Self-Publishing is incredibly tough in so many ways. After all, how could juggling creative writing along with marketing and running a small business ever be easy? Not to mention finding time and energy alongside everything else going on in life.
Even though self-publishing is always going to be challenging, a lot of writers make it even harder than it needs to be. Have you ever noticed someone doing things in a way which hurts rather than helps them? Have you found yourself working in a less than optimum way out of ignorance or the habit of familiarity?
Given that the self-publishing environment will always be challenging and competitive, it’s essential we do everything in our power to make our lives as easy as possible. Consider the following three ideas for making a tough occupation a little less painful.
Perfect Your Writing Routine
There is no single ‘best way to write’. Creativity is complex and personal. What works well for one writer won’t automatically work well for another. Finding a writing routine which works well for you, and you alone, is something which requires patience, dedication, and time.
It’s tempting to fall into a default writing routine, or to lack a routine altogether. Assuming the way you work now is the best way, and should be maintained, is a mistake. Experimenting with the way you write can help you to be more productive and to feel more motivated to write.
Some of the things you may wish to consider switching up include –
- Your writing environment. Do you feel focused and energized in your writing location, or is there somewhere you could work better? Consider switching from public to private, or vice versa. You might be surprised at the impact a different environment can have.
- The time of day you write. The most convenient time for you might not be the optimum time. If you usually write in the morning, consider writing at night, and vice versa.
- Your writing aims. If you usually set a word count, consider instead setting a period of time. Having a different end goal may improve the process itself for you.
If you need some inspiration, check out the writing environments of these famous authors.
Reevaluate Your Tools and Processes
Humans are creatures of habit, and we often stick with what we know, rather than seeking something better outside of our comfort zone.
Think back through your own creative life. Have you ever been resistant to making a change, only to end up making it, and wishing you’d let go of your stubbornness sooner?
Some of the areas where writers fall into habit and routine include –
- The software they use
- Their writing research process
- The way they edit (or refuse to!)
- The people they collaborate with
If you’ve always used the same writing software, why not consider what else is out there? One simple switch is to go from working on your device to working on the cloud via a service like Google Docs. It’s free and automatically keeps your work safe and secure no matter what happens to your computer. Another upgrade is to switch from a generalized writing tool, like Word, to a specialist tool, like Scrivener. The higher level of functionality justifies the price tag, and you can even save money by using a Scrivener coupon. Even if you decide your current writing software is just fine, at least you’ll know what else is out there.
If you’ve always researched your work in the same way, consider studying what other writers are doing instead. Is there a research source they are using you are missing out on? Is there a tip or trick they have for integrating research and writing that would make your own work better-informed? It’s important to keep an open mind and adopt the mentality of always having something to learn.
Editing is absolutely crucial. It also requires humility and a willingness to make changes. If you are resistant to editing, you may well be shooting yourself in the foot. Although it can be intimidating to open your words to the slings and arrows of an editor, it can really help your writing reach the next level. Even the best writers have blind spots that editors can help with.
No writer is an island, right? We all need connection and companionship. Consider expanding your circle of creative peers. By staying in touch with other writers, you experience not only support and fellowship, but also no ideas and ways of working you may not have discovered on your own. Our fellow writers are often the most precious resource around. Don’t neglect them!
Maximize Your Motivation
Often, the difficulty with writing and self-publishing is nothing to do with the external tools and processes we use, but is instead down to our inner feelings and thoughts.
Producing quality creative work is no easy endeavor, and to do so requires you to have sufficient internal drive and motivation.
Refreshing your motivation and enthusiasm for the work you do is often the most powerful way to help your writing. Some of the ways to do this include –
- Thinking back to what made you start writing in the first place. We can all become tired and jaded along the way. Try to recapture that early enthusiasm, and you are sure to reap the benefits.
- Setting realistic goals. Doing this can help you to have something concrete to work towards, while also ensuring that you see progress along the way and feel motivated as a result.
- Applying external pressure. If you don’t feel any drive to write, it can help to let others know what your aims and objectives are. If you feel there are more people invested in your work than just yourself, it can be hugely motivational.
What’s Your Top Tip For An Easier Writing Life?
Hopefully you’ve found something in this article to make your writing life a little easier and better than it currently is.
What did we miss? What are the key changes you’ve found that have helped the way you write?
By sharing with each other, and helping each other grow, we can make all of our lives that little bit easier.