Writing habits to increase productivity

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Toss writing slumps out the window!

Weird Writing Habits Make it Real by Casey CarlisleWhen you get a brain fart or idea WRITE IT DOWN! After that, create a blurb, a character profile, design a plot or book cover. Start scrapbooking material for the idea to grow… the more material you have the greater chances you can pick up where you left off when it comes to do some serious writing. Feed your imagination, let it run free.

Talking over your ideas with a friend can also help stimulate the old noggin.

Weird Writing Habits Read by Casey CarlisleRead anything. It gets the brain box clunking and whizzing. You’ve heard the saying – the best ideas come when you’re doing something else? Well it’s true. Your grey matter is a muscle, if you don’t use it how do you expect it to run a marathon? Also, reading is like market research – especially critical reading. You see what works, what doesn’t, discover new words and ways to express yourself, and hey, you might actually have a bit of fun.

Weird Writing Habits Follow Blogs by Casey CarlisleYou can do this passively, reading bits and pieces of interest: it exposes you to the world of writing and publishing. Feeds relevant information you may never have heard of, and quite possibly offer important contacts to help you grow your career. I’ve found sources like WordPress and LinkedIn great.

Weird Writing Habits Word of the Day by Casey CarlisleI know it sounds really lame, but every now and then you learn something new, rediscover a great word… keep them is a folder and skim through just before you do a re-write or edit, you’ll be surprised at how much it can up your game.

Weird Writing Habits Set a Goal by Casey CarlisleWrite something every day – it creates habit, gets the juices flowing. It’s practice for making writing a career (or full time job if you are already writing). You’ll relate when I say, sometimes forcing out a few sentences (even if they are bad and you’ll delete them later) is like that first cup of coffee in the morning, it gives you the jolt you need to get going.

It’s best to have something to edit and improve on rather than continuing to stare at a blank page.

Weird Writing Habits Create an Environment by Casey CarlisleA space to help you write. This changes for me all the time. Sometimes it’s about sitting at a desk, like I’m in an office – other times it may be staying in bed, ultra-comfortable. Occasionally a trip outdoors, a coffee shop, the library, the airport or even public transport helps (change up your scenery). Lately, after moving from city to country, I no longer write late at night, but wake naturally around 5-6 am and get in a few productive hours (maybe it’s the fresh air or loud-ass birds, but either way I’ll take a good writing session wherever it comes).

Try different methods – typing, hand writing, voice recording… every little bit helps.

Weird Writing Habits Be Accountable by Casey CarlisleSet yourself goals. Talk about them with your friends, discuss your books – create an environment that makes it difficult for you to get away with crappy excuses for not writing. Plus if you hit a rough patch or suffer writers block, your friends may help you break through.

Set a date to have your next chapter completed. Even get a friend to keep you to it.

These are just some methods I use to help the momentum of writing. What things help you get into the flow? I’d love to learn new trick and tips.

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