Creativity vs. Productivity

stephen-king_2

There’s a war going on with many writers. It’s the battle between the time spent feeding your creative nature and the effort to discipline yourself into producing good content. Each is critical. The trick for every writer is to combine the two efficiently to create clear and compelling copy.

Some writers have a million ideas but regularly miss their deadlines. While others produce a lot of content, but their work lacks imagination. Today, we’ll look at how to strike a balance between your creative mind and the need to organize your day.

Switch Between the Two

There’s a time of day when you’re more creative. It’s the time when your juices are flowing, and your mind is fresh. For me, it’s when I first wake up. It’s quiet, and my mind is rested and ready to write. Some writers are different, preferring after lunch or late at night. Whatever works for you, schedule your day accordingly.

But start each day with specific goals well established. Write these goals down first thing in the morning or the night before, so you will understand what needs to be accomplished. If you’re pressed to make a deadline, prioritize. I like to stay ahead of deadlines when I can, but opportunities may arise which have a short shelf life. When you have a production process in place, these projects can be doable.

I like to write early finishing before lunch. Then I’ll research information which applies to any project I’m currently working. Pick a time which is workable for you. Set aside time for writing and time to study your subject matter every day.

Tune Out the Clutter

There are writers who require complete silence to work. Others either don’t mind or welcome some noise while they write. Which ever you are, make sure you work where your are comfortable and can concentrate.

The great thing about working with the internet is it’s a great source of information. The bad thing is its chock full of diversions. The biggest for me are those distracting yet welcome digital alerts. I can’t ignore email or update notifications for long. And any number by an icon on my tool ribbon needs to be cleared immediately.

If you are the same way make sure your alerts are turned off at your work station. Turn off your phone or tablet and make sure your computer is free of any notification alerts. Save these when it’s time to take a break. I schedule reading emails at a specific time, usually during or right after lunch.

Take Breaks

Taking breaks at certain intervals will keep your creativity flowing. Keeping them short will ensure productivity. Breaks are essential because most writers are in front of an electronic screen for long stretches. Short breaks will give your eyes and your mind periodic relief, increasing your productivity and sustaining creativity.

Power Naps

Most freelancers work from home and can utilize the advantage of a nap. Don’t underestimate the power of a midday snooze. It can recharge your energy levels and regenerate your creativity. Because I work from home, I like to nap after lunch. But sometimes I wake earlier than usual and go back to bed mid-morning.

I try to stay fresh and alert throughout the day. Nothing produces poor copy more than a worn-out mind.

A Walk

I broke my foot before Christmas, and I can’t put any pressure on it, limiting my movement to a knee cart. The thing I miss the most since the injury is my daily walk. This was a time where my mind was free to wander – no focus, just freedom.

This time is as important to my imagination as a nap is to my energy. My mind is free to search out my mind and grab hold of any deep though which may apply to any current project. It can also find ideas for projects I choose for the future. I bring my phone with me to record anything I can use when I’m in front of my computer.

Strike When the Iron’s Hot

Imagination can be elusive. When you feel a heavy dose of inspiration on a project or an idea, start striking that keyboard. Proper time management will allow for these deviations from your daily schedule and allow for your creativity to be captured when it’s hot. Even if the copy is not well written, you have the idea down and can edit later.

The Balance

There’s a balance to strike to ensure your writing is exceptional. It’s vital you write daily and just as important to have excellent ideas to write. Ideas take time to blossom and research and writing should go hand in hand, each prodding the other on. In the end, they should never compete for your time but rather work together to drive the excellent writing which is inside of you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s