May 08 2019
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Make the absolute most of your writing time

You did the hard part already.

You shuffled things around in your schedule, prioritizing what needed prioritizing and letting go of what didn’t. You analyzed your “free time” and figured out when and how and where you might fit in a good writing session instead of a Netflix binge, and you created a space in your home specifically for writing, complete with good lighting and your favorite pen. You are ready to go.

Now, what can you do to make the absolute most of this time you’ve carved out of seemingly nowhere? Here are four tips:

Set a goal

It might be obvious, but not everyone actually says, out loud, “Today I will write five pages and revise five more,” before approaching page or screen. Chances are, if you do so, you will set yourself up for success because you will be writing toward that goal. If you don’t make it, revise your goal mid-session so you can still accomplish something meaningful. And if you do and have time to spare, take a moment to set your goal for tomorrow.

Reward yourself

Have you ever treated yourself in order to stay motivated to finish a tough work project or cook a healthy dinner after a long day? You can do the same as a reward for sticking to your writing routine. Incentivizing your writing sessions can enhance your sense of accomplishment when you finish, and can keep you coming back to write more.

Take stock

When you’re done, debrief! Did you meet your goal? Does your writing space need a tweak or two to promote optimal creative productivity? What still needs to be done to complete a writing project? What did you learn today about yourself, your characters, your needs, or your schedule? Take a moment to summarize or recap what you’ve done and you will probably have a clearer idea of where you need and want to go.

Pick a partner

We all need someone to hold us accountable. Writing can be such a solitary practice—but it doesn’t have to be. Find a good writer friend, someone you trust to read and comment on your work and whose work you enjoy reading. Set deadlines together (for both writing and responding to one another), cheer each other on, and build accountability into your writing practice.

Have you or will you use any of these tips to make your writing time as productive as possible? Share with us in the comments!

Related reading: How to make more time to write (and why it’s probably note a time problem you have)

How to make the “write” work space for you

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