If you’ve ever spent hours staring at a blank page, you know that writer’s block is a real problem for professional writers. In many cases, though, writer’s block is more of an issue with motivation and productivity than it is a real ailment.
Whether you are working as a full-time freelance writer or trying to become the world’s next best-selling author, it is important to set beneficial writing goals and develop a writing process that is optimized for maximum productivity. To help you out, let’s take a look at a few proven productivity hacks for writers.
Meeting your daily word count
Setting daily word count goals is one effective way to boost your writing productivity. Since most writers are required to self-motivate, setting goals for yourself can be a great way to give yourself an extra source of motivation.
However, meeting these goals is obviously a much bigger challenge than setting them. When you factor in necessary tasks such as re-writing first drafts, performing edits and revisions, and communicating with publishers or clients, it can all get a little overwhelming.
This is why it is important to set aside daily writing time when all you focus on is meeting your word count goals. We’ll discuss the value of embracing the first draft in a later section, but for now, understand that simply writing as fast as you can and worrying about edits and revisions later is one of the best ways to improve your productivity.
Once it’s time to proofread and edit all of the content that you produced, utilizing the right writing tools can go a long way toward speeding up this process while also helping you prevent any errors from slipping through.
Proofreading work with a Chrome extension
If you’ve been writing for long, chances are you are already aware of the many proofreading tools that exist. If you haven’t discovered these tools yet, you are in for a treat!
Grammarly is one of the best-known proofreading tools for writers and is available as a Chrome extension that will automatically proofread any content you write online. The free version of Grammarly is able to highlight misspellings and grammar mistakes and offer suggestions for resolving them, and this free writing software is more than enough to meet the needs of most writers. If you want even more assistance with your writing project, you can purchase Grammarly Premium and access additional features designed to help you improve the quality of your writing rather than just check it for mistakes.
Listening to the content that you write is another highly effective way to proofread your writing more efficiently. Mistakes that are easily missed when read often become immediately obvious when spoken aloud. Proofreading content by listening to it also helps with the eye fatigue that many writers experience. With text-to-speech software such as Speechify, you can have any online text or digital document read aloud by dozens of different AI voices and can adjust your listening speed for optimum productivity.
Using tools to avoid writer’s block
Along with tools for proofreading your writing, there is a wide variety of other tools that can help you become more productive as a writer. Project management tools such as Evernote can help you keep your writing project organized and are especially useful for large-scale projects such as novel writing. Using the tools to create a mind map or outline of your project can both spark inspiration and help keep you on track.
Apps such as Freedom that will block you from visiting social media sites and other time-wasting websites during your writing hours can be helpful for some writers as well. If you find yourself getting distracted a lot by these websites and have a difficult time avoiding the impulse, these apps may help get a lot more productive writing done.
If you are writing fiction such as a novel or short story, there are plenty of apps that can help you come up with ideas by providing you with prompts and templates as well as apps that can help you analyze your story to identify plot holes, manage character relationships, and more. Dramatica is one excellent example of the latter and is an app that uses a powerful predictive story engine to provide incredible insights about your work.
Of course, software solutions are not the only resources that writers have available for combating writer’s block. Sometimes something as simple as a change in scenery is all that you need to get your imagination flowing again. If you’re struggling to reach your word count goal from your home office, try getting a cup of coffee at a coffee shop and writing there instead. Or get out in the fresh air and write from your back porch or a picnic table at the park. You may be surprised how much good a simple change in scenery can do.
How to embrace the first draft
Perfectionism is often the enemy of productivity. If you are agonizing over every single sentence that you write, meeting your word count goals is likely to be impossible. Instead of trying to make each word perfect as you type it, it’s much better to write your first draft as quickly as you can and revise it later.
Inspiration is a fickle thing, and you don’t want to stop the train once it gets rolling. If you get bogged down in the details each time you write, though, your writing process is going to be more like a rush-hour commute in stop-and-go traffic than a high-speed train.
When you write your first draft without worrying about making it perfect, you can let your creative juices flow uninterrupted. This will allow you to produce a lot more content in the time you set aside for writing. You can then set aside another time for editing and revising your writing, allowing you to come back to it with your editor cap on and polish it to perfection.
Writing mastery tools
Along with tools that will help you be more productive as a writer, there are also a number of tools designed to help you master your craft. Writing Mastery Academy is one popular resource that offers its members on-demand access to 11 writing courses as well as hundreds of writing exercises and access to live webinars. The creative writing program from Coursera is another excellent option to consider and offers courses in three genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir.
Utilizing a text-to-speech reader
Utilizing a text-to-speech reader is another great way to improve the quality of your craft. We’ve already discussed how listening to your content read aloud can help you catch mistakes and speed up your editing process. However, listening to your writing can help you become a better writer as well by helping you see your writing from a new perspective.
When you are reading something you wrote yourself and know by heart, you are going to read it differently than someone who has never read it before. It’s an unavoidable predicament that makes it difficult for any writer to analyze their own work. While listening to someone else read your writing to you isn’t exactly the same as reading it for the first time, it does cast your writing in a brand-new light – one that you can use to spot issues and areas for improvement that you might have otherwise missed.
If you would like to improve both your productivity and the quality of your writing with text-to-speech software, you are sure to find a lot to love about Speechify. To see for yourself how Speechify can help you become a more productive and talented writer, be sure to sign up for a free trial of Speechify Premium today!
Frequently asked questions
How do you overcome a lack of productivity in writing?
Goal-setting, creating a daily writing schedule, and utilizing tools such as proofreading software to speed up your writing process are all effective ways to overcome a lack of writing productivity.
How many hours per day should a writer write?
If you want to be a more productive writer, you should obviously strive to write as much as you can. However, burnout is an obstacle that might prevent you from doing your best writing if you push yourself too hard. Even when done as a professional pursuit, writing should be an enjoyable activity. Find a schedule that allows you to meet your writing goals without exhausting your mind to the point that the quality of your content drops off near the end of your daily writing session.
What are the top three productivity hacks for writers?
Three of the best productivity hacks for writers that are sure to help you churn out content include:
- Set word count goals and establish a daily writing schedule
- Use tools such as proofreading software, project management platforms, and text-to-speech software to write and edit more efficiently
- Write your first draft as quickly as you can then edit and polish it later
How do I become a more productive content writer?
Creating a daily writing schedule that includes short breaks to help you avoid burnout, writing your first drafts as quickly as possible and editing them later, and utilizing software for writers can all help you become a more productive content writer.