I’m going to toot my enormous alphorn on this fine day to announce to you: I’ve been very productive this year! Everything I write, blog and story, all works towards the Great Promotion and Mighty Future Successes of Mintie Price Inc. I’ve been asked by real-life friends and online-friends what my secret is. And even if no one asked me what my secret is, I would probably write this list anyways and just say they did.
Using the classical structure of a “listicle,” here are my 10 tips for being highly productive, even if you are not an erotica author. Even if you are just a regular brand author.
1. Turn a challenge into a habit
Before I regularly started writing 500 words per day (minimum, not including blogs), I would create month-long challenges to write that many words a day. I would get all pumped up over these challenges, tell everyone about it, and set aside time for the sake of this special event. Now I just do 500 words a day; it’s no longer a challenge or a special “thing,” it’s just my habit. No one needs to throw glitter in my face when I cross the finish line. Embrace that your writing is a daily habit, not just a NaNoWriMo challenge that ends on the last day.
2. Simmer down your social life
This sounds very spinster of me, but cutting back on external distractions has greatly increased my word count. It may not be possible for you to cut back on all social activity, but there’s no reason you have to put on your velvet green “curtain dress” and go out every night with Rhett. If you’re busy, you’re busy. I would much rather spend a night with Mintie Price working at home than spend $40 on drinks and apps at Hooters or whatever.
3. Give your goal “drinkability”
One of Budweiser’s worst ever ad campaigns, in my opinion, is the one where they claim that Bud Light has “drinkability.” This seems to imply that the only thing in the beer’s favor is the fact that it can travel down your throat and into your stomach. Awful. However, your word count should take after this terrible campaign and be “drinkable.” Don’t take on a word count that is too high or stressful; only take on a daily count that you can swallow. 500 words a day is more than enough for me, and it’s easy enough to do 7 days a week.
4. Embrace the slow roll
If you’re racing to hit the legendary “Dirty 30” shorts on Amazon to increase your sales, your writing will show your MPH. Authors with 300 shorts have been writing erotica and participating in erotic collections for years. Know that the climb to the top is going to be a long one, and write daily to add to your growing count.
5. Don’t relax until it’s done
I don’t sit down with a bowl of cheddar popcorn the size of my entire body until I reach my daily word count. Don’t relax, watch TV, hug your family, or even shop for cool dresses online until you’ve hit that goal. Once you’ve moved past that “drinkable” total count or hourly goal, then you can enjoy the popcorn.
6. Avoid “babying” yourself
No one is more wonderful at creating excuses not to write than I am. But, my stomach is growling too loud. I drank too many mimosas at brunch. I heard someone breaking into my house to burgle me. Enough! I can justify almost any amount of personal “babying.” I promised to stop listening to any excuses unless I am bleeding on the floor and dying. Don’t treat yourself like one of those pampered white cats in a canned cat food commercial.
7. Cheer for tiny goals
I haven’t accomplished a ton so far in my erotica writing career. I am leagues away from the authors with 200+ stories and cool newsletters and tours where they throw dildos into the crowd or something. It’s important to cheer for the little things I accomplish; for each blog post, for each week of scheduled Tweets, and for each finished story. You need to feel good about very small markers of success if you have a long term plan.
8. Find what works for you
When I write, I have to do it completely sober. I work in 100-word chunks, taking a mental break in between each chunk. I always work for 500 words, sometimes go slightly over, but stop myself once the word count has been reached. Then I walk away from the computer and celebrate a good day’s work. Whatever habits you have gathered along the way, stick with them. Don’t feel like you need to conform to someone else’s style: we can’t all be Stephen King for god’s sake.
9. Add accountability
One of the ways I keep accountable to my work is to talk about my goals with people around me. This tends to annoy them sometimes (blog post on the subject is pending), but it makes me feel motivated and keeps me going to reach my yearlong goals. Who keeps you accountable? Or rather, do you have a scary day planner with lots of notes? Find something or someone to keep pushing you towards your goals, and then make you feel awful when you don’t reach them.
10. Refresh your author page a million times
If you feel unmotivated, if you don’t want to write, if you think that you can’t reach your daily word count, just go on your Amazon/Smashwords page and refresh it. Go on your Twitter and see your feed. Every day, you’re making progress towards something good. Each story is a leap away from where you started. When I feel bad, I look at my expensive WordPress theme and imagine the way my blog/covers/everything used to look. It is an exercise in happiness and motivation, believe me.
Oh my god, this is a huge blog. Add your own productivity tips in the comments! Or “Like” if you found something useful here today! xx