How to Be a Prolific Writer

Writing for a living requires consistent output. Good habits can keep you writing, as described below.


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    Write every single day. Once you establish a daily routine, it's hard to break. It becomes automatic, like your first cup of coffee in the morning. Once you get used to a daily session, it feels wrong to skip it.
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    Leave the edits for later. Some writers call it "shutting off the internal editor." This allows you the freedom to produce page after page of words without evaluating them immediately. You'll have plenty of time for that later. Once you're written enough and time has passed, you'll be a better judge of your work.
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    Write off-topic if you feel like it. You may be working on a novel or memoir, but if you feel like writing a haiku, go for it. Once you've started pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, your mind may take you on a different road that is productive for your book or other project.
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    Make your environment as conducive as possible for your process. Like sunlight? Sit by a window. Need company? Write in a coffeehouse. Must have absolute quiet? Turn off the phone and shut the door.
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    Keep track of your output for feel-good sake and self-assessment. Word counts are the typical gauge writers use to determine productivity. For you, it might be the number of pages you write per session or the number of lines in your notebook. Choose a way to keep track and chart your progress. In a few weeks, looking back on your output levels will strengthen your resolve to continue.
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    Build in time for interruptions. Writers are human. You are human. Expect that your schedule will take unproductive turns because of life's curve balls. If you develop a well-established routine, it will be easier to return to it when the ups-and-downs even out.


  • If you use a computer to write, create file folders to save your document. Name them by the title of the work and indicate the stage of the writing: BustersBigDay_Draft1.doc.
  • If you use notebooks, select ones with different colored covers or artwork. This helps you keep track of what project is where.


  • Be careful with whom you share your work. Although copyright laws theoretically cover anything you've written once it is written, entrust your work to a selected few until you've had time to determine if you want to pursue publication.

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Categories: Writing