Writers are humans too. No matter how good a writer is, there would always be times when his or her writing productivity goes down. However, this problem is something that writers must not just let pass. It is something they must address because it is their careers and reputations that are in the line of fire.
While some writers just feel writers’ block at times, there are those that in fact have certain attitudes that kill their productivity. A writer’s block is just a temporary feeling of not knowing what to write. However, there are certain attitudes chronic to some writers and slows down their productivity all the time.
Some writers are indeed good, but they just have the “attitude”. Unfortunately for them, any person who wants to be a successful writer and lacks these “attitude” could surpass such excellent writers because it is this “attitude” the prevents them from being productive.
Here are the five common attitudes that hinder writers from being productive, and alongside are ways on how to optimize writing productivity.
Some writers would lie around all day, waiting until the deadline is near before they actually grab their pens or laptops and start writing. Their excuse: I’m extracting my creative juices.
Such procrastination causes some writers to miss deadlines or submit mediocre pieces because they ran out of time to proofread or fact check. This is how a writer loses reputation and credibility in a snap.
A real writer would know that creative juices don’t come out while lying around. There are tricks to extracting ideas, one of these would be freewriting. This is a strategy used by writers to draw out ideas. What they do is just write down or type down anything that comes into their mind for about 30 minutes to an hour. Until all the unnecessary thoughts blocking their ideas are all flushed out.
Think of it like letting water run out of a pipe to clean the pipe so that clean water will eventually come out. Freewriting is just one of the many strategies that writers could use to draw out ideas. Hence, there should be no space for laziness
Another way for writers to use their time more productively and generate more ideas is to brainstorm. They can do this alone or with other people. Unlike freewriting, where the writer jots down or types down anything, brainstorming would be more focused.
Generally, a writer already has a topic in mind, but can’t think of an angle for the topic. brainstorming helps put this topic into focus. All the writer must do is to list down every idea he or she could think of related to the topic. Once all ideas are exhausted, those that are listed could be grouped. From such grouping, the writer could then determine the best angle for the topic. It would also be easy to know which part requires additional research.
Solution: When you are feeling lazy, grab a pen or open your computer and write or type your heart away. What you put into writing does not have to make sense. The idea is just to keep your brain muscles and fingers moving so that it won’t stay lethargic and to flush out unnecessary thoughts so you can focus on what you must write.
No one is perfect; nothing is perfect, and if you wait for the perfect idea to write, you’ll end up writing nothing at all. The wait for the perfect piece, the perfect idea, the perfect outcome, is what delays, if not prevents, productivity.
What every writer must understand is that the perfect piece is the one that answers the big question. SEO experts know the big problem, the issues that searchers pose, and the writer must answer this big question. If you answer that adequately, then you did perfectly.
Perfect depends on what you are targeting and what you want to throw out into the world. Another writer may have published an article about new hairstyles this summer; the same topic assigned to you. This does not mean you will no longer write a good piece.
The perfect piece would be one that would offer information lacking from the first published article. In brief, if you are looking for perfection, then you will find it in writing a piece better than all those that exist.
Solution: When you are feeling the urge to be perfect, read other articles and look for what is wrong with them. That is how you can make your piece perfect—write something that they missed. Don’t dwell too much on being perfect; focus on being better than the others. That is perfection in the essence of writing.
3. Putting money first
It would be nice if writers can make money from what they write. The sad truth, according to many writers, is that they are one of the most underpaid workers globally. However, this should not be the universal truth. Creatives like writers do not need to live in the misery of not earning much. However, on the same note, it would not be a good idea if writers put money as their top priority.
In writing, perhaps the saying ‘money is the root of all evil’ would be somehow real. Many writers who prioritize earning money over writing quality articles would fail because they have nothing to offer their visitors. Ultimately, they wrote pieces that could make money, but provide little to no information.
In fact, a few years back, Google made a core update that targeted sites that use keywords excessively but ignore quality content. This means, sites that just throw in keywords however they want without consideration of the content of their site were no longer ranking. These are the sites that only want to earn, but have nothing to offer.
Ultimately, people want answers. that is exactly why they search on Google. If a writer thinks only of money, then he or she will initially get visits, but once visitors see there is nothing useful in the site, then these people will no longer return.
The idea all boils down to Jeff Goins’s book: “Real Artists Don’t Starve.” This is a step-by-step strategy to make money off any talent. If you must guess, well it starts with honing your skills before actually thinking of earning from your talent.
Remember: you won’t get money on the first day of our blog, not even in the first week, first month, or even first year. You need to establish your reputation, your credibility, and this requires hard work.
Solution: If you feel the urge to write for money, then try writing for companies that will pay you to write, but don’t do it with your blog. Some bloggers are copywriters on the side. They do this to support the cost of their blogging.
4. I’m a know-it-all
A writer is a reader. Every dignified writer knows that they need to review literature, to research, so they can write something worth reading.
Dan Brown did not just come up with the ideas for his book The Da Vinci Code. This book became a sensation because people thought everything in it was real. While all the places are indeed facts, Brown was just good at connecting facts together to create fiction. The point here is Dan Brown is not a know-it-all. He was a researcher who created excellent fiction.
Know-it-alls are writers who never acknowledge other sources. They write as if they have first-hand knowledge of a subject. However, the truth is, there are experts that are worth citing, and sometimes, before a writer even writes his own supposedly “original piece”, he may have had come across a piece of article by an expert. This encounter may have influenced him to write his own piece. Unfortunately, he forgets to reference the source and writes an idea as if originally his. This is as good as plagiarism.
However, how does being a know-it-all stump productivity? It doesn’t necessarily do so if we look at it from a different angle. Being a know-it-all makes a writer productive, except what he is producing is a reproduction of someone else’s idea that he does not want to acknowledge.
However, from another angle, a know-it-all generally produces junk because he chooses to write only based on what he knows, and a person’s knowledge is limited. Hence, he becomes unproductive because eventually, he will run out of something to write, unless he acknowledges the need to actually read other people’s works.
Solution: To avoid being a know-it-all, read, read, read. A productive writer is a comprehensive reader. Researching a topic is essential. However, never forget to cite sources accordingly to avoid plagiarism. Remember, even the best writers do their research before they write, and they acknowledge their sources.
The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.Samuel Johnson
5. Writing to impress
Writing to impress is a serious effort. Some writers use highfaluting words or sophisticated words to show the vastness of their vocabulary bank. See, ‘highfaluting’ in itself is a problematic word that you probably want to look up in the dictionary right now. Such difficult words do not offer ease in reading; such words are tedious to read.
The problem with writers who aim to impress is that they ignore the fact that their readers might not understand what they are saying or their reader may drown in the many complicated words that they use and eventually get tired of reading. As a result, writers lose the interest of their readers.
A writer must be relatable. This quality is what makes an impressive writer. If you, as a writer, could keep your readers’ attention, then you are already remarkable. Keeping a reader’s attention is not about using excessive words, complicated sentence structures, or profound ideas. It is all about allowing the readers to understand concepts that are otherwise difficult to comprehend. It means allowing your readers to relate to what you are saying.
A good mix of complex sentences, compound sentences, and simple sentences would make an interesting read. For example, you can write a complex sentence and follow it up with a simple sentence. This sequence breaks the monotony. The same goes for the use of common but not repetitive words. Common words are easy to understand, but when repeated too often could be too disturbing to read.
Besides, writing to impress would be a waste of time. Imagine thinking for so long about what words to use and what sentence structures to construct so that you would sound smart and impressive. This attempt indeed lowers the productivity rate. Worse, you could go crazy going through a thesaurus to look for words that you believe would be impressive.
NOTE: Do remember that just because words are synonymous, doesn’t mean they are interchangeable. Words have contexts. This is another pitfall of attempting to impress your reader with words. you might convey the wrong message because of a wrong word choice.
Tools like Grammarly helps in signaling a writer when he or she is being wordy or is using too complex words. Readability is important in writing. A successful article ideally has about a 60% Flesch Kinkaid rating.
There are tons of software online that could check readability, so it would be wise to use such tools before even publishing your work. Remember that you are not writing to impress but to inform.
Solution: When you are writing, try to avoid words that have so many syllables. To be surer that your article is readable to the majority of readers, check for its readability rating.
Boost your Writing Productivity
Laziness, perfectionism, putting money first, being a know-it-all, and writing to impress are the pitfalls of productive writing. Anyone who wishes for a career in writing must avoid these attitudes. Writer’s block is forgivable; it happens to the best of writers, but these five attitudes are chronic.
We hope that this article was able to help you determine what kind of mindset you must have if you want to be a writer. If in any way you feel like you have any of these five attitudes, we hope that the solutions we provided could help you improve.
Meanwhile, if you have questions, please feel free to pose it in the comment section below. We would also love to hear some stories about your writing. Also, if you have any suggestions or requests for topics that you want us to cover, please do leave a comment.