Prolific writers don’t spend all day writing. Yet, they get a lot of writing done. How do they do it?
If this logic follows, you don’t have to be a “full-time writer” to be a prolific writer. Today, I will show you why.
I think this is inspiring for all of us—especially those writers who cannot devote a lot of time to writing every day/week.
It comes down to being efficient.
Knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
I’ll share some habits that I have discovered work over the years, and the habits of other prolific writers I know.
Okay, so, let’s begin….
Here are the 7 habits of highly efficient writers
Write as often as you can. Any spare time can be used writing and planning. Just think like a writer at all times.
Even if you work full-time, you can make time for your writing.
When I taught fulltime, I wrote in the mornings. That was my creative time. Now I spend a lot of the morning then the afternoon writing. What’s yours?
When you write, start with an outline.
Map out what you’re going to write and what themes you want to convey.
This is much more the case for non-fiction writers than fiction writers. However, a similar logic can be the case for fiction writers too. I always outline all aspects of my novel before I start writing. It makes my life much easier.
And it allows me to write the first draft much more quickly—regardless of whether I am writing a nonfiction book, fiction book or an article.
3. Write your First Draft
Once your outline is in place, it’s time to write a first draft.
Some writers make the mistake of trying to edit while they write. It doesn’t work, so don’t try. Writers can’t multi-task.
When you write your first draft, it should be at lightning speed. You should get everything out of your head and onto paper. Let it flow uncensored.
Don’t worry about editing or rewriting. That comes later.
After I’ve written my first draft, I rewrite.
But I don’t rewrite right away. I let my books rest for a week or two first.
And with each 24 hour cycle, the material in my book becomes easier to revise. I come back to it several times with a pair of fresh eyes.
Sometimes I’ll rewrite a book three times or more, and each time it improves.
5. Leave your negative self-critics outside of your office
This is a biggie.
When you write, you will run into your inner demons.
You’ll run into that negative voice. It’ll tell you how:
• You’re not good enough
• You have nothing to say
• You might as well give up
Whenever it pops up, say hi and keep writing. Writing isn’t effortless for most writers. But they keep going anyway.
They sit down and write. Even if nothing comes out, they get things done, because they have a structure in place.
When most writers start out, they won’t be very confident when they write.
And that’s fine. It is as it should be.
When you write a lot, you get better, and you gain confidence. In fact, the more you write, the better you will write.
I’ve written many words and hundreds of articles. I started out slow, but I’m becoming a stronger writer every day.
There is no quick fix to finding your writing voice, or eliminating fear. It all comes down to sitting down and writing for a long time.
Prolific writers read – a lot.
They gather inspiration from books. They observe the structure other writers use, and they steal what resonates with them.
For example, I help change makers build a thriving online business, so when I’m reading sales copy and it moves me to buy, I backtrack.
I go inside and look at what it was that moved me. Then I think about how I can use that in my writing and business.
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from our chat, it’s this: sit down and write as often as you can.
Being a prolific writer is all about refusing to listen to your own excuses. It’s about eliminating any obstacles that prevent you from writing.
Writing never seems to be easy.
There’s always some way you could procrastinate, but if you want to get your message out there, you have to just sit down and write.
The world needs what you have to share.
So just write.
Until next time….
Irene S. Roth