Writers with extroverted personality traits tend to spend more time with friends and family – especially when compared to introverts! Here are seven tips for increasing writing productivity for extroverts (although writers with introverted personalities are welcome to use these tips, too 🙂 ).
“Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” ~ writer and professor Elie Wiesel.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, there are words and articles and books in you that only you can write. The key to succeeding as a freelance writer or book author is to actually writer. So, these tips for being more productive aren’t about changing who you are…they’re about working with your personality so you can be a better, more prolific writer!
Did you know that 82% of writers are introverts? Probably not, because I just made that statistic up 🙂 I may not know the exact breakdown of extroverted versus introverted writers, but I’m 100% certain most writers have introverted personality traits.
Are you an introvert or an extroverted writer? And, how do you know?
7 Tips for Increasing Your Writing Productivity
“Ask not what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman.
1. Realize how your personality affects your writing
Do you know the difference between extroverted personality traits and introverted personality traits – and how much impact your personality has on your writing? Extroverts may have more difficulty finding time to write because they like to go, go, go! They love being around people, which can make it difficult to write. In contrast, introverts generally like their time alone, which may give them an advantage in terms of productivity. To write more, do a little self-exploration and get a little “touchy-feely.” What personality traits make you a more effective writer…and what traits are holding you back?
If you’re an introvert trapped in an extrovert’s job, read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.
2. Decide whether you really want to be a writer
Many people have this romantic vision of being a writer…but not as many are willing to do what it takes to be successful. Not being able to “find the time” to write is essentially deciding you don’t want to be a writer. If you really want to be a writer, your behaviors must match your intentions or writing goals. It’s all about “walking the walk – not just talking the talk.” To increase productivity (and your ability to earn money as a writer or blogger), you need to decide that you’re not just a wannabee…you’re a writer, and writers must spend time writing. That’s the oldest, most boring, most effective rule in the book.
3. Refuse to play until you’ve achieved certain writing goals
Do you love hosting dinner parties, watching football on Sunday afternoons, or singing in the church choir? Make a deal with yourself: play with your words first, then play with your friends later. Set your specific, measurable, achievable writing goals – preferably daily goals – and do not let yourself leave the house until you show up for your writing self. If you don’t reach your goals, you cancel your plans.
4. Develop habits that support your writing goals
Refusing to party until you’ve written X number of words per day or emailed Y number of pitches to editors are examples of habits that support your writing goals. Make it a habit to get up every morning at 5:30 am, or meet with a writing group every second Wednesday. Make it a habit to research possible literary agents on the first Monday of every month, or read a new book about writing every two months. Your habits form your life, and they will help write your first novel or build a successful freelance writing career.
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5. Find ways to write while surrounded by people
Extroverts are energized when they’re with people. They Blossom in a crowd; the more, the merrier!
But crowds aren’t always conducive to writing, are they? If your extroverted personality traits drive towards loud boisterous places, flow with your urges. For example, take your writing utensils and plant yourself in a busy coffeeshop, the commons area of a university or library, or the food court of a mall. You may not need to actually interact with people to get your socialization fix…just being around crowds may energize you and give you time to write. Two birds with one stone.
6. Use your experiences to fuel your writing
If you simply must attend all the parties, dinners, and events you planned this week, then use those experiences to guide your writing progress. Don’t compartmentalize your life by spending time with people, and then trying to write about things that don’t relate. This is the “write what you know” cliché with a bonus tip: writing what you know can increase your productivity by saving time and energy.
7. Remember how fast time flies
My biggest fear is turning 195 and regretting that I didn’t spend more time planning my career and achieving my writing goals. I’ve got no problem with getting older…I just don’t want to waste my days doing things that get me nowhere! So, to write more, remind yourself daily that your days are numbered. If you don’t write now, you probably won’t be writing later.
Write now, fellow scribes, because it’s later than you think.
Are you a writer who wrestles with your extroverted personality traits? I’d love to hear how you stay productive!