Five Things To Do To Stay Productive When You Don’t Write

Everyone has moments when words don’t really happen. In such cases you have two choices: write or don’t write. If you choose to write, then get to it! You don’t have time to read this. But when you don’t write, you can still do work as a writer. There is more to being a writer than your word count. Especially when you’re a self-published author.

Networking

Everyone who works benefits from networking. Having the right connections will open doors for you that will otherwise stay closed.

It doesn’t matter what you know, but who you know.

As an author, networking in the publishing industry also pays off. Get to know agents, editors, other writers, bookbloggers. These are the people that will help your career further. They can share their knowledge, connections or promote your stories.

But networking is more than just asking other people. You have to give as well. When you meet someone new, think of how you can help that person. Even if it’s just connecting your new connection to an old one. Trade business cards and write a short note on it where you met that person and one interesting thing you learned about them. Reconnecting with them later will be much easier this way.

Research

One thing that directly contributes to your story is research. Even when you’ve already done research and have an outline, going deeper into your subject will show off in your final work. Adding small details might excite the people who are already familiar with your themes or setting.

You could also have another look at what you’ve written and see if the structure is still what you had in mind. Or check out a character’s emotional journey. I know that when I write my first draft, my characters tend to be flat, even when I have full character sheets. Sometimes I have to add scenes just so a relationship between two characters can take flight, or a deep fall. It’s another chance to have them express emotions they otherwise wouldn’t.

Learn a little bit more about the world you write in and your characters. Prepare to dive deeper.

Your Brand

As a writer, you are your own brand. It’s your name that sells books. People will Google you, or go directly to your website to find out more about you. Keep it up to date. If you have new material, add it. Have you won an award or made the shortlist, add it.

Most writers also have a blog on their site. Don’t forget to post regularly. Your fans want to hear from you.

Interacting with your audience

Twitter is my favourite platform for interacting with other writers and readers. Take some time to answer questions, discover new writers or bloggers who could help you. Learn from other writers, from the mistakes they made or the things that have been going well for them. Connect with influencers or people in the industry.

Another popular way to interact with fans is through an AMA. Host one yourself live on Facebook or YouTube, or take it to Reddit if you prefer to stick to writing. Make sure you promote the event on multiple channels, so all of your current fans, future fans and other interested people know where and when to find you.

Promotional material

You’re working on a fantastic new story and you want to sell it. Sharing parts of your working through quotes, teaser images or a cover reveal on social media can definitely help to sell your work.

If you already have published works with good reviews, make an image with your book cover, a quote and rating from a review. Don’t forget to tag the reviewer in your post if you can find the reviewer. This increases the chance they’ll share your post.

What do you do when you’re not working on your draft to stay productive? Let me know in the comments below.

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