Productivity for Writers

As you may know, I’ve just returned home from a two week writing intensive as part of my MFA program. There’s something so special about taking two weeks out of your busy, every day life, to spend as much time as possible talking about books and writing with other like-minded people. And it wasn’t just all talk, of course we actually got down to business and did some writing and reading of our own. 

For someone like me who *might* have been slacking off a bit this summer instead of working on her book, this immersion was exactly what I needed to kickstart myself back into writing mode. 

Since I started writing more seriously, I’ve discovered something important:

Writing is like going to the gym. 

Sometimes I don’t want to do it. Sometimes I procrastinate because I think it’s going to be hard and painful and I’ll have to face part of myself I don’t like. But then I start and I remember how much I love it, how good it makes me feel, and how accomplished I feel when I finish. 

When it comes to writing, and going to the gym, the trick is always in just getting started. 

In Halifax, I learned I wasn’t alone. 

Help avoiding procrastination was the number one theme among the questions asked by my fellow classmates on Day One. It seems we all struggle with putting our bums in the writing chair. And, even one it’s there, we struggle with opening our word processor instead of Netflix and YouTube. 

The trick, according to our professors is: Just. Do It. 

Perhaps I should have gotten that lesson from sneaker commercials by now, but why listen to Michael Jordan when you can get an expensive fine arts degree. 

One of the many takeaways I’ve brought home with me from Halifax is this: 

Get up in the morning and write. Write for five minutes, or two, or ten. Write for a time the feels manageable and don’t stop moving your pen. Write about something other than your current project. Write about something fun. Write about anything. Don’t think, just write. 

In case you need some extra inspiration, check out my post on Beating Writers Block. There you'll find plenty of prompts to get you started!