My clients are what I call “semi-pro writers.” Writing isn’t their day job. Instead, they need to squeeze it into a calendar that’s already stuffed full of obligations. They need to make every writing moment count.
You probably know all about eliminating distractions and setting a regular time and place to write. Those help. Here are two simple writing momentum hacks to help all that extra effort pay off.
Come out punching!
When it’s time to write, write. Don’t wander around your writing space, hoping inspiration will fly in through the air conditioning vent and land on you.
You want to get in the writing flow fast, so start writing right away. Take Louis L’Amour’s advice.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Decide on what you’re going to write before your session. The best time to decide what’s next is when you’re wrapping up a writing session. Before you quit, decide exactly how you will start writing the next time.
The TK Momentum Maintainer
OK, you’re in the flow. It feels great. The words are coming and falling into neat sentences arranged in powerful paragraphs. You’re making real progress on that business book. Then, you hit a rough spot.
Maybe you want to reference a study to support your arguments. You remember it, but you don’t know exactly how to cite it. Or, perhaps you’re unsure of the date that deal was closed. You’ve got two choices.
You can stop writing to hunt down that citation or that date. But if you do that, the flow will stop. You may not be able to regain it when you return to writing. Don’t despair, though. TK to the rescue.
TK is publishing and journalism slang for “to come.” Drop it into your manuscript to indicate that there will be more detailed material to come. It helps if you add a notation about what that material might be.
You’re probably thinking,” OK, but why TK and not TC?” The reason is that hardly any English words have the letter combination TK. That makes it easy to search your manuscript for the places you need to insert something.
There you go. Simple hacks that can make your writing clip along at the best possible rate. Decide in advance what you’re going to write in a session, and when it’s time, just start writing. The inspiration is more likely to flow when you’re writing.
If you hit a patch where you need to think more about something or add more information, insert TK. Then, when you’re done writing, you can search the manuscript for TK, find the places where you need more, and do the work to fill the gaps.