My previous article on writing regularly and getting better at it in 10 easy steps has been received very well, and I could not have been more glad. There is no better way to start your day than by waking up to a mail by someone who read my article saying that it has helped him in his writings and he follows my tips (blushing 🙂 )
Obviously my learnings while writing has not been limited to only ten points. So when I thought of writing a sequel to the above article, it didn’t took me enough time to come up with 10 more points. These are some tips which helps me in writing easily and effectively without much distractions. I am sure it would help you too if you are facing problems on finding ideas or concentrating while writing an article.
1. Disconnect from the internet
Take that network cable out or turn off your wifi before you start writing an article. This way, you can concentrate fully on your writing and not be distracted by new emails, facebook notifications or pings by friends on messengers.
2. If you get stuck, take a break
If you get stuck while writing and could not figure out what to write next, get up from your seat and take a break. A break could be just taking a 10 minute walk outside your office in fresh air or chatting with friends or colleagues over a cup of coffee. While on this break, try not to think about what you were writing and just have some fun. Crack some jokes, spread some gossip, or just spread smiles. This way, when you come back, more often than not, you will find words flowing out naturally. It has worked for me on numerous times, and I have no doubt it will work for you.
3. Write at a time when you are at your best
Everybody has some time of the day when they are at their best. For example, I am at my best in the morning and get my most productive work done before noon. Some people work better at evenings and late nights. To be able to write more effectively, I recommend writing during your most productive time, or in other words, when you are in the mood.
4. Hang around with people related to topics of your writing
I think this is very important. If you are writing about politics, meet people who talk about politics and indulge in a dialogue with them. If you love sports, find a group to talk about sports, or even better, play the sport. If you don’t know people who will talk about your interest, find them. I tend to observe people and then write about human behavior, and for this, I get out on long walks sometimes and just observe people on the roads, in some shops and try to find ideas for my articles.
5. Write multiple articles at the same time
There is no restriction on writing only one article at a time. Instead you can always work on writing two (or more) articles at one time. Write for one article for 15 minutes, and then switch to the another. I think it helps me as I write on one article, the mind still churns out ideas about the second, which I then write down when I switch. It keeps my mind from getting saturated and bored with the pressure of writing on just one idea.
6. Write an outline first
Before starting to writing an article, try to write some bullet points on what you want the article to focus on and how you want to structure your different points in the form of an article. Once you are done with it, you can start expanding each point into one or two paragraphs. For example – Before writing this article, I wrote down the 10 points first and then proceeded to write a paragraph of text for each point.
7. Don’t wait, start before being ready
Don’t wait for a good mood, or the right time to start. Start without waiting to be ready, for when you start writing, you are ready. I have always believed beginning is the most important part of doing any task. Many times we give ourselves excuses like the mood is not right, or ‘I don’t feel like writing today’, or ‘I don’t write well’. Instead, leave all these reasons and start writing. Period.
8. Concentrate and focus in a quiet place
If you are getting distracted by people around you and the noises they make, go sit in a quiet place. It could mean closing the doors of your room for 30 minutes while you write or find some peaceful place in your office. Personally, I sometimes book a conference room in office and go and sit peacefully and write 🙂 If you are at home, make sure you have your TV and music turned off, unless you like some music playing while you write.
9. Go out and write. In a cafe. Watch people. observe
Contradicting the above point, you might want to go out to a crowded place and write. The aim is to change your regular environment and write in a new place. I sometimes go out to a cafe, sip some cold coffee and eat some cookies while I write. After an hour of two, as I get my task done, I get up and leave. Sometimes just by watching and observing people as they come, chat and leave in a cafe you get many ideas flowing which you can write down.
10. Make it fun
If you take a look at the above points, and even in my previous article, you will find that I tend to make writing fun. I don’t take it too seriously (infact I don’t take anything seriously) and focus on having fun along the way. So don’t write because you want a good article to come out. Write to express yourself, write to have fun, and write to write. When you focus more on bringing your ideas to life and not on the actual words, you will find that the output is undeniably good which people can connect to.