New Year, new writing goals—right?! That’s how I felt stepping into this past year. I was confident, I was ready, and I was looking forward to a year of diving deeper into my craft. Except it’s easy to start slacking. (Anyone else?!) My goal was to write more this year, but how quickly I slipped into bad habits, pushed my writing projects off to the side, and busied myself with other things. Ugh. Can you relate?
It’s human nature that even our best intentions don’t quite happen. And unfortunately, those resolutions we make for ourselves don’t always stay in focus as the days go by. However, if you’re serious about becoming a better writer, staying motivated, and writing more this year, I have some news for you: it is possible.
Sometimes writing more (and better) is simply about finding the strategies that work for you. (Personal side note: When I get into my ‘go mode’ I can write 5-10 pieces in one day! It’s amazing what we can do when we focus and put our minds to the task!)
I’ve been writing professionally for seven years and along the way I’ve learned some tips, lessons, and motivation tactics to produce more and higher quality content. Regardless of whether you’re looking to publish professional dissertations, share poems on your Instagram page, or just journal in your diary, here are some ways to write more this year.
Tip #1: Figure out your high energy time and work around that.
If you want to write more this year, you have to figure out when and where you’re the most motivated. This may sound silly, but finding the time to write (especially if you haven’t been writing a lot in the past) can be difficult. There is your job, family, social commitments, and downtime to work around, not to mention figuring out when, in your jam-packed day, you can fit this in!
Don’t let your busyness discourage you, though. Determine out whether you’re a morning person or night owl and see if you can use those hours to your advantage. Think about little segments of time (lunch break, post-workout, while dinner is cooking, etc.) that you can use for writing time. And figure out whether you like to be uninterrupted, or if you can work at a public space like a coffee shop or laundromat.
Knowing these things will help you shift where and when you write, as well as create pockets in your schedule where this is feasible.
Tip #2: Channel your energy into one project at a time.
Maybe you’re facing Writer’s Block about something, feeling frustrated before you begin. Instead of focusing on that one thing, start something else first. Channel all your energy into one project at a time so that (a) things can feel more manageable and (b) you can fight against your self-doubt to actually get words on the page.
Tip #3: Keep a running list of topics/ideas in an accessible place.
I can’t tell you how useful this is! I always have a notebook, app (here are some great apps for writers), or even the back of my hand available to write down ideas. When I’m in the car, I’ll voice record if something inspiring comes to mind. Saving these ideas is so valuable—rather than wasting time thinking about what you want to write, you’ll have all the info readily available!
Tip #4: Automate content (and re-share old content) so that you can focus your attention on new ideas.
One of the easiest ways to write more is to free your schedule and time from other commitments. You can do that by sharing old content rather than stressing yourself out about creating something new to share all the time. Use an automation service (like Buffer, for example) to schedule out posts on your social media pages. Tap into old content that did well and re-share to keep your engagement high, while giving you the time to focus on, and develop new ideas!
Tip #5: Create a writing schedule and push yourself to stick to it.
If you want to write more this year, you have to be disciplined. Create a calendar for yourself and commit to at least one day per week of brainstorming and writing. When you implement your writing into your actual schedule, you’ll view it more as an obligation, rather than something to blow off.
Tip #6: Get in the habit of writing something every single day.
Don’t let this freak you out—you don’t have to draft a novel every morning! Instead, focus on something small and feasible. Can you write one sentence each morning, or each night before you go to bed? Can you write down one thing that happened to you, one emotion you’re feeling, one thought you had?
If you get into the habit of writing every single day, writing will become easy and seamless within your natural schedule.
Tip #7: Embrace the draft and worry less about the finished product.
Stop worrying about how your writing looks or what’s ‘wrong.’ Instead, just get it out. (That’s what a draft is, by the way!) Pour your heart onto the page without worrying about grammar, spelling, fluency, etc. You can always go back and edit later. The important thing is that you’re getting the words out.
Tip #8: Share and get feedback.
Make it a personal goal that not only will you write more this year, but that you’ll share more, too. Part of being a writer (especially if you’re looking to make a living as a writer) is getting your work out to the public. As you create, share pieces with your audience. This is a great way to see what content is resonating, what people like, and what you can work on.
*PS: If you want to work directly with a writing coach who will not only help to build your content, sharpen your skills, and develop a relationship with you, check out the coaching services I offer through my company, Be A Light!
Tip #9: Make your writing fun!
Writing doesn’t have to feel like a chore! Make it a good time. If you like writing in journals, check out some of my favorite journals and find one that inspires you. Write in a fun app, use colored pens, or make your writing time your special ‘me’ time.
When you treat your writing as a time of joy and self-love, you’ll be apt to write more unconsciously.
Featured Image Credit: Andrea Vehige