Any good writer knows that getting better is, as with all things, just a matter of practice. Much of writing is just sitting down and trying to get your words out, which can easily become a monotonous task if you feel your writing routine has stalled.
Many authors end up going on huge writing retreats where they stay in the middle of the woods and get some inspiration from their new surroundings. That said, not everyone has the resources (be it money or time) to go on a retreat. Thankfully, switching up your routine can work wonders when it comes to revving up your creative juices once more.
Limit Yourself to a Specific Time
For writers who are juggling other responsibilities, try setting out a specific window of time to just sit down and focus on your craft. Rather than sticking to the same time right from the beginning, try writing at different times of the day to see how your thought patterns change. You might find that you write better during the morning on some days, but on others you work better at night.
Carry a Notebook Around
You should be doing this already, but it’s never too late to start. Since ideas strike at the most unpredictable times, make sure you’re prepared by carrying a notebook with you. The Strategist highlights portability as a key factor when it comes to choosing a good notebook, citing the likes of Muji and Midori as good bets for those who just want something to keep in their bag and use as needed.
Try a New Environment
In the past, most writers had a choice between working at home (a procrastination nightmare) or at a coffee shop (a distraction nightmare). The good news is that there is now an in-between that is perfectly suited for the budding writer – co-working spaces. Business Insider reports that co-working spaces are gaining traction across the US with Salt Lake City voted one of the best cities for remote work, with other cities like Miami and Denver also being very popular. A key reason for this growth is how these spaces are able to attract different types of workers. Miami-based co-working space Industrious explains how these spaces are ideal for both solopreneurs (like authors) and enterprise-level businesses. And the increasing popularity of co-working spaces for authors was examined by The Writing Cooperative, who interviewed several writers on what it was like to work in such a space. The main benefit was that co-working spaces provided a place for them to work away from home, which reduced the amount of procrastination they did, with one writer saying that having other people around made her feel more accountable for her writing. If you are struggling to keep a regular writing routine at home, a co-working space would be a good alternative. Plus once you’re in the space you have access to unlimited coffee.
Track your Progress
It’s been psychologically proven that setting small goals for yourself can help you complete a task, as it’s easier to tackle what seems like several smaller projects. Author Leigh Stein swears by her spreadsheet method, where she opens up a spreadsheet file to track when and how much she writes. This allows you to see just how much you can accomplish over a period of time. If you end up keeping a spreadsheet for yourself, just imagine how good you’ll feel once you see all the entries pile up.
If you need more help, tracking your progress through 90 day goals is another way to keep the momentum going. Hopefully the above tips will help you have your novel well on the way to completion.
Angela Flores is a freelance copywriter with dreams of publishing her own novella. In her spare time, she enjoys trying her hand out at pottery or journaling to keep a record of her daily adventures.