Guest blog by Anna Hackett
Most indie authors know that regular releases help with visibility, finding readers and building your author career. There can be a lot of pressure to write faster and you need to find what works for you and your life.
I’m a prolific writer, and since I’ve been writing full-time, I’ve published a lot of books. It’s my job and I love it. But no one is born a fast writer. I actually don’t think of it as being a fast writer, but rather, being a productive writer. You have to work up it and fine tune your process.
So, if you’ve been wanting to write faster, better, smarter or just finish the darn book, here are a few of my tips.
#1 Write what you love
If you think you’ll get yourself to write lots of words while working on something that you don’t love, you’ll probably be making a hard path for yourself. You might be able to write a book or two, but the dreaded burn out will no doubt rear its head. There will always be days when writing is hard and the words don’t flow, but you can lessen those days by writing what you love for a story that excites you.
All authors know the old plotter versus pantser argument. Mention plotting and some authors break out in a cold sweat. Mention sitting down at a blank page without a plan and other authors will start to itch. I’m firmly in the middle – I do plot, but not exhaustively, and I give myself permission to go off map if that’s where my story takes me. For me, having at least a rough mud map of my story and the major turning points is vital to helping me write faster and be more productive.
#3 Writing Time
Work out when your best writing time is. I was sure I wrote better at night, but then I experimented. Turns out, my most productive writing time is first thing in the morning. Mostly, I write in the mornings and am usually finished by lunch time. We get bombarded with a lot of stuff, jobs, and decisions during the day, so I find being creative at night difficult. BUT you need to experiment for yourself and find your most productive times.
It is also important to be consistent. Some people write every day. Others write on the weekends. Whatever fits your schedule, find your writing time, block it out and protect it.
#4 Build the Habit
It is so helpful to build a habit around your writing so when you sit down, your brain slides into writing mode as easily as possible. If you can write at the same time every day, that clearly helps build the habit, but there are other things and rituals you can do. For me, I head to the coffee shop. I always sit at the same table, facing the same direction and get the same pot of Earl Grey tea, then open my notebook or laptop and get to work. Some authors like to listen to music, some like to set a timer, some light a candle. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make it your habit. You then need to do it for a week or two to let the habit set. Once it does, it can make your writing so much easier and more productive.
#5 The One Thing and eating the frog
Apparently, Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning”. Whatever the hardest or most important thing is to get done each day, get it done first. And there is a great book I love called The One Thing (by Keller and Papasan) – what’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? For me, it is always my writing. I get it done as soon as I can, and if it’s done everything else (emails, cover art, social media) falls into place.
These are a few things to help you write more productively! Experiment, try new things to find what works for you, and then get writing!
*This article first appeared in Heart’s Talk – the monthly newsletter for the members of Romance Writers of Australia.
Anna Hackett is a USA Today bestselling romance author of over fifty books in action romance. Her latest book is ‘House of Rone: Defender’. From the Galactic Gladiators series.
Anna is passionate about action romance. Her love stories combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. Along with writing about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals she believes it’s possible for all of us to do the same.
You can find out more about Anna and her books at: