Ten Tips to Help You Write More Words

ACFWACFW, Advice, Authors and writing, Procrastination, Time Management, tips, writing 5 Comments

by Carrie Turansky @carrieturansky

Whether you’re an aspiring author or multi-published, it’s often a challenge to meet your writing
goals. Here are ten tips that will help increase your writing productivity.

1. Write with instrumental music playing in the background. I recently saw an informal
survey that found those who listened to music while writing were able to write more words per
day than those who didn’t. I like to listen to instrumental praise music or movie soundtracks.
Some of my favorite soundtracks are Prince of Tides, The Cider House Rules, and Little Women.

2. Set a timer.  Set your timer for fifteen minutes and tell yourself you will focus and write for
that long. Keep writing and moving ahead in your story without going back to review or revise.
Then take a short break and set the timer again. You’ll be surprised how much you can
accomplish in short periods of time like this.

3. Outline the scene first. Before you start writing think through your scene, choose your POV
character, the mood and setting and goals for each character. Create a list of descriptive and
sensory words you could use in that scene. I sometimes start by writing the opening of the scene
by hand. This gets my creative juices flowing and the scene seems to come together much more
quickly when I start typing from those notes.

4. Set a word count goal. Word count goals can be motivating and a helpful guide. I know if I
meet my goal each week, then I’ll finish my book on time. That relieves some of the pressure
and helps my creativity flow.

5. Write at your most productive time of the day. When are you the most productive and
creative? Set aside that time to write, and don’t allow email or social media to eat up your best
writing time. Turn off your email notifications and use your less productive times of the day to
check email and social media.

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6. Wear earphones. Earphones are a great way to block out noise as well as pipe in your favorite
music. I have some very comfortable rubber tipped earphones that I wear, and even when I am
not listening to music, I put them in. I’ve found it helps my family realize I’m working and won’t
hear them, so they are less likely to interrupt me unless it’s something important.

7. Give yourself permission to write fast and messy. Turn off the internal editor who questions
every word and let your creativity flow. I tell myself I don’t have to write it perfectly, I just have
to get the words down. You can only revise what you’ve written. So, tell yourself it’s okay if it’s
awful. You can fix it when you revise.

8. Find an accountability partner. Team up with another writer and commit to checking in with
each other often. Share your goals and exchange emails at the end of the day to report your word
count. Don’t ask them to commit for life, just try it for a set period of time. Knowing someone is
waiting to hear how you’ve done that day can be very motivating.

9. Reward yourself for reaching your goals. Why wait until you’ve finished your book to
enjoy a reward? Set several short-term goals and celebrate when you reach them. Do something
you enjoy when you meet your weekly word count or halfway point.

10. Get a comfortable, chair, clothing, and drink. Feeling comfortable while you write is
important. Invest in a good chair, wear comfortable clothes and stock up on your favorite drinks.
Some authors find changing locations around the house gives them a mental break and it also
helps prevent back issues.

I hope you’ll try some of these tips and they’ll help you reach your writing goals!


Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of more than twenty inspirational novels and a winner of the ACFW Carol Award and Holt Medallion. Her novels have received stared reviews from Christianbooks.com and Library Journal and have been translated into several languages to be enjoyed by readers around the world. Learn more at: carrieturansky.com


Comments 5

  1. Great tips! With the weather finally turning nicer, I’d add that taking the laptop or whatever you use to write and earphones and sit on the porch. The fresh air can stir too.

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