10 ways to write smarter

27 Jan 10 ways to write smarter

We all benefit from being more time effective and cost efficient. Here are ten tips on how to make your writing day run smoother.

  1. Know what you are going to write before you sit at your desk. If you’re working on a novel this can mean finishing halfway through a scene so you know instantly where to pick up from the day before.
  2. Listen to your biorhythms. If you write better first thing then no emails before you’ve done your 1000 words. Don’t start something new in the groggy mid-afternoon period, do research instead.
  3. Have regular breaks. Research shows that sitting is the new smoking – our sedentary lifestyle is literally killing us. Try the pomodoro technique. Answer phone calls standing up. Have a proper lunchbreak.
  4. Make priority lists to plan your day if you’ve got so much to do and don’t know where to start.
  5. Prefer mindmaps? Write them out with coloured pens or use one of the many software programs like Novamind.
  6. Get to grips with Scrivener for big writing projects. I know I’ve said it before – that’s because it works. It will save you time sifting through Word documents trying to find that one para you know you’ve written.
  7. Give yourself personal deadlines – very helpful if you’re working on a book. If necessary do a spreadsheet with dates on when you will finish sections/chapters by.
  8. Clean your desk. It makes a difference to how you feel when you sit down. You’ll find things you’ve forgotten that might be useful.
  9. Meet up with fellow writers once a month to swap ideas, to read each other’s work, to have a moan, to inspire each other.
  10. Avoid social media when you are writing. No Facebook, no Twitter, none of it. Make use of the ‘focus’ option in Microsoft Word: View > Focus (Scrivener has a similar tool) which blacks out everything else on your desktop. Then dedicate a particular time of day to virtual connectivity – perhaps during the 3pm blues over a cuppa.