By Frances Booth

Whether you work as a writer, aspire to be a writer, or use writing for business, these tips should help you be productive with your writing.

Too often, writing takes us far longer than it needs to, and we agonise over it and struggle with it. It needn’t be the case.

Try these tips to increase your productivity as a writer.

Ignore the first 10 minutes

As you sit down to write, it’s likely that some measure of resistance will surface to start with. There might be voices in your head saying things like ‘this is no good’ or ‘today’s not a good day for writing’. Don’t let these or similar negative thoughts stop you. Keep writing. In a while the voices should disappear. It might take a few minutes to get into your writing each time you sit down, so just accept that and keep on writing.

Blank page etiquette

Starting is one of the hardest bits about writing. You need tactics to deal with the blank page. Never worry about what to put for your first line – the first line doesn’t have to remain the first line. You might choose your second line, your third line, or something from the middle as a start, in the end. If you want to get more productive as a writer, notice how much of your time is spent on the ‘build up’, procrastinating, avoiding, delaying, before you even sit down to write. This build up time can be cut to zero. Sit down, get a blank page, and write something on it. Then go from there …

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Writing comes first

Don’t leave your writing until the end of the day. Don’t make it the last task, squeezed in after everything else. Don’t give it just the scraps of your energy. Put writing first. Start the day by writing and you’ll be far more productive. Give writing your full attention, and soon, the words will mount. Write before checking your emails. Write before going on social media. Writing comes first.

Know that distractions will tempt you

Because writing is difficult, distractions will be a huge temptation (as with any other difficult task). Stuck for what to write next? Don’t be surprised if ‘I’ll just check email …’ creeps into your mind. Your hand might even reach automatically to open your email account and type in your password. Resist! Digital distractions are a huge pull on your attention. But your attention needs to stay on what’s important right now, your writing. In my book, The Distraction Trap: How to Focus in a Digital World, I give detailed advice on how to deal with distractions.

When you get the chance to write, seize it

There’s not always chance to write. Even if you’re a full-time writer there’ll be other aspects of your business that you sometimes need to spend time on, such as promoting your writing, looking for opportunities, or networking. Many writers also have other jobs or other aspects of their work to fit in as well as writing. And all of us have day-to-day life to factor in. So when you get chance to write, seize it. You might not get the same chance tomorrow, or even next week. So make the most of it right now. Sit down, and write.

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Culled from Forbes