Recently I was asked to teach a class on time management for a writer’s conference. It’s a topic I’m very familiar with and am constantly researching ways to be more productive.
I’m unconventional, I have to admit. I don’t just sit down and write, I multitask all the time so I get a lot of writing done, as well as manage everyday life tasks. I like using the latest technology and gadgets to become more productive. I’ll highlight some of the gadgets I use.
But writing is a PASSION of mine. I probably write 18 hours a day (no kidding!) and 7 days a week – but I don’t keep track. I just do it, and feel a need to. It’s not a job, it’s not because an editor is telling me to do it, it’s not because I’m competing against anyone or any author out there (I’m only competing against myself, if I’m competing against anyone). It’s because I live and breath writing.
My family and friends are very understanding of this all-consuming passion I have, which I’ve had for years. For years I’ve stored stories up, filed them away, and either began writing them or filed them for another day. For years I’ve written half a book, and left it at that, waiting to finish them when the time is right. I have about 10 of these books waiting to get finished. They sit stored away, waiting for me to finish them. It is precisely that – those unfinished books, that prompt me to write as fast as I can…so they don’t become unfinished and forgotten. It’s about getting them done. If you write as fast as you can, the further along in the book you get, and the more likely it will be finished. Like I said, I’m unconventional. If you give me plenty of time to write a book, I will procrastinate – do anything but write that book, because I would think – Oh, I have the time. I’ll get to it another day.
Writing Fast and Keeping Focus
I try to write fast. In my most productive days, I write between 10,000 to 15,000 words a day. I’m like a zombie in zone. I write everywhere…take notes, come up with dialogue, and even new ideas for series wherever I go. Writing is a process which includes taking notes, coming up with names, plots, characters…everything including the actual sitting down to write. So, that being said…you need something to take notes with when the inspiration hits you. I personally use this trusty do-it-all-device:
I take notes on it, I answer emails, I schedule events, I take pictures, I facebook and twitter. I even use it as a timer.
Most productive invention ever invented for a multitasker.
As far as getting my exercise in, while writing…this laptop shelf is very handy, and it works!
A laptop shelf that sits on my treadmill and exercise bike. It looks funny, but I get a lot done this way, and get my marathon training/running in at the same time.
Now this one is just for fun!
The Apple iPad
It helps me read books when I can, take notes, surf the web, share presentations at meetings, and best of all – entertain my daughter with video games, streaming movies, and children’s books.
So we are blessed to have a lot more ways to be productive as a writer today than when I first started – 10 years ago. I still wrote a book about every two to three weeks back then when I was in writing mode, but think how more productive I could’ve been if I had all these devices …
There is no mystery to writers who can write many books in a year. It takes organization, it takes endless amount of sleepless nights (I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a day), and it takes passion.
Good luck writers and aspiring writers. That’s how I do it, and that’s how some of the most productive people in the world (Trump, Steve Jobs, and Oprah) do it – they do it with PASSION!