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Author: admin, 05.03.2014. Category: The Power Of Thinking

There may be certain times of day during which you consistently have more energy than others. Get some type of day planner or an app that allows hourly entries or use something like Google calendar to note throughout the day how you are feeling. Unfortunately, other commitments such as work or child care may keep you from choosing the optimal hours for writing.
Using the same tools you do for examining what times of day are your best, notice the reasons you are procrastinating as well. There are many ways you can experiment with different approaches to your writing, and one of those ways might lead to an increase in your productivity. Try scribbling down passages in five-minute intervals when you have a break during other activities.
You may be convinced that the only way you can work is the way that you’ve always done things, but this might not be the case. Many writers find that writing a fast draft, also known sometimes as a “zero draft,” can result in finishing a manuscript they had been dawdling over. Now that you have your story in place, subsequent drafts of your book should go much more quickly as well.
Many people who work alone on tasks that require a great deal of focus find that building in breaks is the key to significantly increasing their productivity. One of the biggest killers to productivity is mental distraction. The trouble is, the things that pop into your mind when you are trying to focus may actually be important things that you need to do. As you cut out unnecessary distractions, you’ll also find that there are things you can’t cut out. A study published in 2006  found that several approaches helped increase the productivity of writers who identified themselves as working at a slower pace than they liked. These methods include getting a better understanding of when and how you work best and trying out new things such as fast drafting and writing in bursts with short breaks. This course will help you stay motivated to write so you can start and finish writing your novel. An online novel writing course that's tailor-made to get you to actually write that book you've been thinking about. Get motivated to start and finish your novelGet our FREE email course on boosting your motivation and becoming a more productive writer. Loosen your grasp on worry, which, according to the film Thanks for Sharing, is nothing but “a mediation on shit.” You can do better. A couple weeks ago I watched daily video interviews with coaches, speakers, therapists, and social media gurus on a free online summit called “Write Because it Matters,” hosted by Dawn Montefusco. I’ve been a writing teacher and coach for over a decade so I understand the importance of giving the unconscious mind free reign while composing. Many of my clients are successful professionals—attorneys, therapists, and entrepreneurs—with demanding workloads. This process requires a clear intention and conscious effort, especially in a world bombarded with newsletters, emails, ads, texts, social media, conferences, classes, and more. In writing and in life, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.  The key is to take what you like—what resonates, what feels true, and what uplifts you—and leave the rest.
I attended my first AWP conference and book fair this year, where I feasted on literary and writing business delicacies, along with over 12,000 other attendees. There were many other inspiring and instructive panels, but the very first one I attended—“Book Launch Confidential: Marketing Made Smarter, Not Harder”—covered important topics I’d like to share here.
This process begins with what the Launch Lab refers to as the “Logic Model.” They encourage writers with books coming out to create a marketing plan unique to themselves and their goals, both personally and professionally.
After you’ve clarified why you write, the Launch Lab team asks you to define success for yourself and your writing career. After you’ve explored your mission and defined success, you’re ready to begin your book launch campaign. In a world where many of us function at a frantic pace, it makes sense to slow down and proceed with self-awareness and intention. Spring is in the air and I’m a clutter-busting goddess, brilliant at cleaning out my closet and dresser drawers. I am much more reticent, however, when it comes to throwing away paper, especially old calendars, diaries, journals, letters, cards, memorabilia, photographs, and newspaper clippings.
There have been many difficult weeks when I couldn’t work on my memoir, when I’d scribble in my journal instead, only to discover months later that what I’d written in my journal belonged in my memoir, though I couldn’t see it at the time.
If you’re reading this and thinking it’s a shame you haven’t been keeping your calendars and journals, fret not. And if you have been doing this for decades, like me, or whether you’re interested in getting started, tell me about it.
Huge numbers of people show at jobs every day that they’re less than thrilled to be working.
So we’re doing what we love, which is a big first step toward living your dreams, and yet the writing life is rough. Note: This post was inspired by a presentation given by Maya Higgins, Scripps College 2016 Lois Langland Alumna-in-Residence, on February 7, 2016, in Pasadena, California. Most writing students want a safe and supportive environment that offers both structure and freedom. Last week as my students shared their visions and intentions, I suggested they solidify and celebrate their intentions by performing a symbolic ritual. Here’s how it works: Write your intention and vision down on a piece of parchment paper (symbolic of ancient contracts). Once you’ve written your contract, sign it, prick your fingertip with a sterilized needle (this part made me procrastinate for a month), and place a drop of blood onto the paper. I’d love to hear from other writing teachers inspired to share unorthodox or surprising teaching moments, or lessons they’ve learned through teaching.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know the past three years have been personally challenging. When I was a child my family used to visit Mitzi and Sherwood, an elderly couple who lived at the beach on New York’s Fire Island.
I’d love to hear from those of you who have soldiered on in the face of personal challenges, and what you’ve learned along the way. I have a great opportunity in the works this summer! I have just signed a contract to publish a book on GARDEN MOSAICS for Timber Press Publishing Co. You might be a day person or a night person, and many people experience an afternoon slump. This doesn’t need to be elaborate; just a word or two or even a number scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 to note how you feel is sufficient. The idea here is not to do a complex exploration of your feelings around writing but to note what factors are keeping you from writing. Of all the writing productivity hacks listed here, this is the one that few writers can do without.
Watching television, surfing the internet and other time wasters may be cutting into what could be productive writing time.
Rather than knowing they have a block of several hours in the afternoon, they might actually be more productive taking just one or two of those hours. One solution to this is keeping a notebook beside you when you work and jotting down any important points that occur to you whether they are related to your book or something unrelated.
There are mindless chores like housework, driving and many forms of exercise that don’t allow you to do any actual writing but do let you plan your novel. At times, you may need to experiment to find out what works best for you, and that could lead to a little bit of lost time as you try and discard methods that turn out to be sub-optimal. You may also find that working with other writers to boost your writing motivation compels you to finish writing a novel. We take your privacy seriously and will take all measures to protect your personal information. It was great to see fellow coaches getting themselves out there and sharing their messages. I don’t know about you, but the busier, faster, and louder the world becomes out there, the greater my need for peace, clarity, and calm in here. This requires discrimination, focus, self-awareness, and a willingness to be your own expert. After reviewing over 550 offerings, I selected fourteen panels, which I attended over three days. In order to do this, they suggest writers get clear about why they write by drafting a focused, intentional mission statement.


When I add something new to my wardrobe, I get rid of something old. Marie Kondo would marvel at my ability to clear space, not only in the bedroom, but in the kitchen and living areas as well. These files are brimming with stories, mine as well as my ancestors’, going back a hundred years. My early journals are filled with flowery language, way too many adjectives and adverbs, and the voice of an insecure though earnest young woman trying to impress. They’ve helped me keep track of time; my calendars tell me when important incidents occurred and my journals provide details about what went on, who said what, and how I felt.
I never understood when I was writing in my journal and judging it as crap how important those entries would become later on.
Not only shouldn’t you give up on your dreams, the world needs people actively making their dreams come true.
Consider asking yourself questions, such as “Who do I want to be?” “How Do I want to show up?” “What fills my tank?” and “How can I be of service?” A service-oriented focus keeps me on track whether I’m writing, teaching, coaching, or going about the everyday business of my life.
It’s full of wisdom and inspiration for writers and anyone living—or wanting to live—a creative life. Gilbert yanks the covers off perfectionism, and makes me want to kick off my shoes, dance around my living room, and then head for my study to prance all over the page. Vision and intentions are like maps—if you have an idea of the destination you’d like to visit you’re more likely to arrive there. What if life is the tumbler creating the friction needed to transform me into a human version of those polished stones? When your writing life starts to lag, or feel difficult, discouraging, or frustrating, count your blessings.
However, if you can figure out with more precision when your most creative and energetic times are, you might be able to schedule your writing time near then as well.
If you can do this several times throughout the day for a couple of typical weeks, you’ll get a good picture of how your energy levels rise and fall. Choosing a time of day to work when you are sharp and alert can make you significantly more productive. These might include fear, exhaustion, a lack of ideas, feeling that you haven’t planned enough, or worries that you should be doing something else with your writing time. You won’t have a clear picture of your progress if you don’t keep track of how much work you are doing. Nearly everyone has chunks of time or activities they do that don’t do much to promote either productivity or relaxation. This limit seems to stop some people from dawdling and forces them to focus on the work at hand. You can spend these times that aren’t complete relaxation breaks planning your next writing session.
Self-promotion moment: these are all elements featured in the Now Novel novel-writing process.
However, the amount of time you spend testing new methods will pale next to the productivity boost you get from the writing productivity hacks that do work for you. Trust that you have everything you need and that things are unfolding perfectly in their own time. But when that dreamed-of thing or event happens, your impossible-to-please ego reaches for another goal to obsess over, keeping happiness just out of reach. It gave me ideas about building my business and platform, and  inspired me to roll up my sleeves and dig into the second-to-last chapter of my memoir, which I’d been avoiding.
Our task as creative beings and writers is to get out of our own way, and to allow what wants to come through us to do so—in whatever ways it needs to come. In my writing classes, when a student’s work is being discussed, I tell that writer to sit back, take a breath, and jot down who is saying what about their work.
Questions to help you with this process are: What do you want to accomplish with your writing?
What might success look like if you dispensed with somebody else’s vision of it, which you may have bought into without realizing? Imagine what the world might look and feel like if the majority of people loved their work?
I once applied for a residency at Scripps College, thinking there wasn’t any way I’d get it.
When I received the call telling me my proposal had been selected, I thought, Holy shit, now I actually have to do this, which required an even bigger leap of faith. As an artist and writer I strive to capture or communicate meaningful aspects of my life experience. This question applies to the physical things around me, such as unwanted gifts and clutter in my closet, but its deeper meaning has to do with my attitude, which stems from my thinking. Sangha is a Sanskrit word that means “association,” “assembly,” “company,” or “community.” Buddhists use this word to refer to their monastic community of ordained monks and nuns. This perspective helps me remember that I’m not the center of the universe; I’m a speck—a divine one, but one of countless infinitesimal dots making up a complex, sacred, and exquisite mosaic! The book champions creative living of all kinds, and is divided into six parts: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity. But one chapter in particular, “Fear in High Heels,” hit me in the gut with its clarity and truth. It’s up to us to allow ourselves to be exactly where we are, as humans, creators, and artists ready to live radiant, expressive, and imperfect (real) lives! I wish I could attend “Elizabeth Gilbert Live: Writing, Truth, and Community,” in Napa on November 7th, but I’ll be at my nephew’s wedding in Virginia.
I love meeting people wherever they happen to be with their writing (and their life) and helping them move forward. On the first afternoon or evening of a new session, I ask my students these questions: What do you hope to get out of this class? But it’s bigger and more important than that because having a clear vision and intentions is a way to make an explicit request of the Universe.
They want to publish and grow their platforms while writing authentic, well-crafted chapters, blog posts, essays, and more.
I am discovering what it takes to make peace with what life brings, even when it’s not what I wanted or expected. Their house had high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and art crammed into every nook and cranny. After days, and sometimes weeks, of being tossed about, these rough stones would emerge from the tumbler as semi-precious, polished stones ready to be made into jewelry. Some might think it’s a cliche to say our challenges are opportunities in disguise, but I disagree. So I will be spending my summer creating this how-to book which will reveal all the materials and techniques needed to create wonderful outdoor mosaics for your garden.
Once you have identified the major blocks to your writing productivity hacks such as those mentioned here will help you tackle them more effectively. Furthermore, setting goals is encouraging as you can look back and see how far you’ve come.
It can be around 50,000-60,000 words because you are going to considerably expand it when you revise anyway. Some people have found that cutting out alcohol for a time boosts their productivity while others benefit from removing caffeine. Refuse to believe criticisms such as, No one will care what I have to say, or What right do I have to express myself?
But then I realize I feel that way because I’m attempting to participate in a larger conversation before I’ve checked in with myself.
Is this a thought I want to invest my belief dollars in?” We are all in choice about our beliefs, whether we’re conscious of that or not.
According to the GrubStreet gang, creative writing matters because it “explores and documents the human condition and creates meaning in the lives of those who practice it. I’ve got eighty-four love letters written between my maternal grandparents, photos of my mom crowned Mrs.
Even so, my heart is filled with love for that girl, and profound gratitude for the gift she left me in the form of her writing. Writing was, and still is, my way of processing life, my way of understanding who I am and why I’m here.
But most creative writers, regardless of other jobs they have or work they do, are lucky to engage in work they love. It helps when I know I’m not alone, when I reach out to family, friends, and writers in my various communities.


I shared excerpts from this chapter with my students, and as I read to them, looks of recognition and awe illuminated their faces.
If you’re looking for a creative boost, a hit of inspiration, or if you think you might enjoy engaging face-to-face with a stellar writing community, it’s not too late to get tickets.
While I sometimes say and do routine things while traversing this path, teaching is a journey that feels very much alive and present-moment oriented. Sometimes we receive things we don’t ask for, but our chances of getting what we want improve considerably once we know what we want.
Other students may be writing primarily as a vehicle for personal transformation and growth. He suggested I perform a ritual as an act of healing, which didn’t have to do with my writing, per se, but certainly applies.
Plant this sacred document—your new, conscious agreement with the Universe—along with a shrub, bush, or flower of your choice.
I’m realizing the importance of honoring life, going with its flow, and cultivating an open, patient, and loving heart.
For example, maybe since university you’ve thought of yourself as a night owl but it turns out that these days you’re much more alert in the mornings. On the other hand, you might find that writing for the reward of a cup of coffee or glass of wine pushes you to produce. Take time each day to make a meaningful connection with yourself first, and then with others. My students, clients, and I have grown when we’ve surrendered our agendas, our egos, and our ambition to our deeper wisdom.
The only magic formula for writing books—if there is one—is for each writer to know herself well enough to know what works for her. Later, in the privacy of their workspace, they can evaluate the comments, taking into consideration who said what. Most agents will tell you their best advise is “Don’t rush.” Your work needs to stand out and be polished. Long Island 1965, at New York’s World Fair, wedding and death certificates, expired passports, daguerreotype photographs, and much, much more. I wrote things like, “choir rehearsal,” “dance concert,” “sleepover Jenny’s,” “Shop with Grandma Mimi,” and “break up with Eddie,” which I wrote one evening after I’d done it. I asked myself, If I could do anything I wanted to do here, what would it be? I let myself dream, making things up as I went along.
I found myself wanting to share Gilbert’s words with all of the brilliant women in my life.
Like my writing, I carry with me into teaching the full scope and range of my life experiences.
As I listened to my students speak, I realized how relevant and helpful this ritual would be for their writing. Listening to your inner wisdom is the best preparation I know for surfing life’s waves and weathering its storms. My collection might smell musty and appear to others to be junk, but I wouldn’t—and can’t—part with any of it. I wrote in pencil so that when plans changed, I could easily erase my entry, and so that each small box that represented my day contained an accurate record of what I’d done.
My old writing teacher, Jack Grapes, used to say, “God is in the details,” and these old relics are holy, insomuch as they capture the details of seminal times and places in my life.
It’s harder for me to receive assistance than to give it, so I have to nudge myself to reach out and receive what is offered.
I wanted to echo her message that contrary to the subtle and insidious teachings of our culture, women don’t have to be perfect to be loved or successful or worthy of their dreams. I never know what ideas will present themselves as I listen to my students, and I am often surprised and delighted. Others are accomplished screenwriters, technical writers, artists, and dreamers wanting to fly in another direction. I planted these flowers near the entrance to my house so that every time I come and go I’m reminded of my intentions. We recoil from shadows, fight our own wisdom, attempt to flee our pain, but cannot escape ourselves, our lives—alas, our material. John Lennon’s quote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” has crossed my mind many times.
It’s something that might appear to take up even more valuable time but it improves circulation to the brain, helping you stay focused for long periods of time. The fact that over 550 offerings were presented to attendees speaks to the busyness of our world. The late Scott Dinsmore, creator of Live Your Legend, asked, “What’s the work you cannot not do?” What’s the work that even when you’re not doing it you think you should be?
More and more people are refusing to settle for autopilot lives and are instead seeking authenticity.
Self-expression and creativity are among my top values, so when a few days go by and I’m not engaged in creative work, like writing, I know there’s room for course correction, and I do whatever’s necessary to get back on track. I felt like I was pretending—again, making things up—and I kept asking myself, If this was possible, what would I do? My willingness to lean into the possibility actually created it—I got the residency! And it makes sense that when we push our boundaries—in life and with our writing—we enlarge our world. Since my writing attempts to pay homage to life, it makes sense to pay close attention to life. And I believe I’m also coming into my own as a mature writer, because I no longer need other people to validate my work, or tell me how great I am. Gilbert suggests it’s not only possible, but inevitable, when we open up to the “Big Magic” that surrounds each and every one of us! Ask yourself what you might you do differently if your mind wasn’t hoodwinked into believing its own crippling narratives.
If you treat these interactions the same way my students handle critiques, you’ll know on a gut level what’s useful and what’s not—and you won’t give away your power, especially when you remember that no one is the architect of your story, and your life, but you.
I do this by trying, as much as possible, to savor the moment, and to remind myself that life is more precious than writing. Add to this wondrous, yet at times daunting, creative process the business of writing and the slippery slope upon which conventional publishing resides. I’m not suggesting you drag your feet and throw yourself a procrastination pity party—I’m asking you to respect your process. It’s up to us to back away, turn within, know what’s true, and plan our book launch campaign from a place of self-knowledge, confidence, and connection.
They expanded again into weekly calendars with inspirational quotes, and eventually made their way onto my computer.
This is okay when the tales are constructive and positive, but when they take a sharp turn toward darkness, when we make up horror stories and fill our minds with worry, we sabotage ourselves and our writing.
In time I discovered that I was a writer, and I clung to that identity as fervently as I had to being a dancer. But at the same time, I try to keep them grounded in what matters most: the work, and our relationship to it, to others, and to ourselves. When my writing career didn’t take off the way I’d imagined it would, I realized something important: what I do is not who I am.
Platform-building has become the buzzword every author feels they’re not doing well enough at. Success can be measured in qualitative terms, which are emotional, and may show up as enjoyment, connections, recognition, and learning.
I’m prepared to do what it takes to usher my work into the world, and help it along on its path the way a parent sends a child off to college. We perch ourselves upon social media towers from which we blog, tweet, chat, and update our “status.” It’s exhausting and overwhelming—and it’s also an honor, a privilege, a blessing, and a gift! It can also be measured in quantitative terms, which bring tangible results, such as books sales, columns, future book deals, job opportunities, reviews, and distribution. You don’t get to do this work—play this game—if you’re sick or struggling with life’s basics. Just as we can’t be all things to all people in our lives, we can’t follow every expert’s advice about how to promote our books.



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Comments to «Writing a book blog questions»

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