to come up with a basic plot for your stories will ensure that you avoid confusion while enhancing your writing output.

Should you feel that you are lacking inspiration, do what you have to in order to get inspired. Agatha Christie thought out her murder plots while munching apples in the bathtub. Do what works for you and get things moving.

Keep Distractions at Bay

There’s no way you will be productive if you are dealing with distractions. There’s only so much multi-tasking the human mind is capable of. And if there’s something that is capable of draining your mind, it’s getting into the skin of your characters and conveying that in form of words.

So, if you want to increase your writing output, you need to keep distractions at bay. Switch off that TV, block the internet if you have to, and find a calm environment for writing. It’s the only way you are going to get things done

Just Get On With It

While it is advisable for you to get rid of distractions before you begin to write, know that you will never have the perfect conditions for writing. There will always be something that comes up. It is therefore in your best interest to just get on with it.

According to best-selling author Jodi Picoult, “you can’t edit a blank page.” The writer emphasized that having a writer’s block is down to simply having too much time on your hands. And when you think about it, she’s right. I mean, didn’t you always turn in your exam essays on time?

So, force yourself to write even if you don’t want to. A sentence or two is better than a blank page.

Set a Minimum Writing Requirement

Do you know why to-do lists are so effective? It’s because they create a sense of obligation and force people to do the things that they wrote down. Setting a minimum writing requirement will achieve a similar effect.

If you are just starting out with your resolution to be more productive, set a small goal. You could start off with 500 words a day as the minimum that you should write, and then increase your output as time goes by.

You could also choose to set aside a time minimum requirement as opposed to setting a lower word limit. It’s amazing what you could do in 30 minutes if you choose to stay focused on your writing for the entire time.

If you think that famous authors do not set minimum requirements, think again. In his book On Writing, Stephen King stated that he writes 10 pages every day. Who are you not to follow suit?

Set Milestones and Celebrate Each Achievement

Writing can be quite exhausting. If you keep on writing without breaks, you may just burnout before you complete your book. At the very least, the quality of that book will keep on decreasing.

The best way to increase your writing output is to set milestones. It could be something as difficult as 20,000 words written or something more achievable like 150 minutes of focused writing. What matters is that you take the time to celebrate each milestone and take a well deserved break – which could range from several hours to an entire day or weekend. By the time you resume your writing, your mind will be fresh and ready to go.

Take Part in a Writing Challenge Program

Writing is usually a solitary activity. However, human beings are social animals. It can be quite difficult for you to lock yourself away for weeks at a time, in an attempt to be more productive. This is where writing programs and challenges come in.

No writing challenge program is as famous as the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This annual writing program is meant to challenge writers to write a novel in a month.

The annual writing challenge program allows you to create an account on the NaNoWriMo site and announce your intention to write a book. This public announcement keeps you accountable.

You will also get to use the online platform to track your writing progress, get support from other writers and even get the opportunity to arrange face-to-face meetings with your fellow local writers.

Writing challenges are a good idea if you are struggling to be more productive. There is nothing like a short deadline to get the brain juices flowing.