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The #1 Goal of Productivity

Suffice it to say, our attitude affects everything we do. Or don’t do. If we have a negative attitude about doing our schoolwork, it won’t get done. Or we’ll do a hasty, sloppy job. Or we won’t be able to concentrate, and it will take three times longer than it should to complete.

We might whip ourselves, pour on the pressure with guilt or threats, and while that might make us get the work done, we will be miserable doing it.

When it comes to writing our books, we certainly don’t want it to be a miserable experience. Writing is supposed to be fun! We’re supposed to love writing—that’s why we long to do it full-time and make it our career.

Sadly, I’ve met too many career authors who hate writing. They didn’t start out that way. But while they’re currently cranking out best sellers year after year, they’re not happy campers. Continue Reading…

Mastering Outlining Your Novel

Over the past few months, I’ve had hundreds of my blog followers and newsletter subscribers fill out my survey. On the survey I ask what issues they’re struggling with. What blog posts they’d like to see (and books I should write). While I haven’t gotten through every survey to date, some topics run ubiquitously through these survey responses.

I want to take a look at the top 20 or so, and throughout the year, on Thursdays, I’ll be addressing these. Suffice it to say, many requested topics are ones I’ve covered extensively on my blog. Which tells me a few things:

  • My readers aren’t aware they can search the blog for past posts. You can. And should! There are hundreds of thousands of words written and published on Live Write Thrive. I’ve spent hundreds of hours writing these posts, and the sheer amount of content, if words could be transformed into grains of sand, would be so heavy, I doubt even Hercules could lift the sack. While I often revisit topics from time to time, it’s usually to share a new insight or take on the matter. So, if you need help on some bit of craft or how to survive the writing life, do a search in that plain-old search bar on the top right side of my blog. Then read up!
  • Or my readers have read all they can get on the topic (from my blog and craft books) and still want more. And that’s great. I’ll give more. That’s why I’m here—to keep it coming.
  • Or my readers have read it all and just don’t get it. Whatever it is. I know how that feels. Sometimes it just takes time. If you’re a beginning writer and you’re facing a mountain of a climb to get to the top just to be able to outline a novel or write succinctly, you need to be patient and just work on one key skill at a time.

Continue Reading…

How Badly Do You Want It, Writers?

Bottom line: before you can be a super-productive writer, you have to want to be. I’m guessing you do, because you’re reading this material. And that’s great.

Some authors write every day; they feel they have to. And maybe finding time to do so isn’t an issue. Others write sporadically, sometimes putting writing off for months, for whatever reasons. But how frequently you sit down to write, or how many words you write a day, doesn’t necessarily correlate to how much you produce.

Plenty of authors who hardly have an hour to write a week put out more books a year than some authors who write all day every day. And while being a “fast” writer may imply you can crank out more books than a “slow” one, that’s also not necessarily the case (I put those words in quotes because fast and slow are a matter of perspective.)

Do you recall the fable of the tortoise and the hare? Who won the race? We’ll talk about all this later on. Continue Reading…