Being a published author in Nigeria can be a daunting task. We are trained to never put all our eggs in one big uncertain basket, so we take a day job and write in our free time. But that can hinder author productivity so here are some insights to help you prevent burning yourself out while you work during the day and burn the midnight oil to write your book.
- Stop Multitasking: Sometimes, we believe that to be more productive, we have to do more. That is simply not true. At the end of the day, you almost always find that you have churned out shabby work due to distractions from your ‘multitasking’. The trick is to focus on one task before jumping on another. Also, make sure to keep Social Media far away from you when you are working.
- Build Self-Discipline: There are stages to writing a book. To be more productive, you must be disciplined enough to focus on one stage at a time. No use worrying about how you will market a book you haven’t even gotten down to completing. Focus on one phase of the process per time. The writing process must be aligned to the overall goal and so should the editing, marketing and other processes.
- Take Breaks: You will always get more done when you take regular breaks. You might be on a deadline and worried about how you will get it all in within the timeframe provided. But as a creative, your brain needs regular breaks in order to be refreshed and more productive. So, from time to time, take a walk, speak to a friend, go on social media, but do not be tempted to take too long a break.
- Sleep! Sleep!! Sleep!!! Like breaks, sleep is a way to refresh. Do not fall for the trap of thinking you will be more productive if you stay up all night. Depriving yourself of sleep is like being under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs. You will end up writing a lot but a lot of gibberish that you will have to delete the next time you sit to work.
- Check your life style choices: No matter how much you lie to yourself, your lifestyle choices always affect your productivity. Are you taking care of yourself physically or emotionally? Problems from your relationship or family could hinder your creativity if not channeled properly (Adele wrote Grammy award winning songs after a terrible heartbreak because she was able to channel the negative emotion properly.) Truth is, you do not have to be happy always to be a good writer, but chances are you will be less creative if you are miserable. So if you do not know how to channel your negative emotion to positive work, you better make the correct lifestyle choices.
Finally…take a vacation. You need it.