1. Change up your background “noise.” Usually write with music on? Try writing without it. Prefer silence? Try instrumental music softly in the background. Sometimes small shifts in your surroundings can totally reset your focus and lead to more productive writing sessions.
2. Come to your writing sessions well-rested, well-fed, and physically comfortable, if you can.
3. Don’t worry about getting everything “right” the first time. Just worry about getting the words out and giving yourself a (mostly) completed story to work with.
4. Give yourself at least a few “distraction-free” blocks of writing time each week. Find a way to make it happen, no matter what it takes.
5. Write throughout the day, but only five minutes at a time. It adds up.
6. Instead of trying to write for two hours one day a week, write for 30 minutes 6 days a week.
7. Keep your writing and “planning” time separate. Plan out what you’re going to do before you write, not while you’re supposed to be writing!
8. If you’re not in the right headspace to work on what you planned, write something else instead, even if it’s a five-minute exercise to warm up.
9. Let your story tell itself. Sometimes deviating from your outline results in a more fleshed-out story in under an hour, even if you didn’t plan for any of it to happen.
10. Some distractions are inevitable. Find a way to work with, around, or through them.
11.Write what makes you happy right now, even if it’s not going to make you famous. Writing what we know and love motivates us to expand our horizons and write MORE new things.
12. Remember to enjoy your writing. It’s OK to have fun while you work. Don’t forget that.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.