productivity-1920-850

7 Productivity Tips for Writers Who Are Stuck

Producing a finished product is a struggle for many writers. They have lots of ideas, but not much to show for all the time they sit, think, and write.

As someone who has ghostwritten or authored more than 30 books and written more than 1,000 articles, I know how important it is to be productive. It’s not enough to have a good idea. After all, ideas aren’t the problem. You need a way to get over the inertia and uncertainty.

Whether you are looking to successfully complete your own writing project or one for clients, here are some productivity tips to get you there:

Realize this is work

Despite your romanticized ideas about writing, know that this is work. And that means you’ll have to put in time doing it. It won’t magically flow from your fingertips. You’ll have to make the time for it to happen and put in the effort. I’ve seen people become discouraged and even give up on their writing because it doesn’t come to them as effortlessly as they’d like. Whatever gave them the idea that writing wasn’t really work? You’ll have to get over your fantasies about writing if you want to make it an actual reality in your life.

Read More

Shelia-Goss-spotlight

‘When I Learned to Treat My Writing Career as a Business, That’s When I Became More Productive’

Shelia Goss is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen books. She writes Christian fiction, suspense, women’s fiction, and young adult fiction. She discusses marketing and her approach to productivity.

Shelia-GossWL: You’ve had success in many ways as a writer — as a self-published author who landed book deals, as an author who has reached bestseller lists, as an author who has gained a loyal following, as a blogger with a longstanding blog. What has been the “secret” to your success?

Goss: There’s no secret. It’s a combination of things: faith, hard work, and determination. This business is not for the faint at heart. The key is to never give up, even when faced with obstacles or rejections.

WL: Was landing on bestseller lists part of what you were shooting for or was that a surprise to you? Please explain your answer.

Read More

7 Remedies for ‘Oh, No! I’m on Deadline and Need a Source’

deadline-751Every freelance writer has felt the thump thump of the heart as the deadline approached. Writing feverishly to get that piece finished and turned in on time is fine, but what if you can’t even get to the writing because you don’t have the source you need? That’s cause for palpitations.

I responded to a forum question on LinkedIn the other day where the writer wanted to know how to find sources for articles. As a former journalist and the author of the forthcoming Connect and Conquer: Grow Your Business, Organization, and Career Through Online and Offline Relationships, I have lots of insight in this area. Finding sources for articles, blog posts, shows, and other types of content where you often rely on the expertise and information of others can be a daunting task. You don’t want to get stuck going to the same people over and over again, but you can get overwhelmed looking for new voices.

Read More

Grow Your Writing Career Through Your Relationships

1336893_27541454-751

Whether you are a freelance writer, marketer, author, or other person who writes words for impact and income, you’ll need to properly leverage relationships if you want your business to grow. Relationships provide access to opportunities. But leveraging relationships isn’t just about asking your friend to put in a good word for you. In fact, there is a proper way to do it. Do it wrong, and you come off as an opportunistic user that nobody wants to help. Do it properly, and you tap into the influence, power, and opportunities contained right now in your relationships — and end up with people who are thrilled to help you.

If you want to grow your business, it’s not enough to work hard or even do a great job. You must know how to relate smart by identifying a need and connecting with someone who has that need.

Read More

backup-471

3 Critical Tips to Help Protect Your Data and Ideas

backup-751

Writers spend a lot of time creating.

They’d hate to see those creations lost.

Yet, data disappears every day.

Many of us think getting an antivirus program running is enough. But it’s not.

Here’s what you can do to prevent or minimize the risk of data loss.

Get backup to the backup

This is hugely important. It’s easy to float along expecting nothing bad to happen, but one day you could go to turn on your computer and find that it doesn’t do anything.

I know. It happened to me. With a new computer.

We did a lot of upgrading last year. We bought two computers for our home office, both from a trusted brand. Our old computers, of that same brand, had performed well so we never gave a thought to the possibility that something would go wrong with one of the computers. But it did. Just a few months after purchasing my computer, it died. I didn’t panic too much at first because we had backup. I thought it would just be a matter of downloading my backup files.

Read More

the-plan-471

Write the Vision and Make It Plain

the-plan-751

I absolutely believe in the power we have to create our own lives. Now, I’m not going to go into some weird explanation about manifestation and explaining that all we have to do is think something to make it reality. Although I do believe our thoughts create reality. Instead, I will  do something way simpler: Let you know that writing down what you want actually helps make it happen.

I read Henrietta Anne Klauser’s book, Write It Down, Make It Happen years ago and it reinforced my ideas about the power of writing things down. In her fantastic book, Klauser shows how the act of writing down our goals and other things we want takes them from some fanciful place and turns them into reality. Even if you don’t exactly know how you are going to accomplish the thing, writing it down has magic. And if you are of a spiritual nature, even the Good Book says this is smart, as Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision, and make it plain.”

Read More

business-thinking-471

5 Ways to Beat Information Overload and Rescue Your Stalled Project

Ever get excited about starting a new writing project, only to end up … distracted, disappointed, and disgusted?

Ah, yes.

Information overload can stall the progress of even a favored project, if you’re not careful. But there are ways to combat information overload, get back on track, and move forward.

I am quite goal-oriented and task-oriented. I’ve had to be. That’s how I’ve been able to ghostwrite or author more than 30 books. It’s how I’ve written more than 1,000 articles. It’s how I’ve done any of the other myriad tasks necessary to build a ten-year-old writing business. When you’re running a writing business, you must find ways to actually get the work done. That’s a huge issue. We’ve had ghostwriting and editing clients who have come to us after working on their projects for years. They’ve gotten excited. They’ve gotten distracted. They’ve gotten disappointed at their lack of progress. And they’ve just about given up.

Read More

1098576_15247527-471

3 Mistakes That Kill Your Productivity

I’ve had one of those weird, unproductive days that makes you want to forget it all and veg out in front of some mindless reality show.

Eh.

But I won’t. I’m slogging through it, determined to make something of these hours count.

Productivity is a big deal when you run your own business and are a writer. If you’re not getting things done, you’re not making money. I know how to supercharge my productivity. And more often than not, I have great productivity. I’ve authored or ghostwritten 34 books and counting. I’ve published nearly a year’s worth of posts at this blog. I can write a book in a month or less, if I need to. So I know a thing or two about productivity. But sometimes …

Sometimes stuff just gets in the way. Which is why I’m producing this post today. Because I know you may feel me on this. You may totally get exactly what I’m talking about. Because you’ve been there. Unproductive and wondering where the day went.

Read More

34-and-counting-471

What I Learned From Writing More Than 30 Books

I tallied up my work this past week and realized I have authored or ghostwritten 34 books. I know I ghostwrite books for a living, but despite doing yearly revenue totals, I had not actually counted the number. But when I did, I realized just how productive I’ve been. And I’m really excited.

I have always wanted to be a working writer, and I am doing just that. The fact that this labor has produced more than 30 books makes me feel really good. And maybe you’re happy for me, too, but beyond being happy, you want to know how I did it. I hear you, which is why I’ll give you some tips that can help you become a more productive writer.

But first, a breakdown of the work. I’ve been a published book author since 2002, when I self-published my first novel, As If Nothing Happened. I landed an agent in 2005 and a book deal in 2006. I’ve authored three novels, one nonfiction book, and three ebooks. I did not count in this total one novel I wrote, Out of Control, because it was published under a book deal that I canceled. So I kind of forgot about it. But as I think, I suppose that ups the tally to 35 books I’ve written. Why should I not count it? Just because I forgot about it doesn’t mean I didn’t write it.

Read More

Stephen-Covery-books_471

7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers

I felt almost like a good friend had died when I heard news Monday that acclaimed author Dr. Stephen R. Covey had passed away. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, touched millions of lives the world over with his bestselling fusion of business and self-help. He sold more than 20 million books in more than three dozen languages. He was an author and speaker who was able to articulate his message simply and powerfully. His most popular work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, inspired and informed employees, employers, students, leaders, and others everywhere.

In honor of Covey, we present the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers.

1. Be proactive. Look for opportunities. Making a living writing isn’t easy, but successful writers don’t let that idea stop them. They know opportunities are all around. But they don’t sit around waiting for opportunity to knock. They go looking for them by marketing themselves, producing good work, and networking.

Read More