Very recently I have been thinking about the experiments in productive writing that we indulged in this summer. Do I feel more productive, several weeks on? Has anything changed, or have I gone back to my pre-productive writer habits? What about you, fellow writers, who may have tried one or more of the #productivewriter techniques that we read about: are you feeling more productive these days?
The promise of Autumn
The end of summer brings the traditional start of the school year. I always looked forward to the feeling of new pencils, a clean notebook for class assignments, new subjects to learn and new teachers to learn from. That heady sense of new unlearned knowledge ahead, before the reality of extra homework, long reading assignments, grades and exams and hurried lecture notes sets in. It seems this is the perfect time for a check-in on productive writer techniques, and how productive we are feeling as writers.
For myself, I’m pleased to notice that I am having more momentum in my writing than I have in quite a long while. I am sending out stories for consideration by paying and professional markets in my specialty of writing; while I’ve received several rejections, I have already been garnering a number of personal responses, along the lines of “We like your writing, this story isn’t quite right for us,” which I’ll always take as a compliment! I’ve also received a few acceptances, which I am grateful for, to know that my work is honored and enjoyed by a professional editor. Even more recently I received an invitation to rewrite a story that was “very close” to being accepted, which was thrilling (and which I did, of course…).
Not only that, but my work through the blog has made me feel even more connected to other bloggers. I find writing an isolating process – just you and the screen or the paper and pen. The kind and thoughtful messages and observations – and encouragement – that are posted in comments on my blog have warmed my heart and have helped me to feel like writing is an important and valued activity. Thank you!
#productivewriter techniques – are they working?
Now, about the #productivewriter techniques – which ones am I still using, and which have fallen by the wayside? Let’s review.
- Write every day. Yes, even if it is only for 15 minutes (or even just for 5 minutes), this helps.
- Being encouraging to my writing. Yes. I still do A-B writer dialogs when I’m feeling uncertain or unconfident about my own writing.
- Schedule a writing appointment. Sort of. (See Pomodoro technique below.)
- Write a letter to your writing. Not so much. This one hasn’t been as useful as some of the others.
- Write early in the day. Yes! I used to put it off, and now I find if I start first thing, use my Pomodoro timing technique, I feel so much more productive than before. (And sometimes I still write later in the day, too!)
- Write like a child plays. Yes! My sketches, my “throw-away” exercises, attempting poems, writing from prompts … while these seem “unproductive,” I get much more done on long-term projects when I’m indulging my child in these small writing-play activities as well.
- Bonus: Pomodoro technique (25-minute timed productivity sessions). Yes. When I start by sketching 4 small squares on a slip of paper, labeling them above with “25” and below with “5,” and then writing a list of 2-3 items, “what would I like to work on today,” I feel energized. I have discovered I am looking forward to the writing I’ll be doing that day. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, and I’m grateful!
How about you? What techniques help you, and which ones are not useful? Do you have any specific writing goals you’re working toward when you sit down at your desk these days? Any suggestions for more productivity techniques?
Thanks for visiting!