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The Productive Writer

Updated on July 2, 2017

Tips & Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less & Create Success

As a beginning writer and poet, productivity is always on my mind. If I'm going to be spending time writing I want to get out of it as much as I put into it. What does it mean to be productive? My good day must be a not-so-good day for you.Most of the time distractions abound and my lack of focus and my procrastination habit has hindered progress. So when I read about Sage Cohen's book The Productive Writer I wanted a copy. Every year I write a list of actionable creative writing goals. But usually by March my enthusiasm for writing starts to wane. As soon as the rejections come in my excuses start. I'm not good enough. I'll never be published. Why should I continue?

If Only I Had More Time

Make Time for Writing and Be More Productive!

Because Cohen has a full-time job and is a working mother she addresses the writers who complain if they only had more time they’d be writers. Yes, you might have to make some sacrifices including saying no to other commitments, getting up earlier and prioritizing but if you really desire a writing life getting organized, setting goals and developing your career as a professional writer are worth it.

Harness Your Potential

Just Imagine What You Can Be

Cohen addresses these fears and in 20 short chapters (10 pages) gives writers encouraging actionable examples to motivate even the most unproductive and jaded writer. Cohen starts the book by asking the reader to define what productivity means to them. Obviously each writer has their own definition of productivity so Cohen encourages readers to “harness their potential” by answering a series of questions in Chapter 1. The next 19 chapters read quickly as Cohen addresses everything from platform building, social media, scheduling, time-management, community-building, revision, momentum, partnerships and more. Some readers might need more in-depth information on each of these topics but Cohen’s conversational tone and the motivating inspirational writing quotes from successful authors make this a quick, light and chock-full-of-information read. Reading about Cohen’s struggles and the techniques that helped her succeed are invaluable. Even small bits of advice like how to organize your file folders was helpful for this disorganized writer!

Bonus Downloadable Worksheets

Organize Your Writing Business

Every copy oncludes downloadable worksheets including time logs, schedules, examples and templates that are very helpful when you're just starting out. And they may inspire you to work out your own schedule as you write your way to success.

Are you a Productive Writer?

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    • Natalie W Schorr profile image

      Natalie W Schorr 3 years ago

      Working on it...

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      I am, because I can't wait to finish what I've started. I hate leaving writing tasks half-completed, so work continuously until it's done. It feels good to finish, and it gives me permission not to write for a day or two afterwards.

    • Guy E Wood profile image

      Guy E Wood 3 years ago from USA

      I am productive when I sit to write and devote myself wholly to that cause.

      On the other hand, I am a master procrastinator and I have a lot of duties that are unrelated to my writing that I allow to steal my time. I've had to learn to fight my procrastination and schedule specific periods for writing, and that has helped me a lot. I now write non-stop in chunks of time from 15- to 60-minutes.

      I actually run a timer to ensure I stay on task. I prefer a simple one and use it via Google Chrome Apps (you can try it here:

      Once I finish a chunk of uninterrupted and totally focused writing, I try to reward myself with a few minutes of recreational reading (i.e., reading whose only purpose is to enjoy the words), a short walk, some stretching, or even a brief nap.

      Fact is, we all have the same number of minutes each day, but some are much better than I at making those minutes count. I'm learning from those who make the most of their time and focus.

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 5 years ago

      I never considered myself productive since i only do my writings whenever inspiration comes and mostly writer's bloc is in the way. One thing i could suggest that might help others, when your muse visits you be sure you're ready to write on that spot. I always use my phone and write and save it in the draft till i could transfer it on a suitable/comfortable time and expand it till my head explodes.

      Thanks for the share.

    • BruceJackson1 profile image

      BruceJackson1 5 years ago

      getting there... deadlines kill me

    • ArtSiren LM profile image

      ArtSiren LM 6 years ago

      I'm never as productive as I'd like to be. I suffer from a dreaded disease called 'Shiny Object Syndrome'. Anything new or different immediately piques my interest and I drop everything to go and investigate it a little more. I need to focus myself just a tad, and get those pesky articles published before chasing other enticing ideas.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      i try to be productive. got plenty of ideas and i hope that i reap the fruits of my labor.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      Very. I always have multiple projects going, books, online, newspaper, and I make a little, not enough money every month from all of them.

      When I started on Squidoo, I averaged a lens a day for the first three months and had 200+ the first year, even while I was contributing elsewhere and working on two books and a new website.

      The key to writing is understand that it's self-employment and to manage it like any business owner wood, making efforts to earn so dough every day. Waiting for inspiration or ideas is wheel-spinning. If you commit to writing every day, ideas will come. If all else fails, platforms like Squidoo and Seekyt provide easy guides to get you into a topic.

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 6 years ago

      I am afraid nothing can help me, look I am here for one year and only 30 lenses so far :))