7 Habits of Highly Prolific Writers by Henri Junttila
Are you eager to write?
People call me prolific.
Yet I don’t spend all day writing.
You don’t have to go “full-time” to be a prolific writer. And in this article you’ll see why.
It comes down to being efficient.
Knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
I’ll share my habits, and the habits of other prolific writers I know.
Let’s dive right in.
Even if you work full-time, you can make time for your writing.
I write in the mornings right now. That’s my creative time. What’s yours?
When you write, start with an outline.
Map out what you’re going to write and what message you want to convey.
This is more true for non-fiction writers than fiction writers. When I wrote this article, I mapped out the 7 habits first, and then I filled in the blanks.
It makes my life much easier.
And it allows me to write the first draft for this article in 10 minutes or less.
3. First Draft
Once your outline is in place, it’s time to write a horrible first draft.
New writers make the mistake of trying to edit while they write. It doesn’t work, so don’t even try.
When you write your first draft, it should be at lightning speed. You should get everything out of your head and onto paper. Let it flow uncensored.
Don’t worry about editing or rewriting. That comes later.
After I’ve written my first draft, I rewrite.
But I don’t rewrite right away. I let my article rest for 24 hours first.
I sleep on it.
And with each 24 hour cycle, my article gets better. I come back to it several times with a pair of fresh eyes.
Sometimes I’ll rewrite an article three times over 3-4 days, and each time it improves.
5. Demon Bashing
This is a biggie.
When you write, you will run into your inner demons.
You’ll run into that negative voice. It’ll tell you how:
- You’re not good enough
- You have nothing to say
- You might as well give up
Whenever it pops up, say hi and keep writing. Writing isn’t effortless for prolific writers. But they keep going anyway.
They sit down and write. Even if nothing comes out, they get things done, because they have a structure in place.
When you first start out, you won’t be very confident when you write.
And that’s fine. It is as it should be.
When you write a lot, you get better, and you gain confidence.
I’ve written millions of words and thousands of articles. I started out horrible, but I’m getting better with each passing day.
There is no quick fix to finding your writing voice, or eliminating fear. It all comes down to sitting down and writing.
Prolific writers read – a lot.
They gather inspiration from books. They observe the structure other writers use, and they steal what resonates with them.
For example, I help change makers build a thriving online business, so when I’m reading sales copy and it moves me to buy, I backtrack.
I go inside and look at what it was that moved me. Then I think about how I can use that in my writing and business.
The Wrap Up
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article, it’s this: sit down and write.
Being a prolific writer is all about refusing to listen to your own excuses. It’s about eliminating any obstacles that prevent you from writing.
Writing never seems to be easy.
There’s always some way you could procrastinate, but if you want to get your message out there, you have to just sit down and write.
The world needs what you have to share.
About the author:
Henri Junttila is a freelance writer and the founder of Wake Up Cloud, where he helps people turn their passion into a thriving online business. If you’re interested in learning more, grab his free special report.
(Sherry Lowry is a long-time admirer, customer and subscriber of Zen Habits & Write To Done.)