I was fortunate enough to be the random winner of the extrinsic value prize of the October Platform Challenge (yay platchal peeps!), and I wish to share that good fortune by passing along The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen, a wonderful little book, to someone else that could use it. I have extensive notes and outlines of my own so that I can continue to use some of the parts I found most useful, as well. (Here is a post about how I used the information in this book myself)
Here’s one for you
Each of these makes complete sense. The more productive I’ve been, the more I want to do, the more content I feel with working and the more I want to do; the more I define plan out my strategy, the more I get done. It’s a cycle that you have to start, by being productive.
One of the best places to start, of course, are your goals. Sage Cohen does a great job of, if not nailing what you might need to cover, getting you enough in the right direction to start thinking of any goals you may specifically have.
Sage Cohen also shows a way she breaks down these goals into some manageable ways to actually see progress. I definitely used this myself to structure my proposed plan that will be implemented soon enough. Here is what Cohen calls, slivering the slice:
One of the reasons I really like this approach is the flexibility within the structure. One great quote that I remember from The Productive Writer is “a groove traveled enough times has a tendency to become a rut”, which is a fabulous way to look at and remind us to shake things up occasionally. There’s no reason you can’t work some changes into your schedule to make sure you’re keeping your inspiration meter filled.
Here are four other ideas, wonderful words of wisdom or things to consider and to help the productive writer in you:
- One reason some of us end up not writing, not submitting, or in general moving forward is a fear that we don’t have enough experience or expertise to speak with authority. Well, guess what, someone else *is* going to submit their work, and they or may not have something as or more helpful to say than you, but if you don’t even try, you’ll never know. The only person saying you’re not enough right now, is you, and you have to write more to get better.
- If you don’t already, keep a file, folder, or some kind of list of ideas you have. I don’t know about you, but I keep a notebook with me at all times for little snippets of ideas that flit across my mind, you know, when I’m not trying to convince myself that I don’t need to write it down because I’ll remember it later (Lies!!) Cohen calls it an “acorn” file, I just have Word documents called jot list, junk jot list, article jot list, and children’s story jot list to differentiate between my varying ideas. It’s a great way to generate some ideas when you’re feeling stuck with writer’s block.
- “Validation is good, trust in yourself is better” is another idea straight from the book and it’s one to take to heart. As good as it can feel when people like and share things you’ve written (definitely celebrate!) but if you’re using that approval to hold up your belief in yourself, you will be crushed when someone writes something mean, and people will because that’s how some people unfortunately are. Believing in yourself does a lot more to get you through the hard times than validation ever would.
- Set realistic expectations, and deliver on them. Let me repeat that one again for some those that like to over plan and do ALL the things at once, you will go a lot farther when your expectations are reachable. Instead of seeing everything you haven’t done, with expectations you can meet you will always finish and feel that surge of pride you get from accomplishing something productive. This also keeps you from taking on more than you can chew, because you aren’t committing to anything you won’t be able to deliver on.
There are just a few of the great ideas and suggestions that Sage Cohen has in this book. In order to pass on something useful (and as I’ve made so many notes), I’m going to give away my copy of The Productive Writer. Details for how to enter are below:
- You must be a resident of the US (or have a US shipping address).
- Get one entry by commenting on this blog and sharing either some of the goals you want to commit to, or how some of these points have helped you so far.
- Get another entry daily by posting about this Giveaway on Twitter BE SURE TO INCLUDE ME,@DMGbyrnes, IN YOUR TWEET SO I CAN COUNT IT!
- Giveaway begins today, 12/27/2015
- The Giveaway officially ends on Sunday 1/17/2016 at 11:59 pm EST.
- A random winner will be selected and announced on Monday 1/18/2015 on Twitter and my blog.
***UPDATE, Winner Announced!***
Elizabeth Eisenhauer! Please contact me with the address you would like me to ship your book to!
Thank you everyone that participated!