As much as I enjoy writing, I can’t pretend it’s always my top priority. This summer I was busy with two jobs, tennis, and summer classes, and on the rare occasion I wasn’t doing any of that, all I really wanted to do was sleep.
But despite that, I managed to write 25,000 words of my first novel over the course of my summer break.
I’m not going to lie: my goal was a bit higher at 33,000 words, but I am proud of the progress I made and I owe it to these five tips I’m going to share with you today. Hopefully you can put them into practice in your own writing!
1. Make a Writing Playlist
Listening to music is one of the easiest ways to stay focused on writing. Personally, I use a playlist of my favorite songs, all of which have lyrics, but you might find it easier to focus with instrumental music. Either way, music helps to drown out background noise and get you ready to write.
2. Set Goals
When I started writing my novel, I set word count goals on my Google calendar, making my goal 500 words a day. I by no means followed this guide (some days I would write 250, some days 2500), but it was useful for me to track my progress and make sure I was staying on track. This also helped make writing a priority, because it added a fun challenge and a motivation to meet my goals.
3. Reward Yourself
Not only should you set goals, but you should reward yourself when you reach them! I decided that for every 10,000 words I wrote, I would earn a reward. Rewards can range from ice cream to new shoes to just a day off from writing. Whatever it is, it should be something that you want and don’t normally allow yourself to have.
4. Find a Comfortable Workspace
There is no right answer to what is the perfect space to write. For some people it’s a desk, but for others it could be a table at Starbucks, a quiet bench outside, or the comfort of your bed. Wherever you decide to write, it should be somewhere you feel comfortable and ready to focus.
5. Find Ways to Enjoy It
This is easily the most important tip on this list. If you’re writing at all then you probably have some love for it, but that’s not to say you’ll always be jumping for joy when you sit down in front of the keyboard. Writing can be difficult, and often discouraging, so it’s important to think of it as a fun part of your day and not just another chore. You could put on your pajamas (if you’re like me, you were probably already wearing them), light a candle, pick up your favorite snack, or anything else that makes you feel comfortable and might make the writing process a little more fun.
I hope these tips help you out, and let me know what helps you stay focused when writing!