Archive | Recommended Practices (Proces Self-Care and Product Time) RSS feed for this archive
38014338 - man with child fantasy becomes an astronaut

Practical Writers Need Impractical Play


I love paradox. The most important insights I’ve found came wrapped in paradox. For example, play is by definition doing something that has no practical purpose. Yet play provides essential, practical rewards. Shigeru Miyamoto, inventor of Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda, told The New Yorker, “Anything that is impractical can […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →
joe-friday-just-the-facts

Fact-Track Your Writing: Tricks of Tracking #4


While journalism, done correctly, requires facts, facts may seem secondary in poetry, playwriting and fiction. But when it comes to tracking your writing, all genres are equal: you must focus on facts. Detective Joe Friday knew how to track: Focus on facts. When you track your writing progress, keep your attention on two facts: “This […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →
ready go canstockphoto22043307 (2)

Track Your Way Out of Writer’s Block: Tricks of Tracking #3


The old saying “Ready, set, go!” won’t work for writers who want to track their way out of resistance and into satisfaction and success. Instead, you need to Set your intentions, Ready the resources and Go track yourself. Set Your Intentions! They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but the road […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →
habit-tracker-goal-streaks-calendar

Tricks of Tracking: KISS


The second trick of tracking for writing success is KISS: Keep It Simple and Seen. The system you use for tracking needs to be simple, quick, easy to use and readily accessible. It could be a chart with gold stars on your office wall, a legal pad on your desk, a Moleskine notebook in your […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →
8048786 - watch and the working paper with a diagram

Tricks of Tracking: #1 Track the Right Stuff


How do you measure your writing progress: Word counts? Critical due dates? Action steps taken? I track Product Time, that is, the amount of time I spend doing anything necessary to move a writing project forward. Here’s why. For a week, I’ve been revising and reworking Chapter 61 in my novel. The daily word counts […]

7 Comments Continue Reading →
40283344 - businessman in his office with pilot hat

Deep Work, Deep Play: Writers Need Both


For writers, extended time without distractions and competing priorities is a pleasurable necessity; without it we cannot enter the writer’s trance, aka creative flow. We want and need what Cal Newport defines as Deep Work: “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.” In Deep Work: […]

4 Comments Continue Reading →
coloring book 2 writers block

Does Coloring Help or Hinder Your Writing and Reading?


Kerri Miller, MPR host, encouraged Americans to put away coloring books and pick up real books instead in a post on The Thread. If coloring books were the cause of Americans reading only 4 books a year on average, I’d agree. But I highly doubt the trade-off is between real books and coloring books. I […]

9 Comments Continue Reading →
Blanche has Writer's Block

How to Cure Creative Constipation, aka Writer’s Block


The metaphor of constipation for writer’s block has been around for a long time… Back in 1992, Clarissa Pinkola Estés talked about creative constipation in her audio recording The Creative Fire (Sounds True). She defined creativity as psychic excrement that we all naturally produce and need to express daily. Otherwise psychic toxins build up, and voilà, […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →
writer's block canstockphoto2065099 (2)

Nothing Beats Writer’s Block Like Doing Nothing


Writer’s block consists of exerting an excruciating amount of energy to accomplish nothing. I suggest you skip the painful part, and do nothing right from the start. Writers need plenty of time to do nothing and do it well. Brenda Ueland intuited the value of time to do nothing back in 1938 when she wrote […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →
One of my Character Sketch collages

Cut and Paste Your Way Through Writing Resistance: It’s Not What You’re Thinking


Can’t get the words on the page? Try putting pictures there first. Sometimes you need to back away, not just from the keyboard, but from words themselves. Cut pictures, not words,and paste them into a new creation.  Collage-making puts me in a different state of consciousness, one where my perspective is more fluid and creative […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →