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The secret of writing: Little and often

Goal setting through a picture of wine bottlesLittle and often – that’s the secret of writing

  1. Start before you are ready
  2. Never break the chain – write every day – write something – good or bad
  3. Stop – work for half-an-hour to an hour and never more than one-and-a-half hours and stop

7 fold increase in productivity

Boise, who studied academics intensively, was able to show that these three rule accounted for the 7 fold difference in productivity between top flight and ordinary academics.

It’s a massive difference, isn’t it.

Highly productive writers

It seems that highly productive writers sit down and write, every day, usually before the house gets up and before they can be distracted.

The free write, structure, edit or do whatever they are able to do at that point but they write and they never miss a day.  That way they maintain a habit, maintain their confidence, develop fluency.

Above all, they don’t lose track. They don’t waste time figuring out where they were.

Amazingly of all, productive writers write for short periods.  Apparently the pattern is to work in 15 minute bursts with mini-breaks, quite often for as little as half-an-hour and very rarely for more than an hour. Boise calls periods longer than one-and-a-half hours bingeing.

Getting back to writing

I know all this is true..  I’ve been distracted by another project and I’ve woken up each day with a head full of other concerns.

And I’ve lost track of the concerns that led me to blog.

Then it becomes harder to blog.

Then the mechanics, like quickly finding a picture in Flickr take longer.

Yes, professional writing needs to be habitual.  It has to be given some kind of priority.

When your life changes, deliberately change the slot of time for writing?

Maybe when our life changes, we have to sit down and ask ourselves quite openly, “Where is the time for writing?”

Because most of us write because we “have to”. Without it, we feel that life loses its meaning.   And then it is even harder to get back into.

Little and often

That’s the key.

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Published in POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, WELLBEING & POETRY

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