‘Are you a writer?’
‘Yes, I am’.
‘Nice. May I see some of your works?’
‘Hmm, I’ve been so busy, and I haven’t gotten around to writing much these days’.
Everyone knows the job of a writer is to write. And no, there is no universal conspiracy to make you look lazy neither is the universe cheating on you by giving others additional hours as opposed to the regular 24 hours. If you aren’t writing as much as you want to, you’re not doing something right.
So how do efficient writers make it work?
- They Make Decisions
It always begins with firm decisions.
If you’re reading this, you probably have a penchant for books and writing, but it is not enough. It is one thing to ‘like’ writing and another to be ‘dedicated’ to it. If writing is something you do for fun, you don’t need this post. But if writing to you is life and death, listen, writing is going to cost you. You will write on good days, you will write on bad days, when the sight of your computer makes you nauseous, and you can’t pull stunts like these without an intense depth of conviction.
Ask yourself, ‘Am I truly dedicated to writing or is this a let-me-try-my-hands-at-this thing?’
If you were able to answer positively, we move on from there.
- They are Disciplined
Every writer worth their salt will tell you that self-discipline is a sine qua non of great writing.
‘I was so busy today’, everyone says, but it isn’t always true. Sometimes, we fill our days with needless activities. For example, you started to write, but you got distracted by the television. You spend two hours watching TV before realising it was lunchtime. You spend another hour preparing and eating lunch. Then you remember you’re supposed to be writing, but the food needs time to digest. You fall asleep in the process only to be awoken by a call from a friend. After a long refreshing chat, you eat dinner and then drift off to sleep—tomorrow, you say with your head balanced on a sinfully soft pillow.
Twenty four hours have gone down the drain, and there are only four words on your computer: Once upon a time.
Do you want to be a productive writer?
Be disciplined. Pare down your luxuries—from sleep to television, to needless conversations. Be disciplined enough to finish everything you start.
Also, take responsibility for how your day goes. When you wake up in the morning, plan your day, set goals and targets for yourself—maybe two chapters a day or a thousand words a day.
- They Keep to It
Write all the time. Productive writers know a ‘perfect time’ will never come, so they lunge at every window they find. They write on the bus, while waiting in the lobby, on their phones; they write everywhere and every time. That’s the life of an efficient writer. They don’t find the time; they create it.
That is not to say you no longer have the right to relax. Of course, you do, but you must know the things to give up and the things to hold on to.
Today, decide to grow from an abstract writer to an actual writer. You never get anything done by talking about it, and you don’t get published by writing in your head. Make your dreams come true by working towards them.
If you take these tips with the utmost seriousness, the results will amaze you.