Monday, May 13, 2013

Helpful Tips: Maximize Your Productivity

So I guess this actually pertains to time management rather than writing tips. Everyone can benefit from it though. Trust me, I'm a (writing) doctor.

This last week or two, I've had some downtime because I've finished some big projects. Understandably so I've also taken a load off, started playing videogames again and such, but there's so much more that we can do with our time. My writing schedule is generally a blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a short fiction, and writing a script for my upcoming graphic novel. That's a lot to do. The worst thing you can attempt is just say, "Well, Saturday I've got nothing to do, may as well do it then..."

Definitely not a good Idea.

Task's are removed of their scary portents when done in advance. That's just common sense. When I was in college I was taking four English classes per quarter, and a performance vocal course. Think about that for a moment. Each paper had a pre-midterm essay, midterm essay, post-midterm essay, and final exam essay.That's four papers, all of which were announced around the same time give or take a few days here and there. Every quarter I wrote about 16 essays. So what I  would do to not lose my mind was this. I would cushion, spread out the projects. The second I got my assignment I would do it, knowing that in two or three days I would get another one. It's a cost/benefit analysis: constant activity over grueling peaks of activity interspersed with leisure. I never once had to work an overnight in college. I would just space it out.

So in your writing, that's where I left off...

Lets say this is your weekly work load:

3 blog posts

2 side projects

1 recreational book

1 Column

This is the approx workload for any writer, who wants to make it. It takes time and perseverance  so don't just think that posting pics of your cat one or twice a week will cut it. This kind of schedule puts out content on a regular basis with the promise of larger projects always in the works. It's good for the fans as well as good for yourself for maximum exposure.

Blogs

Each day the blogs can be written and posted at your leisure. It's important to do that in the moment, because It helps you become a better writer while also keeping you on par with current events. Some will disagree with me and say it's best to write material ahead of time. People can tell when you are just filling in space. What I do is look at it like this. My Monday post generally is about a topic that I kick around throughout the week in my brain. I don't write about it until Monday however. My Wednesday post is different. I try as hard as I can to write my short fictions or poetry on Saturday afternoon after my column writing is finished. It's best to plan ahead for those, have something to sit on and come back to. Friday posts are spontaneous. That's the best angle.

Side Projects

These can be anything, but I can classify these as tasks that are medium to large in size, something that takes longer than two weeks to complete in full. This would be my book, Spirit of Orn and the graphic novel that I am getting ready to start. Work on these projects Monday through Friday consistently for about an hour to two and a half hours per day. I work in the morning only because that's the time I have free. Some of you do the 9-5 corporate thing, so in that case do it after work later on in the evening. Never start working right after you get home. You will never get anything done. Trust me, it doesn't work.

Recreational Book

Think of it this way: a cook can't be a good cook if he's not eating. Writing is very taxing business. You'll find yourself lacking in energy and creativity if you are just pouring out your spirit constantly. Recreational reading helps to put that back into you. Make sure though that what you are reading correlated with your genre and craft. Try your best not to read nonfiction when you are writing fiction. These books are approached by formulas vastly different from one another. It will confuse your writing style more than anything else, and make your characters sound more robotic. When to read is not the question, or how much. Set goals for this task: one book per month, or two. Make sure to stay on task and finish it.

The Column

No writer is complete without the age old cliche of the "column." They also happen to be incredibly important. Here's why: resume building. You must write for someone else. You must challenge yourself, commit yourself, and deliver a product once a week consistently. Realize that writing is not only a craft but a job and just another part of the industry experience. If you ever want to do anything you love, it has to come out of commitment and endurance. Right now I write for Sequart Research. That's my commitment. It's been an awesome experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. Check out my articles over there and embrace comics for their literary merit!


So we've covered a lot of stuff today. I hope it helps you in your writing. Please remember to share the stuff you like. Notoriety is great, but making a positive influence is greater, and longer lasting. I want you all to succeed at what your write, that's my hope hope. So give this to your friends, swear by it, and change some lives. A lot of this information has only been transferred from my betters who I once approached and and asked how they did it themselves. Hope you all benefit from it as much as I have!



SW

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