Increase Your Writing Efficiency With These Practices

by LoriAnne

productivity for writersOne of the tricks to profitable freelance writing is writing efficiently. Five Buck Forum member John Soares is a master of helping writers become more productive with his site I think every successful freelance writer has some tricks up their sleeve to help them actually get the writing done.

My two favorite methods are creating accountability and bookending.

Creating accountability for your writing

It’s one thing to make a to do list and use it to more or less guide you through the day or week. It’s quite another to commit that list to another person or several. At least I find that to be true.

I actually have a couple of accountability support systems in place.

free content for writersThe first is at the 5 Buck Forum. We have an accountability forum/thread there and each week I, along with others, post what we plan to do to further our writing career. Day-by-day we check off what we’ve done. Often I get messages of support in the form of post congratulating or commiserating with me.

I also have two accountability partners – one is a safety engineer and the other an interior designer. What brings us together is both friendship and the fact that all three of us are entrepreneurs with our own businesses. We function almost like Master Mind group. In addition to supporting each other with strategies and through challenges, each week we commit to our actions and review the actions we took the last week.

Knowing these folks are constructively looking over my shoulder is often exactly the push I need to go ahead and complete a project or start a new one.

Bookending your freelance writing

This is the trick I use when I need to get something done but for one reason or another I don’t want to do it. On the business side, in my case, it often has something to do with tracking money. I’ll often call one of my accountability partners and say something like “I’m going to spend the next half hour balancing my checkbook.” When the half hour is over, even if I’ve done nothing with my checkbook, I call and tell them the truth – whatever it is.

I use the same process with writing chores I don’t’ want to do or am having difficulty with for one reason or another. When I recognize my resistance or that I’m in trouble I’ll pick up the phone and commit to my bookending partner I’ll spend the next hour or whatever length of time on the problem project. At the end of the period I call back and report either that I’ve done it or I haven’t, closing the bookend.

I’ve found, like many others, talking to answering machines works almost as well as talking to a live person.

There’s something about the committing to another person or several that makes it more likely I’ll actually do what I planned. While I’m sure I should be willing to be as accountable to myself as I am to another person, I’ve found out adding that extra person or two helps me actually get the work done.

Your turn. How do you help yourself get work you resist done?

Anne Wayman



Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Sean MacEntee

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