Monday, January 21, 2013

Increase Your Writing Productivity

As a life coach, when working with writers who are looking to be more productive one of the first areas, I focus on is their writing routine and structure.  During this process one question that often receives a lot of surprise and resistance is the following:

“When you sit down to write, what is the first thing you do?”

Can you guess the number one answer I receive?  If you said, ‘check emails and facebook’, you are right.  Many writers sit down at their computer to work on a manuscript, but the first program they open is their email or facebook.  Maybe it’s a quick 5 minutes, but often 20+ minutes have passed before they begin writing.  

If you are someone who has the luxury to write full-time, it’s not a big deal.  But for many writers who are trying to squeeze their writing into their already full life, they just gave away twenty valuable writing minutes.

What I encourage writers to do is protect their writing time.  That means when they you are ready to write, focus only on writing. Once your writing session is over, then you can check emails or facebook, if you have time. 

This simple change in how you approach your writing will help you keep your attention on your intent to write.  Try this and you might just have your most productive writing year yet. 

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist who has helped writers move their writing careers forward. Combining intuitive insights with practical know-how, Mary Jo has helped clients discover how to chart their course of action and live their authentic path—their True North.   Mary Jo offers Artist Breakthrough Sessions at reduced rates. (Gift certificates are available.)

For more information check out
or folllow her at:http://theadvantagepoint.wordpress.comhttp://www.helpingchidrencope.blogspot.com  


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Oh, Mary Jo. I needed you today! Thank you, thank you, thank you! New Year's resolution. Listen to Mary Jo Guglielmo!


Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Excited about how much the new edition of the Frugal Book Promoter (expanded! updated!) can help writers with the tried and true and the new media, too. Now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right ( it the original edition was also a Reader Views winner and an Irwin Award winner.

Shirley Corder said...

Right Mary Jo. It's an hour into my writing time, and guess what? I haven't yet started to WRITE. Why? You had it wrong. I first checked an online survey I'm running! That was ALL I was going to do. But oh dear. Emails and FB are so important.

Thanks for the prod. As soon as I close THIS WINDOW I will begin to write. Promise!

Unknown said...

This is very good advice. Checking email is a delaying tactic for me. I work at home and find that I am much more productive when I sit at a coffee house or the library. Thanks for this reminder!

Kathleen Moulton said...

When I read your question I thought "email and Words With Friends".

Guilty as charged!

I wonder why we do this? Are we stressed and need that down-time or is it just a bad habit? What did writers do before emails and such?

This is one discipline I will focus on. Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes we need to hear it over and over!


Magdalena Ball said...

Mary Jo you are so right. It's hard to resist the lure of that 'ding', but when writing time is limited, we certainly need to protect it. Thanks for the reminder.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Glad it was good timing. Let me know who it goes.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

The best way to make it happen, is commit to try it for two weeks.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I find that is true for me also. The reason is when I go to a coffee house with laptop in hand it's to write. So, that's the only thing I focus on. Have a special writing location or time is also helpful.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I find when trying to add a new discipline, I set a timed period that I commit to. Often two or three weeks. After that time I can decide if it works for me.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I turn off the dings alerts when I need to focus.

Karen Cioffi said...

LOL, Mary Jo, I think most of us are guilty of going to email or social media as soon as we're online. For me it's email. I rationalize that I have to check on emails from clients or students, but I could definitely do that after I put in at lease some writing time.

Then in my emails, I see all the great information waiting to be read from those I subscribe to.

It's all about discipline.

Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Discipline is a combination of work and routine.

EsterShifren said...

Oh yes! the time wasters are so tempting, and it's hard to settle down to real writing. One thing that keeps me away from writing is keeping up with newsletters and blogs. So informative and entertaining, but oh, such a backlog it develops. So long on the runway, and no time in the air! Thanks for the reminder—will try to apply.

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