I love being asked questions by writers. When I ran a writers’ centre they ranged from the profound to the practical. For the past few weeks I’ve been back on the road talking to writers. I ran workshops and gave talks on writing productivity, I was interviewed for podcasts and webinars, and for five weeks Chris and I ran ‘Ask Me (us) Anything’ sessions on Facebook live. I got asked A LOT of questions – here’s some that stuck.
Different writers – same questions
Writers are all different – their ideas, approaches, and practice all vary. On the surface, a poet might not have much in common with a scholarly writer, but underneath they’re often plagued by the same doubts and insecurities, and have similar ambitions to become better writers.
Over the years I have listened to thousands of writers. There are some questions about writing productivity that come up again and again. Here’s a snapshot of some that surfaced in recent weeks.
Eleven writing productivity questions
- If you write from home how can you avoid day-to-day distractions?
- What’s the difference between procrastination and pre-writing?
- I often have a fantastic idea for a new book when I’m halfway through writing the current one – how do I keep myself motivated to continue?
- I have to work around young children with unpredictable routines – how can I fit in writing when I don’t know when or how much time I’ll get to write?
- Is there a time of day that’s best for writing – has any research shown when the brain is most creative, or does it change with time of day?
- How long should a writing session be? Is longer better or does productivity go down the more you keep at it?
- Can the Pomodoro technique help with productivity? Are there any other tricks I can use?
- Anyone else wonder if writing groups and courses can become their own form of procrastination? I often end up following a course rather than working on my own project!
- How can I write effectively with a partner or a group?
- Any tips on managing the admin of writing a book, for example the marketing or research needed alongside the writing?
- How do I overcome a writing block? Do I keep the same routine to change it?
Do any of those questions strike a chord? Is anything missing from this list of writing productivity questions? I’d love to hear what’s front of your writing mind.
If you struggle with procrastination, distraction, finding the time and continuing with your project – we’ll hunt and down the answers and share the most effective strategies to get you writing.