The Best 7 Health Tips for Writers to Help You Write More

This quick list of health tips for writers is the result of an instrumental change I made, which has made a huge difference in my life and career.

Health Tips for Writers

I reached a point in my writing life where I realized being good at writing wasn’t going to be enough to have a substantial career if I wasn’t healthy enough to sit at the computer to, you know, write all day.

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Health tips for writers

If you’re anything like me you spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer.

And, if you’re anything like me, living this sedentary writer lifestyle can lead to some unwanted health issues like weight gain, headaches, eye pain, joint/back pain and more.

For a long time I thought I had a pretty active lifestyle—until I got a Fitbit and learned the harsh truth. I learned I didn’t move much at all and after a few months of denial (the activity tracker must not be tracking all my movement) I decided to do something about it.

Because…well, the writing was on the wall. I had gained weight, I was tired all the time, my back and neck had chronic pain and I was overall miserable.

I had a feeling I was on the fast track for something much worse health-wise.

So I decided to make some changes. This was about a year ago and I’ve seen nothing but positive results after implementing a healthier routine.

And yes, by getting up at 4:30 a.m. for 21 days did in fact inspire this. I learned if I can do that, I can do anything.

Tips for beating writers block. Free download

Fighting writer’s block? Here are five super tips to break free.

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Once you’re there, navigate to the “writing” section and look for “Tips for Beating Writer’s Block.”

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Here are my top tips

Take a screen break every 60 minutes

The Fitbit makes it easy because it buzzes every hour and reminds me to get moving.

And, I’ve learned, if I get up and move every hour—walk around, have a stretch, whatever—I am pretty productive.

It makes it easy for me to push hard on my work because I know I get to take a quick break soon. It has been a great habit to pick up! Plus I hear not looking at a screen all day is good for you or something.

Get outside

Halfway through my workday I take a walk. I used to think this was such a waste of work time but I’ve learned the exercise combined with the fresh air (and lack of screen time) acts as a reset.

It renews my energy and I return to my desk full of ideas. My walks last for about 15 minutes and I find it’s an excellent length.

P-O-S-T-U-R-E

Yes, sitting with proper posture has been something I’ve worked on as is making a big difference to my back and neck. As in, I don’t have such issues with pain.

Which allows me to focus and concentrate on my work. Of course I have moments where I slip back into slouching and hunching but as soon as I realize it I adjust. And it’s working.

Snacks should be vegetables

Ugh I know! But if you’re wondering where that sneaky 10 pounds came from take a good look at your snack cupboard. I’m making a deliberate effort to have more vegetables in my life and it’s making a difference.

Hydrate. All day, e’ry day

I’ve loved coffee for a long time but as I changed up my nutrition habits I realized my relationship with coffee had to change.

Our relationship had to change. Like, we could see each other but water became the primary liquid in my life.

Staying hydrated helps me stay focused and clear-headed. And I don’t seem to have many headaches anymore.

Have a strong morning routine

I think this is the most important of my health tips for writers because this is where everything started for me.

I get out of bed and tackle the things most important to me first, before I do anything else. This helps me set up my day for success. I’m so glad I found something that works.

It helps me arrive at work with a clear head, ready to dive into the day.

Exercise first thing in the morning

Speaking of morning routines, allow me to suggest adding exercise to it. Working out first thing isn’t easy but it makes a remarkable difference to the rest of your day.

I used to try and hit the gym after work but there were so many times where other plans or meetings came up or I found convenient excuses to skip out.

Adding exercise into my morning routine means it’s something I do—not something I think about doing or debate about doing.

So those are my health tips for writers. Walk around, drink lots of water, get outside, build an awesome morning routine. You know, do healthy things!

Author Joanna Penn published a book on this topic as well, so if you’re looking for a deep dive on building a healthy writing lifestyle check out The Healthy Writer: Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Health, And Build A Writing Career For The Long Term.

This quick list of health tips for writers is the result of an instrumental change I made, which has made a huge difference in my life and career. 

I reached a point in my writing life where I realized being good at writing wasn't going to be enough to have a substantial career if I wasn't healthy enough to sit at the computer to, you know, write all day.

One more thing. I think you’ll like my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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health tips for writers

This quick list of health tips for writers is the result of an instrumental change I made, which has made a huge difference in my life and career. 

I reached a point in my writing life where I realized being good at writing wasn't going to be enough to have a substantial career if I wasn't healthy enough to sit at the computer to, you know, write all day.
If you're anything like me you spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer. Here are some health tips for writers I hope you will find helpful.

Writing Contests | 8 Reasons Why You Should Enter

Entering writing contests is good practice for writers. And the cash prizes and publication are nice too.

Writing Contests

Contests and why you should consider entering

While you may not feel like you have time to be dallying around entering writing contests there are some good reasons to do so, aside from money and publication.

Although enter writing contests for money and publication are, like, great reasons.

  • First, if it’s the right contest, it can give you exposure to your future agent, editor or publisher
  • Second, writing to deadline and according to a set of guidelines keeps you sharp
  • Third, if you win you can say “award-winning writer” on stuff. I mean, isn’t that worth the entry fee alone?
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Of course there are scams out there so you do need to vet each contest and check things like the rules and who’s judging.

You also want to make sure the entry fee is reasonable and you’re not signing away all your rights by entering the contest.

But once you feel like it’s on the up-and-up then enter with abandon!

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet free download

Want to enter writing contests but stuck on ideas? I have an exercise for that!

Pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my resource library where you can download the free fillable worksheet and watch the companion training video.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”

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Where to find writing contests for money and more

Here are a few of my favourite stops when looking for new writing contests to enter.

Poets & Writers

Poets & Writers has a searchable database of writing contests, which includes any creative writing contests they’ve published in their magazine during the past year. These contests are vetted before being entered into the database so it’s a trustworthy resource.

The Writer

The Writer is a wealth of resources for writers and keeps an up-to-date contest listing on their website. You can even join their mailing lists where they’ll send the contest details to you so you don’t miss a thing.

Submishmash Weekly

Submittable has a great weekly roundup of publishing and journalism news (called Submishmash Weekly) and, of course, up-to-date contest listings. I find a lot of great opportunities here.

Writer’s Digest contests

Writer’s Digest has an updated contest listing for any Writer’s Digest Contest. They’re listed from soonest submission deadline to latest and cover a wide range of writing contests

Canadian writing contests

If you’re looking for Canadian writing contests Heather McLeod has a nice roundup of listings organized by date. These are recurring contests so check the links for updated details

CBC Books

Speaking of Canadian writing contests, CBC Books also put together a guide to writing prizes for Canadians. Organized into fiction, non-fiction and poetry, there are tons of recurring contests listed and this is a post worth bookmarking.

Writers Write

Writers Write has a small list of upcoming contests for fiction and poetry writers. Listings go till the end of the year so it’s worth checking out.

Reedsy writing contests

Reedsy has a robust contest search, which is updated each week. Search by genre, location and sort by entry fee or prize money.

Writing Contests | 8 Reasons Why You Should Enter

I hope you can find awesome writing contests to enter this year! But if checking out websites is still too much to ask I have one more place you can go to find great contests—I’ve created a Writing Jobs and Contests Twitter List.

All you have to do is follow the list and check it every now and then.

I mean, you’re on Twitter, right?

While you may not feel like you have time to be dallying around entering writing contests there are some good reasons to do so, like money and publication.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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While you may not feel like you have time to be dallying around entering writing contests there are some good reasons to do so, like money and publication.
While you may not feel like you have time to be dallying around entering writing contests there are some good reasons to do so, aside from money and publication. First, if it's the right contest, it can give you exposure to your future agent, editor or publisher. Second, writing to deadline and according to a set of guidelines keeps you sharp. Third, if you win you can say "award-winning writer" on stuff. I mean, isn't that worth the entry fee alone?

Copywriter: Writer, Marketer and Persuader All in One

If you’re new to writing you may not have considered copywriter as a way to break into the industry.

Become a freelance copywriter

Copywriting is as challenging as it is interesting and most writers overlook it in favour of more traditional publishing roads.

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But wait, what’s a copywriter?

If you think about copywriting as writing for business then you’ll have it just about right. A copywriter is the person who comes up with slogans, billboards, traditional media ads and just about any other kind of sales copy (words) you can think of.

And what about all the words that go on websites? And those business blogs everyone has these days? Yup, a copywriter is behind it.

Because uncredited copy is everywhere, it’s easy to miss it as writing.

For people just getting started in writing, they may not even consider this type of writing as an option because it seems so mysterious.

Sure, it’s not as recognizable as, say, a published author credit or a byline in a newspaper or magazine but it certainly pays the bills.

Copywriting worksheets

Freelancer Positioning Worksheet

By the way, if you’re looking to up-level your freelance game, I’ve created copywriting worksheets to help you work through some important questions.

Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my free resource library.

When you’re there, navigate to the freelancing category and download the “Freelancer Positioning Worksheet.”

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The difference between copywriting and other types of writing

When most people think about writing they think of fiction and non-fiction.

But of course there is so much more below the surface. Fiction breaks down into endless genres while non-fiction branches into journalism, prescriptive, self-help, biography, memoir and more.

Copywriting falls into the non-fiction camp and champions the art of persuasion.

AKA rhetoric. In general, a copywriter’s job is to persuade someone to take an action be it purchasing a product, signing up for an email list or clicking on a link.

You’ll find copywriters within marketing departments or working for advertising agencies or public relations firms.

And most freelance writers you meet are copywriters who are tired to explaining to people what copywriters do so they default to the generic “writer.”

Copywriter: Freelancer, Marketer, Writer

How copywriting works

If you watched Mad Men then you have some idea of how copywriting fits into the larger world of sales and marketing.

In general, they’ll start with a brief from a client or brand explaining what problem their product or service is trying to solve and who will benefit from it.

They may have meetings with art directors or graphic designers to brainstorm concepts. And they may meet with the company to learn more.

Once there’s a firm concept in place, the copywriter will then create the different deliverables. Let’s say this project is an advertising campaign for a toy company who wants to launch the next big Christmas gift hit.

The copywriter would look at all the different aspects of the campaign (say for example, television ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, social media posts, email blasts, etc.) and create the written components.

Become a freelance copywriter

To get started as a copywriter there isn’t any sort of standardized degree or certification. You just start.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

In order to get work you need to showcase your skills. If you have a portfolio, great. If not, then get writing. Start a blog or devote yourself to some other form of content marketing to get your name out there.

If you don’t have skills, consider working at an agency. There are a couple benefits here, you’ll gain experience and learn how the industry works. There are a lot of agencies and they all need writers.

Browse LinkedIn and look for terms like “media,” “communications,” “marketing,” etc. From there figure out which ones are hiring and start applying.

Sure, copywriting may not be as glamorous as publishing in a literary journal but if you can find the right clients it can afford you a decent living.

It might be tricky to explain to other what you do, but it won’t matter if you fall in love with the art of copy.

Do you want to learn to be a copywriter? I recommend the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy course

Do you want to learn to be a copywriter?

There are a lot of freelance writing courses out there, but finding a good copywriting course is a bit trickier. So imagine how pleased I was when I stumbled upon Comprehensive Copywriting Academy. It’s exactly what the name describes.

I took the course and wrote a review of it for The Write Life.

If you want to learn how to become a copywriter and don’t know where to start, this is the course for you.

Here are just some of my notes from the beginning course to give you an idea of how strong the foundation is:

Copywriting is writing that sells, either literally or by convincing people to do something. It combines the science of marketing with the art of writing and is much more than simply being clever.

In fact, copywriting isn’t being clever at all but most people think it is. Most people don’t understand how to make copy effective and few people are able to write copy well.

Here are a few places you’ll see copywriting:

  • emails
  • banner ads
  • direct mail
  • newspaper and magazine ads
  • videos
  • commercials
  • radio ads
  • websites
  • brochures
  • apps

And now, for what is not copywriting.

  • Novels, short stories and non-fiction aren’t copywriting
  • Magazines and newspaper writing isn’t copywriting
  • Ghostwriting is not copywriting if it’s not selling
  • Blogging is technically not copywriting, it’s content writing

There are two main types of copywriting, direct response and branding. Direct response copywriting aims to get an immediate response from the audience while branding copywriting works to establish the image of a product or company to generate awareness.

Branding copywriting is more about getting an audience to buy into a brand while direct response copywriting wants you to buy now. Right now.

Read my full review of the course

You May Also Like

If you're new to writing you may not have considered copywriter as a way to break into the industry. Copywriting is as challenging as it is interesting and most writers overlook it.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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If you're new to writing you may not have considered copywriter as a way to break into the industry. Copywriting is as challenging as it is interesting and most writers overlook it.

How to Choose a Writers Group

Before you can choose a writers group you have to have some idea of what you’re looking for and what you need. Once you know what you’re looking for from freelance writing groups, here are a few ways to tell if the group is a good writers group.

How to Choose a Writers Group

How to choose a writers group

When I first started considering being a freelance writer I remember thinking…now what?

I didn’t know where to start, who to talk to or how it all worked.

Of course I Googled things but without a mentor to point me in the right direction I felt overwhelmed and paralyzed.

After stumbling around for a while I met a freelance writer in person and she introduced me to a local writers group. I remember thinking…THIS is what I need! And you know what? It was.

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Now that I’ve been around this world for a while I know there’s a lot of people on the Internet who advocate against writers groups.

And their reasons are fair.

  • If you get a bad group it can be a terrible waste of time and energy
  • The risk of a not-good-fit group is feeling unwelcome and competitive
  • And if you’re in a group of people who aren’t there to be helpful, it can be a disheartening and negative experience
Your Writer's Statement Free Fillable Worksheet

By the way, if you can get clear on why you’re writing, everything will become MUCH easier because you’re focused on your why.

I have created a worksheet to help—this is a free download but you’ll need a password to access it in my resource library. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password!

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “Create a Writer’s Statement Worksheet.”

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But what if you get the right group?

Well! Now we’re talking. If you’re in a good writers group you’ll benefit from SO MANY THINGS!

Reasons to join a good writers group

  • You get out of your own head
  • There’s (instant) helpful and constructive feedback
  • You have others who believe in you and your work even when you don’t
  • You meet other writers
  • There’s a chance you’ll hone your craft
  • Motivation
  • Accountability
  • And, if you’re lucky, you may even find a mentor

OK so I’ve convinced you to join a writers group. Great. Now for the next important question: HOW. How do you choose a writers group?

How to choose a (good) writers group

Before you can choose between freelance writing groups, you have to have some idea of what you’re looking for and what you need.

You should know what type of writing you do, how much commitment you can make, what type of writers group you’re looking for (there are many kinds of writers groups: critique groups, mentorship groups, professional groups, genre-defined groups, non-fiction groups, freelance groups…etc.), and how formal you want the group to be.

Once you know those things, here are a few ways to tell if the group is a good writers group.

Questions to ask

  • Does the group have a clear and defined goal?

This doesn’t have to be engraved on a plaque but it does need to exist. If a group doesn’t know why they’re meeting it’s like a book club without a book…what’s the point?

  • Does the group have the same writing interests as you?

You want to make sure your writing interests are aligned. While it’s great to know writers from all sorts of genres, a writers group should have a bit more in common. If you’re a poet, find a poets group. If you’re a freelance writer, find a freelance writers group (here’s an example from my life, proof that good writing groups exist).

  • Do the members in the writers group write more than they talk about writing?

Writers write. Keep that in mind. Yes it’s good and important to socialize with other writers but a writers group should be filled with people who are writing and it should motivate you to do the same.

  • Is the group committed to kind and constructive feedback?

This has to be a safe space. You have to feel comfortable sharing your work with likeminded people and if you encounter writers who are harsh or cruel then this isn’t the kind of group you want to be in.

There’s a difference between ripping someone to shreds and offering helpful critique. New writers are more sensitive and don’t take criticism well, even if it’s well-intended.

Make sure the group remembers what it was like to be new and not used to receiving criticism.

And the most important question.

  • Do the members get along?

If the writers group has behaviour guidelines—even better! If you check out a writers group meeting and there’s bickering or snide remarks or shaming then this isn’t a good sign.

Maybe there’s a bad egg and he or she needs to be removed from the group—ask the leaders what their behaviour policy is and don’t join a group where people don’t get along.

Of course no group is perfect and there are always moments where someone steps out of line or someone’s feelings get hurt. This is a part of being human.

But if overall a writers group aims to meet these points then it is probably a good group.

And I will also mention these groups aren’t always in person—there are virtual writers groups and critique groups that work better for some than in-person meetings do.

Before you can choose a writers group you have to have some idea of what you need. Here are a few ways to tell if it's a good group.

Where to find writers groups

Here are a few ideas for places to look when you’re ready to join a writers group.

Online. You can Google or search for “local writers groups” on Meetup and see what comes up.

I’ve found groups this way and met a lot of interesting people through attending random local events I found online. You can do the same type of search on social media. I’ve joined lots of writers groups on Facebook and have found a couple I’m getting a lot out of

Writing associations. I’m part of a professional writing association (PWAC, now the Canadian Freelance Guild) and they have chapters all over Canada.

I joined my local chapter and find a lot of value from my relationships with the other professional writers in the group

People you know. I mentioned how I met a local writer and she connected me with a writers group. I was so starved for connection and direction I couldn’t wait to go.

Meeting other writers was so important to my development as a writer. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t met such wonderful mentors

Writers conferences. Yes! Going to a writers conference is huge in itself but if you can maintain relationships with a few of the writers you meet there, even better!

Join an existing group or start your own. It’s a great option.

Are you ready to join a writers group?

Sometimes it feels like a lot of effort to connect with other writers and when you’re an introverted writer (as so many of us are) it can be that much tougher.

I attend writers groups to stay connected and socialized as well as offer encouragement and support to the writers who I receive encouragement and support from. If you can find a good writers group I know you’ll understand why I recommend it!

Why not give it a try?

Before you can choose a writers group you have to have some idea of what you need. Here are a few ways to tell if it's a good group.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Before you can choose a writers group you have to have some idea of what you need. Here are a few ways to tell if it's a good group.
Before you can choose a writers group you have to have some idea of what you need. Here are a few ways to tell if it's a good group.

10 Tips to Help You Get in the Zone to Write

Getting in the zone to write can feel like a big challenge. It requires a careful balance of both creativity and productivity.

10 Tips to Help You Get in the Zone to Write

And if you’re trying to write to deadline, this could end up being stressful.

Or, perhaps, impossible.

10 Tips to Help You Get in the Zone to Write

Getting into the zone to write is less about magic and more about finding the right routine to switch your writing brain on. Butt in seat, get to work kind of thing.

As you gain more experience creating the zone rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, you’ll develop a bank of strategies you can rely on.

To help get you started getting in the zone to write, here are some tips.

Figure out the best writing routine

Bad news first: There’s no ideal time of day to write.

Certain people are more productive in the mornings, while others prefer to get their heads down in the evenings.

I’m NOT a morning person but I figured out that’s when I’m the most productive. So guess what? I get up early and I write.

The important thing is to find what works best for you. This is really important as there will always be something other to do than write.

And once you find your ideal routine, stick to it.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Think about what’s inspired you in the past

If you’re struggling to get into the zone, think back to what’s helped in the past.

Recall a time when you managed to be productive and did great work. What was your environment like? What time of day was it? How did you mentally prepare ahead of time?

Here are some tips to get inspired, and you might find something familiar on the list. 

Outline your goals

As with any project, the best way to be productive is to break it down into smaller tasks.

Set time limits for each task and reward yourself when you achieve them. The SMART goals method is useful. It helps to outline attainable goals and set your own deadlines.

Optimize your workstation

It’s hard to be productive if you’re not comfortable. And setting up an ergonomic workstation is also vital to your health. You need desk furniture that’s supportive or you could end up with poor posture or back problems. Adjust your chair and sit with correct posture. Also, make sure you have sufficient lighting and that your monitor and keyboard are at the correct distance.

Once you analyze your workstation you may want to consider ordering new equipment. While it’s fine to work in bed or on the couch from time to time, having an ergonomic setup will serve you and your writing in the long run.

Take care of your eyesight

Staring at a screen all day isn’t good for your eyes. You know this.

If you feel your eyes are strained, consider getting an eye test. There are special glasses you can wear just for looking at screens.

Also make a point to take regular screen breaks and look somewhere else, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Read

If you still can’t find motivation, why not read something by your favourite writers? Not only does reading entertain and help you get out of your head, it may give you the inspiration you need.

At the very least, reading will remind you why you decided to start writing in the first place.

Get ideas from other writers

Networking with other writers can also help you get into the zone for writing. Chatting and working through your writing tips and strategies can help you as much as it does other writers.

This is also a good way to deal with insecurity as a writer too. It’s comforting to know that other people are going through the same struggles from time to time.

Try relaxation techniques

If stress is the problem, consider trying relaxation techniques. These may include meditation, yoga, massage or even going for a walk.

It’s more difficult to get into the zone when you’re feeling anxious, and panicking about work can often be counter-productive.

Find a relaxation activity that works for you. You don’t necessarily need to do this before you start writing, but at some point in the day to let your body wind down.

Take a break

Don’t work yourself too hard and remember taking writing breaks is important. The danger of working for too long on the same piece is that you might lose your objectivity.

Taking regular breaks allows you to clear your mind and return to work with a new perspective. It’s a good idea to try to disconnect completely and do something else. Go for a walk or run errands.

When you’re ready to work again you’ll find it’s easier to get in the zone to write. 

Don’t force it

If nothing seems to work and you can’t get in the zone right now then don’t force it. It’s important to be in the right frame of mind otherwise you might find that you don’t produce your best work.

If you’re working to a deadline then take a big break and come back to it. Everyone needs a different optimum level of pressure to work efficiently. You might find inspiration comes later and there’s no point wasting time if you’re not getting much done.

Getting in the zone to write can be challenging, but all writers eventually find their own way. When you find yours, great things will happen. It’ll only inspire you more. It’s important to find the environment and routine that makes you comfortable. Share your experiences with other writers and help each other find motivation.

Getting in the zone to write can feel like a big challenge. It requires a careful balance of both creativity and productivity. 

And if you're trying to write to deadline, this could end up being stressful. 

Or, perhaps, impossible.

Here are 10 tips for getting into the zone to write.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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