In the previous article, I shared some of my experiences on how to design a workspace while stuck at home. In this article, I will share more of the virtual and psychological aspects that impact your productivity as a writer.
2. Creating a Virtual Workplace and Becoming a Productive Writer
Create a virtual workspace is as important as a physical one. In this aspect, I like to mention how to organize your virtual space, the tools you need as well as what attitude you need to have toward a full-time working from the home writer. Tips I can give you can be:
1) Measure your own success by KPIs.
One of the biggest challenges of becoming a writer or working from home is to work by yourself. Working at home without the pressure of being somewhere on time can be challenging for many. Many of us, when working at an office or employed by others, got used to the idea of being managed by others and this brings a new challenge for new full-time writers, people who have to work from home during covid, self-employers and freelancer.
In this case, if you're working for yourself, you need to adopt self-motivated, performance-driven results. Key performance indicators (KPIs), create expectations between employees and employers that are mutually agreed upon, measurable, signals that gauge success over time. Using KPIs as the measuring tool for productivity gives you the freedom to complete your work without strict policies of when and where. Remember, what matters is the result. To do so, you need to answer the following questions using the SMART method:
Is your objective Specific? Are you planning to write a short story? A novel? an article? an essay? A research project? An assignment?
Can you Measure progress towards that goal? How many words a day, are you going to write? 5 sentences? a paragraph? 1000 words? 6 pages?
Is the goal realistically Attainable? Do you have enough time to finish what you plan to? Do you have enough resources? Knowledge? Help?
How Relevant is the goal of your life? Are you writing just for the sake of writing or is it what you want to do? Is it related to your passion, goals, or dreams? Is what you're writing related to that goal? Do you want to be a novelist? a blogger? A scriptwriter? A researcher? What you write in this case needs to be relevant to that specific goal.
What is the Time-Frame for achieving this goal? Do you have a deadline to finish a piece of writing from a publisher? A competition? A magazine? Is it a weekly blog post? Is it a noel that needs to be finished in 1 year? How long do you have time to finish writing a piece?
Tip: Treat Your writing as a business
2) Manage your time
Like any new skill or habit, writing for yourself or working from home takes time to cultivate. But trust me, for writing you don’t need hours. Even fifteen minutes a day will do the trick. What's important is to make your writing practice a priority. How to do so?
Create a shift in how you structure your day or your home. Some writers, like Haruki Murakami, get up early before their household wakes or before work/school, to have a quiet hour for writing. Some like Liana Maeby writes in the middle of the night when there are no distractions or Chuck Palahniuk writes wherever he finds himself.
What is important is to curve some time to dedicate to writing. No matter when or where that's what a writer needs to do.
I personally, write depends on my mood. Sometimes, I need to be in a place that I am involved with people for writing or editing. During Covid-19 and lockdowns, I had to fight this urge by creating my corner as I explained in the previous article to feel more comfortable and in the mood. I dedicate at least an hour to write daily if I have a project but if not, I spend at least half an hour developing ideas, researching, or character developments.
Also, it is important to give you a starting and ending point. Most of the writers work