How to become a more prolific writer - Authors A.I.
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Alessandra Torre
January 31, 2021

Hit your writing stride with these productivity tips from author Chris Fox

As a writer, have you ever achieved flow state? It’s also known as being in the zone – that perfect harmonious stage where the words flow like water and scenes pour out of you. Don’t recognize that feeling? Some authors have mastered the steps to achieving flow, while others (like me!) are just now learning the secrets to this high-powered creative state.

In our latest First Draft Friday authors chat, I talked with science fiction and fantasy author Chris Fox about flow state and how to achieve it. Chris knows a thing or two about improving his productivity and flow – he often writes 5,000 words an hour and is shooting to write one million words this year!

So, how do you achieve flow state and, as a result, improve your writing speed? In the video from our chat chat (embedded above), Chris shares five steps he takes.

Step 1: Define the words

Simply put, you should know what you’re going to write (at least a rough idea) before you write it.

Step 2: Build a sanctuary

Your brain can be easily trained to shift into writing mode if it is given clear signals. This is best done by writing at the same location, at the same time of day, every day.

Step 3: Track your words

Just by recording your daily word count, you can improve it. Write down your number of words in a calendar or ledger each day to help trigger your brain’s competitive impulses.

Step 4: Clear the decks

Flow state can’t be achieved if you are being distracted, so set aside your writing time as sacred. Turn off any distractions (including the internet) and set a timer to keep yourself focus and on track.

Step 5: Just keep writing!

Once you start writing, don’t stop for research, bathroom breaks, a phone call, or to look up a side character’s name. Just keep moving forward through the scene until your session is done.

Downloadable handout here: bit.ly/achieving-flow-state

If you found these steps helpful, I urge you to watch the video of our discussion – it’s full of good tips and questions from our viewers.

If you’re interested in more chats on writing, check out our library of learning videos from our First Draft Friday sessions. And don’t forget to subscribe to the First Draft Friday podcast on Apple podcasts.


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