Posts Tagged ‘productivity’

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You LoveSo Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So bad you can ignore it.

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“The lessons you take from your travels across novel-land this month will serve you well throughout the rest of your life. You will walk away from the escapade with a mischievous sense of boldness and an increased confidence in your creative abilities. You will read differently, write differently, and for better or worse, you will begin seeing the world with the ever-hungry eyes of a novelist.” – Chris Baty

The first draft, eh? A bit daunting isn’t it? Remember, every writer you’ve ever loved started out at this exact point — and it scared the crap out of the lot of them.

Here we are, looking out over the vast uncharted territory of your novel. Some of you have map and compass and heavy-duty all-weather gear — others just have crazed expressions and a willingness to roam in the wilderness.

Enjoy the view. You’re looking for quantity not quality. This isn’t the place for perfect grammar or well-constructed sentences — it’s where you go stomping through the mud.

Leave your inner-editor at home. In fact, hand over your inner-editor right now for safe-keeping. Place a comment at the end of this post, relinquishing your inner-editor and saying exactly how you expect it to be treated whilst you’re busy writing your novel.

Don’t worry, you can have it back afterwards. That’s why I said ‘leave it at home’ and not ‘leave it face-down in a ditch.’ After the first draft, your inner-editor comes to the fore.

A historian academic’s ethos and approach to academic research:

A colleague of mine told me that he’s been Only Collecting for over ten years, and can now knock out a 3000 word paper in under two days, simply because all his material is already at hand; it exists in the stuff he’s picked up in his intellectual infancy and adolescence, which at the time he didn’t know how to use, and perhaps didn’t even know was important.

via Only Collect | a historian's craft.

There’s a lesson in this for writers — collect and connect.


Joshua Fields Millburn, of The Minimalists, on killing the internet (at home) in the name of productivity:

The internet is not evil, just like candy is not evil. But if your entire diet consists of candy, you get sick and fat fairly quickly. Thus, I don’t keep bags of candy at home, just like I don’t keep the internet at home anymore either.

via Killing the Internet at Home Is the Most Productive Thing I’ve Ever Done – The Minimalists.

I saw The Minimalists do a book reading in Leeds as part of their worldwide book tour for Everything That Remains.

One of the things that came across more in real-life is just how funny the guy is.

Getting rid of the internet at home is great advice which I fully endorse. On my blog. Via the internet.

The irony of this doesn’t escape me, but you can schedule posts in advance and learn to make the most of your online time.

I’ve gone for long stretches without internet access at home (up to about a year at a time) — it’s painful but instructive.

I just wish that wi-fi, or ideally broadband, was ubiquitous so not having the internet at home was a no-brainer rather than an edge-case.

Jeff Goins on butt-in-chair productivity for writers:

Even if you don’t write, even when you don’t want to write, plant your butt in the chair daily for a couple of hours.

Eventually, the words will come.

via The Minimalist Secret to Productive Writing.

Don’t just do something — sit there!

I wrote about this previously in ‘How to sit with your novel.’