As someone who writes every day, I still find myself baffled at how much people publish here and the endless supply of ideas they seem to have. For me, I typically write one article per day while the rest of my focus goes to producing fiction. Still, I have an expectation that when I write, I will be productive, which helps me build the habits of a prolific writer.
Prolific writers have set their priorities and know where their focus needs to be. Some writers see that their time is best spent posting 2–3 articles on Medium every day. Others see that their return works best when they write fiction. Others just know they are happy when they write fanfiction or a personal project. Knowing where your focus should be based on your goals is how you can fuel your writing habit.
Prolific writers are clear about their intentions. What is that goal they are searching for? As a full time writer, I discovered that while I love writing non-fiction and can more quickly produce words writing an article like this, my return happens when I write fiction. As an indie author, I have reached the point of producing enough books where I am looking to turn that into my biggest source of income. I get the best return for my time spent writing fiction so that’s where I set my priorities and intentions.
It’s not enough to say you’re going to write more. Prolific writers actively make the time to write. They schedule it in their day using tools such as a Passion Planner (affl link). They carve time between meetings at work or they use their lunch hour to write words. Even if it’s not ideal, they expect to be productive and get words done.
Prolific writers have their ideal day mapped out. They know where they can be productive and how they can best show up for their work. They plan ahead or they wing it, based on their own personal style, but they always have a constant. They know when they will write and how they will best utilize their time.
Refresh their goals
It’s not enough to just keep writing with no end in sight. Prolific writers use goals to monitor their progress and consistently check in on them throughout the process. When it comes time to make a change, they refresh their goals and move ahead with a new plan. They constantly update their routine to be more productive and take advantage of their ability and focus.
Update old writing
Prolific writers don’t always produce brand new work out of nothing. They take their old writing and find new ways to present the information. Sometimes they’ve learned something new and need to update the piece. Often they turn an old writing project into new ideas and several different and new projects.
Prolific writers write every day. They sit down at their computer or notebook and they make the effort. The more consistent you are, the easier it will be to make this habit stick. Soon, it becomes just another part of your day. You get up, you brush your teeth, you write.
Prolific writers know that to be productive, you have to be writing. That means they learn to say no to things that will detract from their writing time. Instead of a last minute lunch, they stick to their writing. They say no to after-work drinks so they can put in another hour on their novel. They rearrange their errands to do all at once so they can have longer, uninterrupted time writing.
Prioritize self care
Prolific writers know that to be productive, they have to maintain passion and stability. Writing daily and writing a lot can’t happen when they are facing burnout. So, instead of pushing themselves to exhaustion and starting to hate their work, prolific writers prioritize self care. They take breaks, take a day off of writing, or go on a vacation because they know in order to be productive, they have to be healthy and in the right mindset. A day off isn’t going to ruin their flow.
You can learn more strategies to make writing a habit with my new book The Low-to-No Budget Self-Publishing Guide where I share strategies to make writing happen, create a quality book, and self-publish and market your work without spending your life savings. You can also join my tribe and get more insight like this and updates on my fiction work.