The Five Habits of Highly Efficient Writers/By Irene S. Roth

Do you find it difficult to write efficiently at all
times? Are you frustrated because you feel that
you could be writing a lot more than you do in your
allotted writing time? Do you try to write only to
find out that you have wasted a few hours surfing
the Internet or answering E-mails when you are
supposed to be writing?

If you answered any of these questions in the
affirmative, believe me, you’re not alone. There is
nothing more frustrating than to feel like you could
have done so much more and could be much more
efficient, yet you seem powerless to do anything
about it. If this sounds familiar, this blog is for you.

In this blog, I will outline 5 habits that if
developed will help you to be a more efficient
writer.

1. Write every day

This seems like a straightforward habit to
develop. Yet, many writers have a difficult
time to keep up with the practise. Expert
writers say that if you try writing every day for
a month or two, you will be hooked because
of your productivity levels and how this
boosts overall self-confidence. You don’t have
to write for six or seven hours a day. Even as
little as half an hour to an hour a day, every
day, can substantially improve your overall
productivity.

2. Eliminate distractions

Most writers have to learn to eliminate time
wasters and distractions. The best way to do
this is to make sure when your writing time
starts to do nothing but write.

That means that you shouldn’t answer email,
cruise the Internet, answer the phone or do
anything else but write. This may be hard to do at
first. But with planning it is more than possible to
make this happen. And your productivity will
increase immensely.

3. Write Quickly and With Intensity

Many amateur writers start writing. Then they
stop and go and get a cup of tea or coffee.
Then they come back and do a bit more
writing. Then they go off and do something
else.

If you want to be a successful writer, you must
write for a given set of time without getting up, for
at least a half an hour to an hour. You can take a
rest room break, but that is about all. Just start
writing and continue until you are done your time.

4. Focus!

It’s easy to be distracted when you start out
writing. Anything can distract you, if you
allow it to. It is difficult to learn how to focus
in such a way that distractions will be
minimized, if not avoided altogether.

I find that setting a timer helps a lot. I set it for,
say, one or two hours, and during that time, I don’t
do anything but think about what I am doing. The
timer gives me the structure I need to keep my
eyes and mind on the manuscript that I am
working on.

Nothing, except an emergency, moves me to do
anything else than write.

5. Finish what you start

Seasoned writers usually finish all their
writing projects. They work through
discouragement and rejection. They also find
a way to work consistently on a project until it
is complete.

Writers will usually hit a lot of snags when they
set out to write. This is to be expected and is very
much a part of writing practise.

Amateur writers, on the other hand, tend to quit
at the smallest provocation. Many amateur writers
have one or two filing cabinets of incomplete
manuscripts.

And many of them don’t have any inclination to
work on them again. Try taking one of them out
and work on it until it is complete. Then take out
the next one and do the same. This, in itself, could
such a confidence booster. But more than that,
you will definitely be much more successful.

Conclusion

None of these habits are insurmountable. They
are all achievable with a little practise and
diligence. So, take the time to try some of these
habits and you will become a much more
successful writer. And that will help you feel so
much better about yourself as a writer.

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