Here’s to everyone, who is feeling anxious, sad or even depressed that nothing good comes out of a new text, story or even a blog post. To everyone, who struggles to write a few lines till late after midnight and rewrites them anew the next day.
Good news is that you are not alone and almost every author is not satisfied with results of his own works. For the past few years, we have read tens of books on motivation and writing, and are ready to share the best tips on how to write much faster, generating outstanding ideas and staying motivated and happy!
It is time to please your inner critic, who constantly tells that you are too slow, too clumsy and lack talent. It takes time to become a good writer but it is quite simple to speed up, create proper habits and improve your skills much faster! Let us introduce you to 13 outstanding tips that help you day by day.
#1. Write, When Sleepy
We are always waiting for perfect circumstances to start writing: great mood, excellent health, and enough free time. However, this usually ends up with writing in the middle of the night, trying to meet the deadlines.
Surprisingly it was found out that drafts come up much better early in the morning, when your inner critic is still asleep. This finding is backed up with a variety of researches. They claim that we are more productive and creative, when we are half-asleep.
If you are a night owl, you can start writing early in the morning. If you are more of an early bird, you can try and write late in the evening.
Another advice comes from experienced writers: ‘write when drunk, edit when sober’. When we drink some alcohol, our brain unlocks path to creativity and prefers thinking outside the box. However, it is a slippery road that not everyone should choose.
#2. Use a Timer
When you write content and feel motivated you may think that setting a timer is useless. However, seeing that the time goes by helps to fight procrastination. You notice that you are wasting your time on side distractions and try to get back on track instead of scrolling Instagram feed or answering text messages.
One of the most efficient techniques we have ever found is called The Pomodoro. You need to devote 25 minutes to writing and then can have a 5 minute break. It helps you to remain focused, generate great results and still have enough energy to write more.
Most of us still choose the traditional path: creating fixed deadlines. However, setting a timer is more effective and you can work on the text well in advance, without a need to write in a hurry because the deadline is approaching.
With the help of a timer, writing becomes simpler, quicker and you get more satisfaction out of the process!
#3. Choose Writing
Every day we tell ourselves something like ‘I need to write’ or ‘I must write more often’. However, such phrases only cause anxiety and make us feel guilty. The best way to fight such emotions is to actually choose writing! Say ‘I choose writing’ instead of ‘I should start writing’.
Unfortunately, procrastinators and perfectionists tend to lead self-destructive inner dialogues that eventually lead to lack of motivation and even depression. Learning how to make self-talking more positive helps to gain control over the situation.
We take responsibility for our actions and act like grown-ups. Every time you need to do something just say ‘I choose…’ instead of ‘I need…’ and you’ll see how simpler your life will become!
#4. Plan Writing Beforehand
Do you often find yourself wondering where has your day gone? Unfortunately, at the end of the day we often feel sad or stressed that we haven’t sent an important email or didn’t start writing a new blog post.
The biggest mistake here is to think that we lack power of will or choose wrong goals. Luckily, there is an approach that will simplify everything: plan all of your steps beforehand.
You may read hundreds of articles on healthy nutrition but understanding all of its benefits won’t help you to stop eating junk food! You need to create a meal plan and stick to it. The same applies to writing: if you want to do it, just schedule the process in your daily planner.
Researches show that only 30% of people went to the gym without a plan compared to 90%, who scheduled exercises in their planners!
That is why all you need to do is to add writing to your schedule for the next day or week. Decide what text you will work on, how much time you will devote to it and when you will get started.
Another benefit of such approach is that you switch your brain into the writing mode even without realizing it, so writing the next day becomes much simpler and results in a better speed.
#5. Make One Step at a Time
Writing may seem really challenging, when you think of the book as of a single task. However, you don’t need to write it during one session. Break the text into several sections. For example, a story has a title, an introduction, chapters and conclusion.
Then dive even deeper and break the elements into generating an idea, conducting a research, writing an outline, creating a first draft, editing and revising. When every stage is quite small, it will be much easier to write it without delays and stress.
#6. Take More Time
If you are not in a hurry you can break up the text not only into several tasks but also into different time periods. For example, adding more days to your plan.
Amazing but when you are not writing, your mind continues to think about the text. Just let your brain wander and you will see how new ideas are generated. Prolonging the deadline will help you to become more relaxed and creative.
#7. Create Rituals
Everyone sometimes loves procrastinating and make excuses why the timing wasn’t right for writing. However, If you decide to create daily rituals everything may be changed. They help with improving confidence and motivation, and you immediately see how your writing advances!
Here are some of regular rituals:
- Switching laptop and opening a necessary Word document;
- Making some coffee;
- Setting the timer for half an hour;
- Start typing everything that comes to your head.
As you see, these rituals are very simple but that’s the whole point: complicated rituals are more difficult to follow and you may eventually lose interest in them.
#8. Say no to Rabbit Holes
Let us depict a situation that has surely happened to all of us: you are in a good writing mood; you write more and more, and it seems that nothing can stop you.
Then you notice that you miss a certain detail or information. You open your notes or a book to look for a right quote. Then you find yourself reading and when you are trying to get back to writing, nothing comes up. The thought and the mood are lost!
To avoid such rabbit holes you simply need to write ‘TK’ (to come) next time when you need a piece of data. Continue working on the draft and add the required information later. This will surely boost your writing speed!
#9. Build Bridges to the Next Day
Building bridges is definitely one of our favorite tips, when it comes to creativity. It is used by people in a variety of occupations and it works equally good for all of them. The main idea of such approach is to create connection with the day to come.
For example, if you are a dance teacher, it is better to stop the lesson before everyone’s tired to death. In such a way they will have enough energy for the next day. If you are a writer, you can stop the story, when the plot is clear and tomorrow you won’t have to wonder what you wanted to say.
Here are the bridges that we find very useful:
- In the evening plan what you will write the next time;
- Create a weekly writing outline;
- When have some free time left, plan subheadings and chapter titles.
#10. Return to Half-Finished Drafts
To write good content and to acquire solid writing habits, you need to finish every project and text. When you feel tempted to drop the task and switch to another topic, you should ask yourself what made the subject interesting and why you wanted to discuss it in the first place.
Try to find that excitement again and then look for the things that make your draft worth writing further. Find additional ways of finishing it even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
#11. Slow the Speed Down
It may sound weird but in order to speed up you need to slow down a bit! Examples show that if you don’t show the results you want to achieve, you need to slow the process and take enough time to restore your energy.
Next time, when you feel lost or tired, apply the 90% rule: don’t work on the maximum speed and do just enough to reach 90% of the goals you have set. This will also help you to fight your inner critic and to beat perfectionism, which is one of the biggest enemies of any writer.
If you want to create a habit of regular writing and to write the next day without any delays, it is better to set a very simple goal that you will follow with ease. It can be writing 100 words per day or spending just 15 minutes on your manuscript.
This goal is so simple that you can do it even if you have a bad day, are busy or feel lack of energy. Start writing with just 20 minutes every day and devote minimum 1 hour not depending whether it is a workday or a weekend. The whole point is to exercise regularly.
#13. Want to Write Fast ASAP?
If you want to start writing immediately, here is what you can do right now:
- Download a timer. There are plenty of apps at Google Play or App Store;
- Choose a particular text you want to work on;
- Make sure you have a clear picture of the future text in your head;
- Plan how much time you will devote to the writing process. However, the goal must be achievable!
Now put all the worries and doubts aside and start writing your story!