Keep your writing app open


There are many techniques and methodologies and goodness knows what else that claim to help you with your productivity. For writers, there is often a battle to get started, but the keeping going, that’s also tough, what with all those pesky distractions. This year, I’m trying a new approach to writing fiction and it goes against everything I’ve ever done. But it works.

In sight, in mind

Via the passage of marriage to my wife, which is how it usually happens, I am son-in-law to widely published children’s author and all-round maker of fine evening meals, Kathryn White. I spoke to her on a recent episode of the Write for Your Life podcast about her writing process. It’s from this conversation that I came to an obvious conclusion.

If my writing is in front of me, if it’s always nearby, both in sight and in mind, I will probably write more.

Kathryn keeps her laptop open in the living room at all times. She will do the bulk of her writing in the study, but when she’s finished, she takes the laptop with her and sets it up in the communal area. She goes back to it on a regular basis and does a little writing here, a little writing there. I’ve seen the system in action. It’s effective.

Always open, always there

That’s not the tip I want to pass on or the approach I’m taking this year, but it’s based on a similar notion. I’m not taking my laptop with me everywhere I go, but to make sure I always have my work close at hand, I’m never shutting it down. My writing app of choice is Scrivener. Scrivener stays open. Always.

In fact, not only is it always open, whenever I leave my desk to get a nice cup of cocoa or change a nappy, I make sure that my writing is the first thing I see on my return. I figure, if Twitter is the first thing I see, I will likely tweet. If my writing I the first thing I see, I will likely write. So far, that theory is proving to be true. It makes perfect sense.

Share your thoughts

So there you have it. A super simple productivity tip for writers. Feel free to tell me yours in the comments.