I’m trying a thing today where I just write the SEO title of this post in the first sentence, entirely contextless, for the SEO juice, so here goes: productivity tips for writers.
This may be something I do for every post. Ngl, it’s easier than trying to smoothly fit it into my introductory sentence.
Here’s the thing though; I want my blog to be found easily. I also don’t want to harp on about it all the time on social media AND I want to be transparent. You don’t have to read the first bit if you don’t want to.
Also, I like it when the SEO smiley face is green and happy.
If you recall from last week’s post, I set mineself a little challenge. If you don’t know what I’m on about, read the full post here.
Let’s be honest. It’s not going well.
One of my failures was beyond my control. The next was caused by the first failure. One challenge is still going well.
Where I’ve failed
Ok, firstly, the poor baby hedgehog died. He was very poorly and the lady from the rescue says it happens all the time: they’re eating and drinking fine, with no visible damage or parasites and then they just…go.
At least he had a full tum and a toasty bed when his time came, rather than suffering in some randomer’s carport.
Which leads me on to failure number 2: not drinking alcohol. Hoo boy did we drink to that poor baby hedgehog’s memory.
It was what he would have wanted! Honest. He literally said that to me.
Where I’ve succeeded beyond my wildest dreams
I’ve written five chapters. FIVE CHAPTERS.
And yes, my arm does feel like it’s going to drop off, thanks for asking.
I’ve never been much of a goal setter beyond, like, I’m going to write a bestselling novel sometime between now and the end of my life.
Or I’ll set myself the goal of writing 10,000 words a day in 25 minutes.
Vague and wildly unrealistic is my sweet spot.
Goal setting and productivity tips for writers
Grab your goggles kids, it’s going to get deep.
(DISCLAIMER: I wrote the above phrase last week and was blown away by how hilarious/witty I was, but now I realise that, in fact, I’m just a dickhead. Never mind).
1 – Have *slightly* unattainable goals
Last week I was sure I couldn’t finish my WIP by the end of next week. Now I’m pretty certain I will.
I think because I knew that I had the time available to write a chapter every night, I managed it. 350 words a day was my minimum (5 days a week – check this post out for more info). I often did 1000. 3500 was…doable because… (ON TO TIP 2)
2 – Adjust your time period
My arm is aching. My hand is dyed blue (and I’m a leftie so not just an odd finger MY WHOLE HAND). Every time pick a pen my hand cramps claw-like around it.
But I write that damn chapter.
BECAUSE IN JUST 8 DAYS I WILL HAVE FINISHED DRAFT 2 OF MY WIP
And I’m on holiday from work for a week. We’re going to the zoo and Ikea. Uu uu uu party party party.
When I first realised how short the time period I had allowed myself was, I panicked. But once I got into the swing of it, I was thankful to have set myself such a short-term goal.
3 – Give yourself an unrelated prize
Mine is obvs my holiday, but also consider a nice night out, a spa day, even a duvet day watching Netflix. Something not too costly but a lovely little treat.
4 – A plan for going forward
This is really something I need to work on.
I’m not going to write 4 chapters a week forever. For one thing, my hand will have dropped off by approx. next March.
I liked the 350-words-a-day plan, but I think I can do more than that. I think 2 chapters a week will be my jam, but I’ll need to give it try.
5 – Multiple goals on the go
Once I’d had that glass of wine on Saturday night I was even more determined to smash my writing goals. Why? Because I’d not managed my no-alcohol one, so I was damned if I was going to be a two-time failure.
I’m going to try aligning my exercise and writing goals when this challenge is up. I’m pretty good at going for a run on a morning, but I do get faaar less disciplined in winter (and my definition of winter is whenever I have to wear a jacket, so it can be a long season). And maybe yoga.
Also, if you associate one habit with another, for example writing a page and then going for a run, you’re forming habits. After a while, it’ll feel weird if you don’t do one then the other.
I’m a huge creature of habit. I’m not great at thinking (not about mundane things anyway; I’m GREAT at thinking about e.g. mermaids), so anything I do to stop my brain from having to think about mundane things is a winner.
I’ll probably add to this post 1) if I think of any other productivity tips and 2) if I remember. Have a great week!