As a writer, a lot of the work is contrasted. You're either working actively or you're waiting on others. That transition between activity and passivity can be hard and slow. Luckily, there are ways to keep productivity as a writer up even when things seem slow.
Often the best way to pull out of a slump and keep yourself going, is to start putting yourself out there. One great way to pull your work forward is to start doing writing commissions. Whether these commissions are just for your friends and family, or you're listing your short story or copy writing on sites like Fiverr, it can be a great way to keep that drive up.
Writers often have lots of pieces of all types and sizes. Short stories, poetry, plays, novels, and often many of these works get declared "not so great" by the writer themselves. This work sits on hard-drives and on the cloud, just waiting to be used again. Sometimes, you just gotta rewrite it.
Out of the Comfort Zone
Sometimes the only way to keep yourself writing is to write something that actually challenges you. How are you supposed to keep productive when you're bored of your own work? Respect yourself enough to challenge yourself and try something new.
Start Something New
If you're a writer who typically only works on one project a time, it is no surprise that you may be occasionally stuck in cycles where you're less productive. You may want to consider taking up something new and working on it on the side when you can't do your primary work. This allows you to keep working even when you're waiting for publishers, or for opportunities, for your bigger project. Plus it can give you a head start for the future.
Change your Attitude
The biggest trick to productivity as a writer is not to focus so much on productivity. You are not determined solely by your output and you deserve breaks. You are allowed to not be writing, to work on something else, or to even take a long hiatus on a project. The idea that you as a writer are determined solely by how often and how much you work can often be toxic and lead to burnout, stress, and can rip the joy right out of your works. Sometimes, the best option is to step aside and take a break. Changing your attitude about productivity can, funnily enough, make you more productive! Not feeling like you're raising against the clock allows you to make better choices with your work and more carefully choose between writing lots or writing little. You have value regardless of the choice you make.
Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on March 31, 2021:
Thanks, Cat for the article. I believe the best way for any writer to be productive is to be a badass, that is keep on writing despite rejections, frustrations, and even no income. It is a brutal field and the only thing that helps to succeed and survive in this field is perseverance.