I’d like to share a tool with you that has helped me end procrastination forever. It is a writing log where you take notes about each writing session, and in this way, you can discover which time of day and circumstances are best for your productivity as a writer.
You may already have an idea (or think you have one like I did) of your best time to write, but I recommend you try this tool anyway. The results might just surprise you.
Before I started keeping a record of my writing sessions, I was convinced that I was most productive between 11 am and 12 pm. I also believed my pace slowed down after two hours of straight writing. Well, I’ve discovered that’s not so! Thanks to the writing log, I realized that I’m just as productive in the morning as I am in the evening. Not only that, but my pace seems to improve after two hours of non-stop writing! If you want to keep track of your writing, you’ll find a useful template in pdf format later in this guide. However, let me first offer you some advice on how to make the most of this exercise.
1. Keep a complete record.
Even if you write more than once a day, you can record each session and jot down the differences between them in order to discover when your words flow better.
2. Focus on details.
Make note of information such as your mood before you start writing, the place where you’re doing this creative activity, or the context surrounding it. For example, you can indicate if you were drinking coffee while writing.
When you have kept a record of a few sessions, you’ll possibly find repeating patterns that directly affect the quantity or quality of what you write.
3. Test yourself.
Even if you already have established a writing routine, it might be interesting to record your writing in different contexts – at least during the first few weeks. Make a note of the different times of the day, longer sessions, shorter sessions, new places, etc. This should give you more information about your writing and help you draw better conclusions.
4. Don’t draw hasty conclusions.
Wait until you have kept track of a few sessions to start drawing conclusions about your best time to write. In addition, it’s best to record the writing details of different projects as not all of them are the same. The conditions you need to be productive may well change depending on the story you’re working on.
In a nutshell, this system resembles a scientific study in which we ourselves are the test subjects. As good scientists, we must be rigorous and patient in order to draw valid conclusions, but I promise the experiment is worth trying. Your conclusions will probably affect your writing positively!