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Work Habits and the Imagination...

Is the title of chapter two of Jack Bickman’s “Writing and Selling Your Novel.” The prompt at the end of this chapter suggests listing a few ideas to improve productivity.

Here’s my list:

Get eight hours of sleep.

Plan your project month by month. Go back and see if you met your goal for that month. Reward yourself with a movie at the theater if you did. Re-plan if you didn’t.

Plan each week ahead of time. Stick to your writing schedule. 

Meditate for five minutes before you start a writing session. Write down or draw whatever comes to mind in a notebook. It does not need to be related to your current project. Turn the page over and forget about it.

Set a realistic quota of pages for each writing session (I think one good page per hour is realistic) and stick to it.

Write for at least 25 minutes a day.

Allow yourself to write crap. Allow yourself to overwrite. You can always go back and change it later.

Use your blog to track your progress and hold yourself accountable.

I’ve noticed some perfectionism has crept into how I approach my writing. I want it to be great the first time. But I have never produced something great the first time, no matter how long I agonized over a draft. I do hate shitty first drafts. I find them discouraging. I believe there has to be a happy medium. I think okay is the happy medium. I can live with “okay.”

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