Writing your book can be a long and laborious process. Whittling away at the pages requires patience from the author as they soldier on aiming to reach their daily word-count. Sometimes life happens and the author is distracted by a crisis that forces them to put writing aside for a period. This post is written especially for the author who needs to destroy writers block. Hope it helps.
Writing Hack #1: Good writing habits and fundamentals
Firstly, aim to reach a modest daily word-count. Don’t make the mistake of aiming for quantity over quality. 1000 quality words trump 2000 words that confuse the reader.
Secondly, start by outlining the structure of your book before starting. Plan the chapters and sub-headings that belong in the beginning, in the middle and in the end of your manuscript. Planning the outline and structure of your writing will help you on those days where inspiration is in short supply and you feel lost within your own pages.
Thirdly your writing habitat should be different from where you usually spend time relaxing. Writing in open-air locations such as your local coffee shop will help you avoid dangerous habits such as flipping on the telly or having that “quick” snooze on the couch.
Writing Hack #2: Make yourself publicly accountable
Always remain accountable to your word-count. Publicly declaring your word-count target is a great way to retain responsibility. Why not announce your weekly word count to friends and family on Facebook? Involving loved ones in your writing targets will help you maintain motivation as the thought of disappointing your friends helps keep you grounded.
Writing Hack #3: Motivation can be borrowed
Writing is often a journey needlessly spent in isolation. Would it surprise you to know that there are hundreds of people undertaking the same journey as you at any given moment? Reach out to those writers near you who need support and you will be surprised at just how much this can help you survive through bouts of writer's block.
Wondering where you can find other authors in your area? Here are my favourite places to mingle with the introverted author:
One of the first places I bumped into large numbers of authors was on LinkedIn. This is by far my favourite place to discuss the politics of writing.
Looking for writers groups on LinkedIn?
After LinkedIn, Facebook is the next best place to hang out with other authors. Facebook author groups tend to be a bit less helpful and lean more towards being spammy as authors try to slip their Amazon link into every possible comment. Still, a great resource for the author to find solace for the long haul.
Looking for warm communities of writers on Facebook?
After LinkedIn and Facebook, there is another great way to meet others who share your passion. In person. As scary as this is, leaving the comfort zone of your house is sometimes the only way to overcome obstinate bouts of resistance. Search online for information on your local writer’s groups. These small gatherings of writers are a treasure chest waiting for the hermit-author. I write in detail about the benefits of writer’s groups here.
Struggling to find out where the local waterhole might be servicing thirsty authors? Search for writer’s groups using MeetUp.com – This is exactly how I found and attended my first gathering of pens :)
Writing Hack #4: Avoid writer’s fatigue
Hit your word count and then stop. You’ve reached your daily target, take a break and enjoy the feeling of success. Reward yourself with a soak in the tub or your favourite Netflix series (or both?). New writers may find that once the words are flowing, stopping seems silly. Your job as the author is to make your daily word count whatever that may be for you. If you find that you are regularly blasting past your word count, congratulations – You have been just been upgraded to author level 2! Revise your word count accordingly and soldier on.
Avoid burnout by sticking religiously to your word-count targets.
For authors looking for a great book to inspire your writing, I recommend this well-written piece from fellow author Steven Pressfield aptly named The War of Art. This book helped identify my inner resistance and made overcoming my mental-blocks damn easy.
Writing Hack #5: Minimize distractions
Switch off all the notifications on your smartphone. Disable the browsing of social media platforms from your PC. Publicly declare that for a certain period each day you are unavailable to the world. This may seem extreme at first but after two weeks of rigorous enforcement of this quiet time you will find that your life tends to find a balance.
Here are a few helpful tools for writers that will help avoid distraction:
Paid assistance for writers.
For writers who find that they are too busy to put pen to paper, there are other options. Whether you need a hand writing that college paper, a ghost writer or an English editor for your wording, here are a few great paid platforms to help the busy author:
I really hope this post helped you. If they did I would really appreciate a comment to let me know that you liked the content and want more :)