As a writer it is important to be prolific and have a great creative output as all your projects and plans rely on you producing and shipping new material. Throughout the years of running online projects I have learned some lessons that are important to understand to be able to boost your creative output and keep delivering.
1. Don’t plan, just do
Many people spend too much time on planning, researching and/or thinking, instead of on taking action. ’Just do it’ usually works better. The more time you spend on the planning phase, the more fears and doubts you start having, the more you need to change and the less time you have to build something great.
2. Stop waiting for your Mona Lisa
Don’t wait for a masterpiece before you publish something. Some people have a phobia of clicking on the “Publish” button. They always seem to have something to add, something to change, something to polish, some more research to do… thinking like this usually never stops and you drag the process on and on.
3. Be a producer, not a consumer
Lack of time is something I often hear when talking about boosting someone’s creative output. Upon digging deeper into what the person spends his time on, there is regularly a trend of consumerism. Consumerism of news, sports news, of TV, celebrity gossip, of games and much else. To gain some time for writing you have to get into the mindset of a producer. Stop consuming other people’s material and start producing your own material.
4. Don’t trust your mom
Your mom (or the rest of your family and friends) are being nice to you when you ask them what they think about your material. Unless they are very direct and honest (and want to be mean) they will always give you positive feedback and support you in whatever you do. This is all fine but you need your work out in the real world to get ahead.
5. Grow thick skin
Writers in general, and even more so writers in the online world, have to grow thick skin. Their work is constantly judged and doubted in the comment areas, in social media, in forums and via email. You have to learn to stay confident in yourself and what you believe in, despite being doubted by others.
6. Be open to feedback from the real world
By publishing your work you share your ideas and you get feedback from people in the real world. You will learn if people engage with your work, if there are readers interested in your work. This feedback will help you improve, learn, and refine your work and give you ideas for projects you didn’t even think about.
7. Practice and practice some more
Best way to get better at writing is to practice. Your first post may suck but you will become better. By practicing and by writing in public you get feedback and that improves your work. Write something, get feedback, write something more, get more feedback and round and round it goes.
8. Don’t make assumptions
Don’t make assumptions about your audience. They don’t have the same level of knowledge and same level of experience as you do. There are many people who would love to read and even pay to get access to, something that is so simple and so obvious to yourself. Always think about your topic with a beginner perspective.
9. Learn from the unpredictability
Many things are not in control of a writer and this makes writing very unpredictable. You may think you have a great viral article but it may flop, but sometimes the article you almost didn’t publish because it was too basic becomes your most read piece of work. You must embrace this unpredictability, keep your mind open and learn.