We all sometimes struggle with getting the words and ideas that seem so clear in our heads out into words on the page. Here are some ideas on overcoming this to boost your writing output.
Set the scene
Beat procrastination, get focused and set yourself a routine. Whether it be turning off the radio or making a cuppa, the act of getting started will get you into writing mood and help switch your thoughts over to your around your writing project. Blocking the time in your diary, even if it’s just for 30 minutes at a time, will help you focus.
I also find using 10 minutes to jot down ideas and things I know I want to cover in the article works well as a brain dump; it clears my mind and warms me up to get stuck into writing. And a decent coffee beside me is always welcome.
Close your tabs
It’s not always possible to focus simultaneously on two or more tasks and writing deserves dedication and attention. The best way to achieve a high writing output is to block out time solely for writing. Nothing else. No emails. No phone calls. No messages. No social media.
Structure your article
Before I start writing I create a plan; it doesn’t have to be in-depth it just needs to include the key points you’re going to cover in the article.
Have a clear introduction to map out what your article is about. This is the bit that should draw in the reader and make clear why they should continue reading.
Use headings to allow readers to skim your post and refer to points they’re most interested in.
Keep paragraphs short to make them easy to skim read. The longer your sentences are, the more difficult it is to keep your readers’ interest.
Tie things up with a conclusion summing up your points and include a call to action; whatever you do, use this part to introduce new points.
Don’t dwell on the wordcount
Unless you’re pricing for a job, don’t worry about the wordcount – too much. Search engines like longer content because they believe that it’s in more depth and so more valuable to the reader. Just make sure your article is succinct and covers your reader’s questions.
Remember the writing process
Instead of switching your focus between researching, writing, editing and proofing try and separate out these different processes. It really does work.
Instead of agonising over a tricky passage, ask a colleague for feedback: what is the problem and how could it be improved? This will reduce your suffering and saves a lot of time and will help you become a more flexible writer.
Here are my thoughts on writing for a living.
Do you have any hacks or techniques that help you boost your writing productivity? Please, share them in the comments below.