New Year’s Writing Resolutions
The start of a new year is a busy time for Page Two. This is the time when many people resolve to move forward with their writing projects, often fulfilling goals and dreams they’ve had for years. It’s a time of hope and excitement, but it can also seem daunting as we all consider how we’re going to accomplish everything on our list – especially big writing projects that require lots of hours, energy and creativity. Here are our top writing resolutions for 2016, which are meant to help us focus on the work at hand, and clear away the mental clutter:
Eliminate digital distractions
When it comes to writing productivity, some of us have developed working habits that impede the creative process. Our email inboxes, social media accounts and web browsers tempt us away from immersive work, fragmenting our thought process and impeding our ability to take a deep dive into long-form writing projects. Turning off mail and web apps while you’re writing is a great start, but if you need some additional help with eliminating digital distractions, here are a couple of good productivity apps that many writers swear by:
- Anti-social is a customizable app that will turn off the websites that you find most distracting, at preset times.
- Rescue Time is a productivity app that helps you track your time and work habits, so that you can set up your work day for success.
Mix it up
If there are bad working or writing habits that you’ve found especially tough to break, try reversing them to create a dramatic shift. For instance, those of us who typically spend time first thing in the morning answering email might find that our inbox time creeps into our writing time. Try keeping your inbox closed for the first hour of the day and writing instead – that way, by the time you’ve opened up your inbox, you’ve already accomplished some immersive writing work, rather than pushing it to later in the day when you might be more tired or feel more stressed by the events of the day.
Let your outline be your guide
Many writers create detailed outlines before writing their books. The outline acts as a blueprint for the book; a way for the writer to plan and structure the content before the writing process begins. The outline isn’t fixed: the writer might change directions and deviate from the outline partway through the writing process. But in general, it serves as a useful guide that can help keep the writer on track. We recommend creating outlines not only for books, but also for shorter pieces such as articles and blog posts. Listing the core concept and central themes before you dive into your writing can give you a sense of confidence about what you’re about to write, and it will make you feel like you’re heading into your work with a clear sense of what you want to convey to the reader.
Do you have questions about how to jump-start your own writing project? Let us know how we can help.