Three Tips to Writing Productively


You are working on a project, sort of. You are on the computer a lot. You’re writing words. Yet when Friday rolls around, you admit that another week went by and you didn’t write that proposal or query or article or series of blog posts.

In today’s Tuesday Tip, let’s discern what is writing versus doing those things that mimics writing.

1. Create a deadline

Maybe you don’t have an impending deadline. There’s not an editor waiting. There’s no red circle on your calendar. Set a deadline anyway. Create a realistic and doable deadline.

  • A deadline might look like: Listen to one COMPEL training by next Tuesday (add date).
  • A second deadline might be: Write 1000 words this week in my book project.
  • A third deadline might be: Create a blogging calendar for the next two weeks.
  • Following that, it could be: Pre-post two blog posts by Friday.
    Setting deadlines signals to you and others that this is a real calling or job.
2. Limit social media to specific times of the day

Social media is a powerful tool in ministry. It’s also a time thief. You may log on to share a jpg and encouragement or pray for those sharing or visiting, and then you see a picture of those cute kids or that funny video. Soon, you’ve spent an hour when you meant to spend 15 minutes.
Schedule ministry social media time into your work day. For some, that’s early in the morning when the children are asleep. For others, it might be two 15-minute increments a day. These targeted times are focused times.

3. Create structure

A full-time writer juggles marketing, writing projects, blogging, social media, and perhaps speaking. Create specific times for each. You can compartmentalize by day. Monday is writing blog posts. Tuesday is query day. Thursday is marketing. If this doesn’t work for you, come up with a schedule that does.
Set a specific amount of time for each task. This is not a rigid structure, but it does create a professional working calendar. It also offers focus.

YOUR TURN

Take a moment to think about what actually takes away time from your writing? Leave a comment on the COMPEL blog about your biggest energy and time waster. Once you’ve identified it, think about what you will do differently. Will you delete social media apps from your phone, turn off your internet, put your phone on silent or invest in a good babysitter?

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Comments

  1. Nice ideas. i appreciate all the points thanks for share.

  2. These are great tips, Suzie! Not sure why it never occurred to me to schedule my writing-related activities based on the day of the week, but everything else in my world is scheduled that way, so I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. Kathy Rowland: July 2, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Your post is like a gift to me! Such helpful tools to get me back focused and on the right track. Many pieces have been falling into place. Scheduling (which is a pretty big puzzle piece) is now on its way! Thank you. ~Kathy

  4. Deadline. This is one crucial
    factor missing in my writing journey. I appreciate all three tips . Thank you so much 😊

  5. This is very helpful for me since I just enrolled to COMPEL just a couple of days ago. This is the first time I am stepping into what God has been calling me to do. I have been praying, waiting on God and listening to Him lead me on when to start. One of my fears was “How do I start, what do I do first?” God is so amazing! He has been right by my side and helped me search out what I need to learn to step out in faith to begin this new journey He has placed in my heart. It’s all for the Glory of God!! Thank you again for the helpful information.

  6. These are such good tips, Suzie! For me, the greatest time wasters are social media AND a lack of structure. As my writing ministry grows, so do the tasks, and my schedule gets fuzzy, overwhelming, and unmanageable!
    So thanks for that tip about creating structure.

  7. Jen Hernandez: June 13, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Hello Suzie,
    I am guilty, guilty, guilty of not being productive as a writer beyond my work that has a deadline. I need to set deadlines for my personal writing goals and KEEP them.
    Thank you for this accountability!
    Jen