How one writer’s data can help us all to write

How one writer’s data can help us all to write Thumbnail

We’ve been working with the data visualisation specialists at The Guardian newspaper. We gave them exclusive access to tracking data from Man Booker long-listed novelist Wyl Menmuir. They used the data to tell a story about writing stories – the ups and downs, the dreams and the reality, the distraction, procrastination and ultimately the grit that it takes to finish a novel. We can all learn from this. [click to continue…]

5 rules for getting stuff done: the lazy guide to writing productivity

5 rules for getting stuff done: the lazy guide to writing productivity Thumbnail

I don’t think of myself as hard-working. In fact through most of my life I’ve been called lazy and yet somehow in the last few years I’ve written four novels, three plays, two text-books, a film script, held down a responsible job full-time and managed to study for a PhD. Written down in a list like that it looks exhausting and I wonder how I did it. And, after a bit of thought I’ve evolved some rules for getting stuff done. This knowledge has been hard won and I don’t always follow it even now, but to me, they seem like decent rules to follow. [click to continue…]

Held to account: top tips from an accountability hero

Image of pen made of people

I’ve always considered myself a lonesome kind of writer, most productive when it’s just me and my words. But, I must admit I’ve been missing a trick. This year I’ve been experimenting with different accountability structures. I’ve found that enlisting the support of buddies, coaches and structured writing challenges has transformed my output and progressed my writing in leaps and bounds. [click to continue…]

Why science’s super-achievers prove your creative power is limitless

Why science’s super-achievers prove your creative power is limitless Thumbnail

The path to excellence in any field comes through hard graft – that’s true. But research finds that people at the very top of their game are also deeply curious, with multiple, unrelated (and often quite bonkers) creative hobbies. So, focus your mind – but never close it. Go off on tangents, experiment and play – hundreds of Nobel prize laureates can’t be wrong. [click to continue…]

Tips for getting things done, so you spend time doing what you love

Tips for getting things done, so you spend time doing what you love Thumbnail

It’s no secret I’m a productivity freak. A friend recently drew a cartoon birthday card of me as Little Miss Just Get It Done and my secret Santa gift from colleagues at Emerald Group Publishing this Christmas was a mug emblazoned with the words: Get Shit Done. At home, my shelves are overflowing with books on productivity, self-management and life hacks – if you set about reading them now you wouldn’t have any time for anything else for the next twelve months. [click to continue…]

Why ‘just get it written’ is rubbish advice and tiny steps work

Why ‘just get it written’ is rubbish advice and tiny steps work Thumbnail

You wouldn’t tell someone wanting to lose weight to ‘just eat less’. Neither would you tell someone who wanted to get fit to simply ‘move about a bit more’. It might be true, but it’s not very helpful. So why would you do the same with writing? Having a big goal – whatever that goal is – needs to be approached right and we think that means having a system and breaking it down into small, achievable steps – Kaizen style. [click to continue…]

What I learned from streaking every day

What I learned from streaking every day Thumbnail

I love tracking. Ever since I was a child I’ve counted and logged a whole bunch of activities. I’m fascinated at how things change over time and like figuring what it means so I can optimise and improve what I do. That’s why I’m now an avid streaker.

[click to continue…]

Get free writing tips, expert advice and creative productivity hacks

Sign up to the newsletter and we’ll also send you our 32-page ebook The Liar’s Guide to Writing – for free.