ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Time, Creativity and Content - Writing Efficiently with Great Results

Updated on July 27, 2013

Writing efficiently is about making sure the time you have to dedicate to writing is used as well as it could be. We are all busy. The demands on our lives are wide and varied – and demanding! If you are trying to carve out a writing career for yourself, or simply attempting to find an outlet for all those creative juices and stories you have stockpiled up inside your brain, then utilising the time efficiently that you have to move forward with your goals is just as important as what happens between your brain, the keyboard and the page where your stories and inspiration culminate.

Here are my top tips for writing efficiently:

  • Make time to write – don’t let the apparently urgent things in life take you away from the really important things like writing if that is what you want to do. Let your family or roommate know that you will be spending time writing and that they should leave you alone to write during that time. Having the space to think and write is critical to writing efficiently. Most people won’t ring you for a social chat at work and this time should be treated similarly. Find a space where you can write undisturbed. Don’t try being efficient by writing in the family room where the kids are playing and your partner is watching football – it probably won’t happen very efficiently or effectively if you do. If you can, have the space setup all the time and equipped to write – perhaps you have a nice view out of a window where you can be inspired, or you have a cosy corner which you can retreat to, relatively undisturbed.
  • Write at the same time on each day if you can and the other demands in your life allow. Think about what time of the day is best for you. When are you at your creative best? When does writing just seem to flow out of your fingertips and onto the page? I have a friend who regularly rises at 4am to write for 3 hours each day. At 7am he packs up the laptop, wakes up his kids and gets them ready for school. By 9am he has achieved two of the most important things for him and the day stretches ahead of him to do other things, knowing that he has already met his writing target for the day. Other people like to write well into the night, once the day’s tasks are complete. They can then clear their minds and sit down and write, unfettered by the other responsibilities or distractions of the day.

Mind mapping is a simple way of organising your thoughts and ideas before you begin writing.
Mind mapping is a simple way of organising your thoughts and ideas before you begin writing.
  • Research what you want to write before you start to write. Don’t spend your precious writing time undertaking research. Get your facts and ideas sorted out before you sit down to write. Use mind maps and lists to jot down ideas and link strings of thought together. These can be great to structure your writing before you even sit down at the keyboard. If you have a notes application on your phone, or carry old fashioned paper and pen, then you can use these to jot down ideas as they come to you, standing in a queue, waiting for kids after school, while you are on the bus. Use mobile apps to research details for your writing. Once you have your ideas jotted down, break them into small pieces of research that need to be done and spend a few minutes here and there during the day undertaking short bursts of research. The ideas will roll around in your mind while you get on with your day. Finding images is part of doing your research before you start. If you are jotting down ideas as they come to you and using mind mapping, you will be seeing potential images too while you are online doing other tasks which you may be able to use (subject to copyright of course). Or you may find photo opportunities during the day while you are attending to other things which you can snap with your phone on the fly. All of this helps you to hit the ground running when you come to your designated writing time.
  • Multi-task during your writing time if you can. By this I don’t mean trying to do multiple things on the computer while you are writing – don’t try paying bills or catching up on emails during your dedicated writing time. What I do mean is that you can put the washing on before you start or set the slow cooker going with dinner before you start writing. This way you will know that these things are still getting down even while you are writing! If you can train another member of your household to do these things then I think that is an even better outcome as you are giving them an opportunity to practice some critical life skills, freeing you up to do what is important for you.

  • Remove the on-line distractions – turn off the social media. Don’t chat on Facebook with your friends, wait for the next Twitter to arrive from your favourite celeb or wander over to Pinterest looking for great images. Turn off your email – one incoming email can easily distract you for 10 minutes, while you read and respond, taking away that time from your dedicated writing time. If you are writing for the web, your blog or on-line articles where the content can be loaded directly into the site – don’t. Write it in a word processing program first – it’s much less distracting, as well as being easy to review, proofread, spell check and word count using standard features which come with word processing tools. All of these tools are designed to help you get the task done efficiently – make the most of them.
  • Learn to touch type – seems like such an old fashioned notion, but once you’ve got your thoughts organised, your research done and the distractions are taken care of, it means you can sit down and just write. 60 - 80 words a minute is going to produce a lot more content and potential income than “hunt and peck” at 10 - 20 words a minute. While it takes some discipline when you first start, touch typing makes life so much more efficient and eventually you will be able to type without thinking about each and every letter. Then you can focus on the content, the tense, the phrasing and getting your words down, rather than expending your mental energy on finding the X or wondering why the CAPS LOCK is stuck on.
  • Leave proof reading until the end. If you get stuck with your writing, don’t go back and critique your work by proof reading – again it will distract you from the task at hand. If you get stuck, go back to your mind map, list, or images for inspiration. Wait until you have finished a set portion of work – an article, a chapter, a specific segment before you go back and critically proof read and edit. Some people say you should walk away and come back and proof read later when your mind is fresh again. If time is not on your side, leaving proof reading until the end of your writing will at the very least put a little space between you and your words if you start proof reading from the beginning again.

Which time of the day is best for your writing?

See results

By taking the time to put these tips into practice, the time you have for writing will be more efficient and that means you can potentially produce higher quality content, more content and potentially more income while making sure you are not missing out on doing other things which are also important to you. The time you have for writing will be more rewarding and your output will be higher and that is a goal to which we all aspire!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)