sign up for news and inspiration
  • connect
"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

The Great Productivity Experiment, part 2

(The Great Productivity Experiment, part 1: Of Writers and Robots.)

Last week I did not write a single word. And I was productive!

I’m working on three projects right now, two of which are in the beginning stages, which means I did a lot of mind mapping and reading for research. Let us make the distinction between process-wise productive and product-wise productive. On Wednesday night I jotted down a few notes on the back of a bookmark–I was beside-myself excited–and those scribbles set everything in motion inside a certain fictional universe. But I could show you that little piece of paper and it wouldn’t look like much, would it?

Things I have learned, or re-learned, this past week:

1. You know those studies that indicate listening to Mozart aids concentration? TRUE!

2. Being a “night person” or a “morning person” is ultimately a matter of choice (by way of discipline–my new favorite word, haha). I have always taken it for granted that I’m the former, but I got up at 7 (that’s early for me) a couple of days last week and I liked it. I like feeling a sense of accomplishment earlier in the day. Imagine that!

3. Forgetting my power cord at home is not what I meant by “Mac Freedom.” That said, I’m really loving it (the program, I mean). I occasionally get “the twitch”–Wikipedia! HootSuite! Gmaaaaail!–and then I remember I’m cut off, and get back to it.

4. Going for a run first thing in the morning makes me feel awesome, which probably helps my productivity. As they say, exercise is healthy for the brain too.

5. “A watched pot never boils.” This week I wasted time fretting over project #3, a short story for an anthology submission. (Part of the issue is, of course, that I don’t really write short stories; people think I am joking when I say writing a novel feels easier than writing a short story. But I was very kindly invited to submit to this anthology, so I’m going to give it my best shot.) Anyway, I never come up with a workable idea by consciously thinking about it–it just has to occur to me. There’s no way around that. So I resolved to focus on the other projects, and as I was walking home from the library Thursday night the solution presented itself.

As for the other two projects, one is a nearly-finished YA novel I began a year ago this month, and the other is another children’s novel. I need to push myself to finish the draft of the YA novel so I can focus on the new children’s novel, which I’m most excited about. The plan is to get a detailed outline ready to go, a la Rachel Aaron, and then we’ll see just how (product-wise) productive I can be.

In case anyone is wondering: after these two novels are in the can, yes, the project after that will be a novel for grown-ups!

3 Comments to The Great Productivity Experiment, part 2

  1. June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t care what you write as long as you keep writing — so I can keep reading, of course! 🙂

  2. June 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t get myself to get Mac Freedom. Instead, I found a Firefox(which is the browser I use on both my office desktop and mac) add-in called Leechblocker. It allows me to block off access to the sites I regularly putz around it during specific times of the day. This has helped me tremendously stay on task both at work and during writing time.
    I am so excited to hear about all your projects.

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    July 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure I could ever become a morning person, but good luck with that 😉

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.