Writing Lessons: The Productive Writer

Photo by Theresa Barker.

If you write a lot in your work, you may often think, “Why can’t I get more done?” (I know I do!) This series provides a variety of thoughtful and informative approaches to motivate your writing.  You’ll get more writing accomplished in the process.

Each week we explore a different strategy for increasing your writing productivity.  Click the “Read more here.” link in the text to get started.

Week 1:  Writing into the Dream – a six-week experiment in becoming a more productive writer

. . . Do you want to write more?  If you’re like me, you struggle to find time – and momentum – for your writing.  Whenever I get together with writer friends and colleagues, almost the first thing I hear is, “I’d like to get more time for my writing.” . . . .  (Read more here.)

Week 2:  Bringing encouragement to your writing.

. . . To be truly creative and to produce brilliant writing involves more than simply forcing yourself to write.  Do you find yourself sitting in front of the computer screen – or a blank writing pad – ready to write, yet nothing comes to mind that you really want to write?  Perhaps you find yourself thinking, that story has already been told, or no one will ever read what I’m writing, or I can’t think of anything new to write – I must be a terrible writer. . . . (Read more here.)

Week 3: Schedule a writing appointment for yourself.

. . . This week, pull out your calendar.  Pick one day and schedule a looong block of time just for your writing. . . . Why? If you made an appointment for the dentist, or to go see a play, you would put it on your calendar, right? Why not try giving the same attention to your writing, to your own creativity? . . . . (Read more here.)

Week 4: Write a letter to your writing.

. . . Imagine your writing is something separate from you, something outside yourself. This week I’d like you to write a letter to your writing. What do you have to tell your writing? Do you have something you want to ask your writing? . . . (Read more here.)

Week 5: Write early in the day.

. . . Some of us are night owls, where others are early birds. Do you leap out of bed and plunge into your tasks for the day? Or do you like to stay up late, after dark, and get your work done while most of us are sleeping? . . . (Read more here.)

Week 6:  Write like a child plays.

. . . This week, think back to when you were a child. What did it feel like to play make-believe, to play cards or Monopoly, to build with construction toys or to make something out of clay? Were you thinking about your “market” back then? (Of course not!) Did you worry about having an audience? (Not at all!) . . . (Read more here.)


. . . As a send-off, I want to share writer Neil Gaiman’s terrific speech, “Make Good Art.”  Maybe you’ve seen it – it’s only about 4 minutes long on YouTube – take a look!  (Go ahead, I’ll wait! . . . oh, you’re back?  Great.)  You’ll be inspired, I guarantee it!  Here is one thing from Neil’s speech that I truly believe . . . (Read more here.)

How did these strategies work for you?  What was your favorite strategy?  What did you learn?  Feel free to add comments on this page with your thoughts.