- What is Writing Stamina?
- 9 Strategies to Improve Your Writing Stamina
- Approaching Your Own Writing Improvement
10 minutes every day.
This simple starter strategy for building writing discipline also helps with writer’s block, low motivation, and works as a great warm-up. Tiny writing sessions, like this help us writers get into a groove that makes it harder to stop writing and turn off the rush of writing ideas.
But as writing sessions grow longer, it also gets harder to maintain consistent levels of concentration, creativity, ideas, and overall productivity.
And that is what writing stamina is about.
What is Writing Stamina?
Writing stamina describes a writer’s ability to maintain or improve energy, creativity, focus, ideas, and project productivity during long writing sessions.
Writing stamina can be primarily measured by the duration of quality. The point is to be able to keep consistent work productivity during writing sessions, with much emphasis on the consistent work productivity part.
9 Strategies to Improve Your Writing Stamina
1. Build Your Session Time Little by Little
Similar to building writing discipline, improving writing stamina can be approached through smaller session times.
The writing for 10 minutes a day strategy considered for writing discipline, can also improve writing stamina. Start with tiny writing sessions of around 10 minutes, and gradually increase your session time the more your writing quality improves.
This short-term strategy is more than fitting if you’re just getting started with writing and struggle to keep good momentum during long sessions.
10 minutes is definitely not an ideal book-finishing session time, so set session goals to track your progress.
2. Set Scalable Wordcount Goals
Ensure growth by setting scalable word count goals.
Like growing from small writing session times, grow your writing stamina with small word count objectives. You could start with 500 words a session, then move on to 800 words, then 1000 words, and so on.
Try each level for at least 2 weeks or so to master organizing your ideas within limits.
And before you move from any word count level, concentrate on the quality of your quantity. Your work should show that you were locked in for an entire session, working on every paragraph with progressing levels of focus and effort.
Bonus Strategy**Use methods 1 and 2 together for one supercharged strategy. Within session times set a word count goal to accomplish more through two measurable objectives. Level 1 could be a 30-minute writing session with a goal of 700 words. And Level 3, an hour-and-a-half writing session with a word count goal of 2,500 words.
3. Take Breaks
Breaks give our minds and bodies time to reset, reload, and relax.
With long writing sessions, breaks can help your creativity recharge and flow productively: Allowing you to stay in your creative zone longer. Effectively alternating work and break times can make a long writing session go by faster.
Incorporate short breaks of 5-15 minutes into your writing routines to increase your writing stamina and re-calibrate your focus.
4. Challenge Yourself with Writing Sprints
Writing sprints is like individual writing athletic events. Writers set a timer for 1 hour (for example) and write as much as they can before the timer runs out.
This exercise forces writers to pour out everything they’ve got: putting their techniques and creativity into overdrive, increasing quantity while cramming quality.
More rigorous than typical writing sessions, sprints leave very little time for planning, brainstorming, research, or anything else but writing.
Usually, the goal for writing sprints is to meet or pass a word count deadline to finish a book or project. But writing stamina can be achieved as well. Time-pressured writing in this way can extract the best of your skills and prolong your focus.
5. Adjust When & Where You Write
Have you noticed discrepancies in your work when you write in a warmer room versus a cool one? When you write while listening to fast music or slow music? Or when you write in the morning, afternoon, or at night?
When and where you write are two factors that can make a noticeable difference in how long you’re able to focus and write. These two factors and similar accommodations like what you wear, room temperature, or exercise act as enhancers or dampers for your skills.
Every writer has unique routines and criteria for their writing sessions based on the things that help them produce their best work. Writing outside on bright mornings with everyday background noise may be the key to one writer’s genius. While, being locked in a quiet, cramped writer’s room at night, another’s key to excellence.
For you, pay attention to when and where you write your best. Along with all the little things that affect your flow, making it easier for you to concentrate.
6. Remove Ineffective Distractions
Of all the strategies listed, this one may be the easiest to accomplish. Smaller distractions like putting your phone away or turning down the radio can be done in less than 3 minutes. Greater distractions like moving away from noise or eliminating strong smells can take around 10 – 15 minutes.
There is such a thing as effective distractions. Which are distractions that improve your work productivity and inspire more creativity. On the other hand, ineffective distractions pull you further from your project goals and stifle your creativity.
To increase your writing stamina reduce ineffective distractions and lengthen your focus.
7. Re-Charge with Snacks
To some surprise, snacks are great to keep around during writing sessions. They give you energy and fuel to stay motivated. But there’s a catch – not all snacks apply. Snacks that are easy to eat, and easy to clean are perfect for increasing your stamina compared to snacks that occupy both hands, dirty fingertips, and easily spill.
Snack aiming to refuel and motivate yourself to focus longer. And do beware of snacks that keep you from actually writing.
8. Use a Timer to Keep Yourself Accountable
Sometimes poor writing stamina can be boiled down to accountability and commitment. These two things will keep you in your chair and willing to keep writing, pushing past mental exhaustion, lack of ideas, plot holes, or Iots of editing.
However, great commitment and accountability do not come easy for every writer.
Use a timer or clock to give yourself clear start, stop, and break times to create a writing routine that builds your writing stamina.
You can also use a timer to track your progress and set new stamina goals.
9. Clean Up Your Workspace
Some people thrive in a messy environment. But if that’s not you, clean up your workspace. Mess is distracting and takes up space that can be used for new work and fresh brainstorming.
Keep your regular writing tools organized and ready to use and allow yourself the space to focus during extensive sessions.
Approaching Your Own Writing Improvement
Writing stamina is only a small part of writing productivity and won’t skyrocket overnight. Re-read your work and look for discrepancies that tell you
- After how long your focus dwindles
- After how long your writing quality fades
- Accommodations that boost your creativity and efficiency
- What your biggest distractions are
- The time of day you write best
- Where in your writing room you write best
Whether you pick one or all of these strategies, the key to improving your writing stamina is being aware of your writing catalysts: All the things that actively affect your writing productivity.
And then work towards your progress.
Don’t just be a good writer, be a great one!
Until my next words (on here that is),