The response to my previous article on realising one's potential as a writer was quite positive. I now offer 5 more tips for writers still learning how to discipline themselves and maximise their creative output. 

1. Defend your workspace

If you are living with other people, you will need to set boundaries.  Explain that you work regular hours and need to be left alone to work undistracted. Keep a phone handy so that those close to you can call in the case of emergency; otherwise, they are not to call you. If you have children, it may be necessary to hire a babysitter. Leave your pets outside, unless you actually find them a benefit in your work.

2. Dislodge writer's block

You may at times find that, even if you focus solely on your work for an hour or more, you fail to produce anything. At times like these, allow yourself to leave your desk and do something else; this is done not instead of work, but to facilitate work. You may go to a cafe and observe the interactions there, go for a walk, read an article, or listen to music. The only condition is that you should do something that will stimulate you to write, which makes it distinct from recreation. Save your hobbies for the end of the day, unless they are complementary to your work.

3. Be inspired by the success of others

The natural response to the success of others is envy: you may wish that you were a best-selling novelist or a regular columnist for a prestigious publication. You should fight the urge to resent the success of such people and look at it positively: there are people out there, perhaps less capable than you, who have achieved these goals, largely through perseverance. Let this be your motivation and let their stories guide you to success: if they can endure knockbacks and continue pursuing their goals, so can you. Whether or not you make a best-sellers list, you will be better off for having tried - not just once but multiple times - to make your mark on the world of publication.  

4. Keep momentum

In the previous article I recommended keeping a 9 to 5 schedule. I believe there is an exception to this rule: if you want to continue writing to finish the day's work, do so. Maintaining this momentum will save you time in the long run; it will take longer to regather your thoughts and find the motivation to finish writing later. It still holds true that you should not force yourself to work past your designated hours (unless deadlines require it), as this will tire you out in the long run. Simply allow yourself to do so in accordance with flow.

5. Do not edit while writing 

Some writers may know the temptation to edit your draft while still writing. This is an urge to be resisted. Editing your work - rearranging paragraphs and sentences, rewording sentences and so on - while writing will inevitably cost you momentum. Write until you have finished your first draft, then start editing. If something requires particular attention, make a note of it (or a comment on Word) for later.