How’s your writing process?
We’re almost at the end of the year. Perhaps you’re doing your annual review of what worked, and what didn’t work, for you.
Recently, several writers told me that they want to change, improve, or create a new writing process in the new year.
Want to achieve more in 2023?
Start by considering the numbers.
Your writing process: what are your numbers?
It’s often said that success is a numbers game. So is writing. When I mentor writers who are disappointed with their writing, I start by asking: what did you write today?
Make a list of your writing-related numbers for this year. You might consider:
- How often you wrote. Consistency matters.
- What you wrote. Did you complete your book; create a blog; win new clients?
- Finances: writing income and expenses.
- Goals: how many goals did you set at the beginning of the year? If you didn’t set goals, set a couple for the new year today.
Let’s look at some tips for making the numbers game work for your writing in a brand new year.
1. Attend to writing if it’s important to you
Success is a numbers game, and all things being equal, you’ll succeed at whatever gets the most attention from you. You can’t become a gourmet chef if you’re always on a diet so you’re terrified of eating, hate food shopping, and prefer to eat out rather than cook.
Similarly with writing. You not only need time to write, you need time to think, study, and (most importantly), read.
Pay attention to the hours (numbers) you have each day. Choose how much time you’ll schedule for writing.
When scheduling, schedule time for fun as well. Kudos if writing is fun for you. 🙂
When it comes to time management, relax and contemplate the story of the two wolves:
… the black wolf has… tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strength of will, and resourcefulness. The white wolf… provides compassion, caring, heart, and the ability to value the needs of others over my own.
2. Track your numbers: know where you are and where you’re headed
I’m trying to do better at tracking things, because tracking is vital. You can’t move forward without knowing where you are, and your destination.
- Challenging yourself. Example: create a challenge to write 500 words a day for a month.
- Automating. This IFTT applet creates events in Google calendar, when you create a note.
3. Act: use the DDT acronym if you tend to procrastinate
DDT: Do, Don’t Think.
Do you procrastinate? I do too. It’s a challenge to overcome procrastination.
Accept the sad truth that you’ll never eradicate it completely, but don’t despair: sometimes it’s useful. Ultimately, procrastination can even save time. You might be all set to write a current scene in your novel, but you procrastinate. The next day you realize that you don’t need the scene, or you get a better idea for the scene.
4. Create checklists: they can help you to become more productive
Projects benefit from checklists; otherwise you tend to miss things when you’re striving to make a deadline.
Even a simple shopping list works better as a checklist. How many times have you arrived home only to realize that you failed to buy several vital items? (Sigh.)
Your writing process changes: relax
Your writing process changes as situations change. If you have many deadlines, you need to streamline your process, and write at high-energy, creative times of the day. (It might be early morning, or late evening.)
The numbers game is all about where you put your attention and time—and then tracking it. Have fun. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.