Writing isn't a simple job. Whether you are doing it for a living, working on it for a little extra cash or a side job, or just for a hobby, being a productive writer takes a little work, time, and discipline. You can become a writer who is very productive, gets a lot done, and has something to show for the work that he or she does or you can be a writer who just likes that title. There are a lot of people out there that call themselves writers, but don't get much done. Don't let yourself fall into that group. Instead start writing today, start writing more productively, and get something done!

Write What You Know.
Sure you have heard about writers who spend lots of time researching before they write. That is great, but it isn't the most productive way to write. If you stick with what you know then you are much more likely to get a lot of writing done. I say that to a lot of people and have heard many times, "but I don't really know anything to write about" or "I don't know anything to write about that other people will want to read". This simply isn't true. Each of us have learned a lot of things in our life and we can take that knowledge and pass it on to others. Take the roles you play in life, the things you have learned in your various jobs, and even your hobbies to come up with lots of writing ideas. Here are some of the things that I write about often:

  • Parenting- especially of babies and or toddlers. This is because this is a role I play in my life that I have learned a lot about. I have a six week old daughter and a three year old son. While I am not an expert with some fancy degree, I have learned a lot from hands on experience. I can take these experiences and the things I have learned and share them with others.
  • Marriage- I haven't been married a hundred years and I don't have a degree in psychology with experience in marriage counseling, but I do know that marriage takes work and I can share my experiences from my own marriage and my opinions with others (yes your opinions can make good articles as well). Wife is another role I draw from.
  • Coffee- I was a Starbucks barista and learned a lot about coffee, how to make different drinks, and more related to beverages. I love writing about these topics and use previous knowledge from employment that I have held.
  • Crafts- I love doing all sorts of crafts and have learned a lot about various hobbies in this area. I write on this topic a lot.
  • Rats- My favorite pet of all time is the rat and I share that passion and the knowledge behind it with others as well.

You too have a wide range of roles, jobs, favorites, and hobbies that you can use to draw experience from. Articles in these topics will go faster then in topics you need to research. In fact, with a little planning you can whip out a lot of articles in a short period of time!

Set Aside Time.
Good intentions are never going to be enough. You need to set aside time to write. It should be a time that you can be alone and won't get interrupted by the kids, the phone, or other things. This needs to be your writing time.

Make a Plan.
Plan the things you want to write about. Often times doing a little brain storming or an outline before you begin will make it easier for you to pump out a variety of writing and do it quickly. Plan about how much time you want to set aside for each task as well. Give yourself some time to plan and some time to write. This will make things go much more smoothly.

Know Your Weaknesses.
If you are like me you have weaknesses that easily distract you from your writing. The Internet is a huge one, which can be hard since I use Google Docs as my word processor. Make sure that you are careful to avoid the distractions that you are weak in following. Don't check your e-mail, your Google Adsense, or you MySpace while you are working. This will only slow you down and is likely to get you caught up in doing something else when you should be working hard to produce lots of high quality content.

Make Your Work Space.
You need to take time to make your work space comfortable. This may mean organizing it, buying new furniture, or rearranging your office. Whatever you need to do to make your workspace effective for you is important. It isn't going to be enough to just let the mess pile up around you and for you to hope you can get work done there.

Make It a Habit.
Habits take a little time to make. In fact, experts say that it takes at least 30 days to form a habit (good or bad) and often as long as 60 days. This includes your writing. You want to make it into a habit that can be used for a lot of productive writing. If you make writing a part of your life and a habit then you will crave it when you can't find the time to do it and you will be more likely to keep it up forever!

Keep At It.
Even on the days that you feel like quiting it is important that you keep at it. If you want to be a productive writer then you will have to keep working toward more and more productivity. You can do it and do it well.

Give Yourself a Reward.
Hard work should be rewarded. Not only will it make it easier for you to continue working hard, it will also make it more likely for you to meet goals. You should set some goals (ones you know you can reach) and then work hard toward meeting them. When you do meet them, give yourself some sort of reward. Don't make your reward worth more then the work you put into it, but have fun working hard to get where you need to be.

Being a productive writer is good for all of us, whether you are writing for a living, making a little extra cash on the side, or just working our your passion. You should work on writing regularly and enjoy the habit of being a productive writer. You can do it!