Sunday, October 6, 2013

Overcoming Obstacles to Greater Productivity

Every writer experiences it sometime: you know you should be writing but you just can't get down to it. Or maybe you plan to write at a certain hour but then you think of something else you need to do first and you decide to do that. Afterwards, you promise yourself that this time you will start writing as soon as you finish whatever you have to do. Whatever your obstacle, you can try to overcome it by following one of these four tips:

1. The Guilt-Trip Approach:

You think about how you would feel the morning after, when you realize that yesterday was a total loss. You produced zero words and your unwritten scenes are still there, waiting for you. That feeling of guilt or low self-esteem can often serve to make you more determined to stick to your schedule.

2. The Heroic Approach:

You think about one of your writing heroes, Shakespeare, Hemingway, Balzac, or whoever you admire most, not only for their books but for the way they confronted obstacles. Balzac, for example, worked best in almost total silence. His solution was to work from midnight when the city was silent, throughout the night until midday of the following day. Hemingway, like Balzac, was a master of self-discipline. He would get up at break of day and go at once to his improvised writing desk. He would then write until midday, quitting when he knew what his next words would be in the following writing session.

3. The Just-Do-It Approach:

You think about your theme and just write whatever you know about it. You will often find that this free-writing gives you just the edge you need to start writing the scene you have scheduled. This approach is more effective if you prime your sub-conscious the night before by going over the scene in your mind. The free-writing you do brings up the scene that has been processed by your sub-conscious the night before.

4. The Minimum Approach:

You decide to write one sentence of your scene or article just to save some of your self-esteem. You will often find that instead of writing only one sentence you feel obliged or inspired to write several more. Your innate sense of order as a writer, of not wanting to leave something only half-written, has forced you to write more.

Writing can often be hard but if you use some of the tricks that have been used by other writers you will find it much easier. As a writer, you improve with each writing session. The more you write the better you become and you can write even on those days when you feel that no writing is possible.

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