Productivity – How to Get More Words on the Page

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Like anyone else who writes novels, I sometimes have trouble making progress on my manuscript. ‘Sometimes’ might not be the right word, often is more apropos. (I have a need to be honest here.)

There are interruptions. I have a job, and it’s important to me, given it’s a business that I am part owner of and have invested rather heavily in. (I know, that sentence ended in a preposition. Forgive me.)

Other interruptions include family – what are they thinking? That I want to spend time with them? Well, actually, I do.

Then there are health issues that can come at me suddenly, like a thief in the night, robbing me of my equilibrium and concentration.

Nonetheless, I need to write. What to do?

There are lots of ideas out there

  • get your seat in the chair
  • put on the timer and write till it tells you to stop
  • get a software programme that counts your words and measures your output
  • wear noise muffling earphones
  • move into the trailer or the barn in the yard until the MS is finished
  • set a deadline

There are more ideas. Check out this blog   for some good ideas on increasing your productivity.

And yet, when it comes right down to it, sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack. Maybe it’s okay to pour a cup of tea and sit out on the patio, watching the plants push up through the dirt, signalling spring is on the way. I’ll settle for that today.

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14 Responses to Productivity – How to Get More Words on the Page

  1. I can relate to the (perceived) pressure, and the need to cut some slack. Today has been income tax and bank account day, and there’s no way I could write; basically brain is fried. We need to consider why we do this, anyway. If it’s for love (as I hope it is for most writers) then there’s no blame when the time isn’t right. And lots of joy when it is.

    (Assuming, of course, that there’s no externally-imposed deadline!)

    • Hi LizAnn,
      Exactly. It’s okay to cut yourself a little slack, especially when you know how to pour on the coals when it’s time to get the job done. And there’s certainly joy when it’s finished and out there.

  2. Hi Sylvie,
    I agree, it’s no good when the enjoyment is gone from that which we love doing. A cup of tea while we take a moment to appreciate the beautiful world we live in is more than acceptable, sometimes it’s necessary.
    Jacquie Biggar

  3. Pat Amsden says:

    I think taking some time to enjoy a cup of tea and time on your patio restores your spirit. When you do get back to it you’ll find yourself re-energized.

  4. Jodie Esch says:

    Yes, life as you mentioned it, can be full of challenges. I love my tea breaks. It’s a licence to stop and appreciate all of the good things in one’s life.

  5. Great blog, Sylvie! I’m always interested in learning how to improve my productivity. Writing’s never easy for me, but it’s also too rewarding to stop.

    • Hi Jacqui, thanks for your comment.
      No, I don’t find it easy either. It’s a bit of a struggle frankly, but at the same time I love it. I’m not so much interested in increasing productivity as increasing professionalism and polish. It seems to take its own time,

  6. Helena Korin says:

    Your blog caught my eye because it’s an on going struggle to think up plot wrinkles. Still the muse beckons in the oddest moments. At the moment I’m
    taking an on-line plotting course and hope it helps.

    • Hi Helena,
      I know what you mean. We get a lot of advice, it piles up and some contradicts the other, until it’s just a bit confusing. Nothing wrong with being who you are, listening to that inner voice that says ‘this sounds right.’
      Keep writing, Helena. I love your work,

  7. I got Word for my iPhone so I can write wherever I am. Works great for sitting in doctor’s offices. A friend of mine has his set to work audibly so he can write while commuting. But I also agree with you, some days staring at grass growing is the best sort of writing days.

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I laughed when you called it a ‘writing day’, but yeah – staring at grass growing can clear the brain, relax the muscles and put a little joy and restfulness in our lives. Nothing wrong with that, Sylvie

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