Writing Strategies

Unfortunately, I’m one of the most distracted writers you will find. When I get stuck or just don’t know where to go, I tend to begin surfing the Internet for a while, playing a game, reading a book, or watching TV for a while. The problem is that it might be quite a while before I get back to the writing task at hand.

So I’ve been surfing the Internet (yes, because I’m stuck) for writing strategies that will help me minimize distractions. Some of those strategies include:

  • Writing nonstop with a timer for 15-20 minutes at a time. For me, it’s almost like a challenge to beat the clock. I want to improve every time I take a session and write more than I did the last time. I don’t have time (literally) to full around with something else.
  • Using a word processor that has no menus, icons, or status bars. This keeps me from clicking on random parts of the program or switching to another program altogether.
  • Keeping track of my writing times, how long I write, and how much I write. This helps me find my most efficient writing times and situations.

I’ve found a few good programs I think I like after trying them this week. If you’re interested in distraction free writing of any kind, you might want to take a look at:

  • Timers – The best one I found for me, completely customizable, with audible alarms (very helpful so I don’t switch to that program to check my time) is Snap Timer. It’s completely free to boot!
  • Word Processors – Anything that has a minimal approach will do. My favorite right now is WriteMonkey or Focus Writer. The options are available through context menus after right clicking. But you are staring at a blank page to write with. They also have options for word counts and in program timers, which I haven’t quite figured out yet. These are also free!
  • Tracking Progress – I just watched a webinar this week on tracking your progress so you can find out when you are the most productive. I never really thought about this that much. You could take an Google Docs or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and begin tracking your progress through this method. Then you could graph your results to find out when you are most productive. Not only will this show you when in your schedule you would be most productive, but it will also show over the course of your writing when he made the post progress writing chapters of your book.

Using these methods, I am hoping to make great progress in my book on holiness, as well as the short guide to sharing your faith. Hopefully these books will be finished by the end of the summer. I’m hoping to release the sharing your faith guide in July. What are some of the methods you use to write easier, better, faster, and more productively? Leave a note in the comment to help us all learn how to be better writers!

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