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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Boost Your Writing Productivity with This Game Changing Technique

On Select Wednesdays, I post tips and strategies for writers.


Boost Your Writing Productivity With  This Game-Changing Technique
by J. Rose Allister
When I first started writing fiction, I was frustrated. I couldn't produce fast enough to keep up with all the ideas I wanted to write about. I read books on productivity, took a course in fast drafting, began participating in NaNoWriMo, anything that I thought might give my muse a boost. And you know what? It worked.

For a while.

Eventually, I found myself struggling. Production slowed to a crawl. I was burned out and used up. I spent my days feeling bad for not writing more, but when I tried, words didn't come easily. After a while, they wouldn't come at all. I'd hit a wall and couldn't figure out how to reverse course.

Then I stumbled across a game changer that boosted my writing productivity.
This technique is not new, but it is something that the majority of writers haven't tried and probably never considered. It is a simple approach, and yet people shy away from it.

What is it?

YouTube.

Or more specifically, I began targeting my writing goals with a special kind of muse. YouTube is highly useful for writers, and not (just) because you can find tutorials and pep talks about the latest writing software or novel-writing strategy. These are valuable, of course. But keep an open mind, veer off from the How To Write talks and delve into a more creative area: visualization and meditation for writers.

I began using visualization, meditation, and positive affirmation videos first thing in the morning and at night while falling asleep. These reinforce my productive writing mentality and act as subliminal nudges from my muse. Within a few weeks, my productivity went up from an average of a paltry 1k words per week to 10k, stopping there only because that is my current goal.

"But I Can't Meditate! It Takes Too Much Time/Discipline/Mental Control."

Don't worry! The kind of meditation I'm talking about isn't some swami-yogi-spiritualist thing where you sit cross-legged for hours, chanting and clearing your chakras. To get the benefit I found, all you need is your laptop, a pair of headphones (optional, but preferable), and YouTube. I have a playlist of writing-related "boosters" HERE to get you started.


 In the morning, listen to "affirmation" videos as part of your wake-up routine. At night, choose one or two visualization/meditation videos to listen to while falling asleep. These will guide you through a simple exercise of relaxing in your chair/bed while imagining things that will stimulate creativity. Make this a consistent part of your days, and before long, you will likely find your writing has received an infusion of creative energy.

Why Does This Work?

I believe this strategy works for a few reasons. Not to get too scientific about it, but the brain responds to implanted messages. When you consistently reinforce the message that you are a successful, productive writer, that you have creative energy, and that you expect to succeed, your brain takes this to heart, so to speak. You will awaken with the positive expectation that writing will occur, and that you will be satisfied with the results. 

The brain also responds to habit. After a while, sitting in my chair, staring at a blank screen or thinking about how I wasn't writing enough started to become a habit. Using affirming, positive videos over time--within a few short weeks--creates a new and more constructive habit. 

Finally, writing can be a draining pursuit. It takes energy and brainpower to create words on a page, and even more to edit them. Then there's the entire process of publication and promotion. And oh,  yes, chances are that you have an entire life outside of writing: family, a job, a house to run. Trying to produce writing when you're all squeezed out is like trying to start a car that's out of gas. Taking a few minutes to stop at the pump to fill up on positive writing reinforcement will allow your creativity to flow.

How much are you writing at the moment? Average out your daily/weekly word counts for the past few months. Now, try the game changing technique of meditation, visualization, and affirmation to unlock creativity for one month. Then start rechecking your averages. Also, take note of your mental temperature. My satisfaction in writing, as well as life in general, took a big upswing when I applied this to my life. 

Here's a video from the playlist to get you started, called "Meditation to Ignite the Flow of Creativity". 



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J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

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