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This Weapon Will Never Fail You When It Comes to Writing Faster

Would you like to increase your writing speed to the speed of your talking? It’s easy. Write about what you’re passionate about. Write about what you’re knowledgeable about.

You talk faster on topics  that you know or passionate about, whether they make you laugh, cringe, angry or surprised.

Similarly, when it comes to writing, you’ve to choose topics or subjects you’re passionate about so that your excitement will drive you to write faster.


Passion Equals Curiosity
Writing about something you’re passionate about doesn’t mean you’ve to be an expert. It means you already know something about the subject, and would not mind exploring it further.


In other words, you’re curious about the subject.You already know much. But there’s also much more you would like to know.It’s not enough that you like something. You need to be super excited about sharing it with others. You may like eating but may not be excited talking or writing about it.


Curiosity is the Guaranteed to Produce Writing
So, trick is to write about topics you’re curious about.


I’m curious about many things. But lately, after starting to write for the web, I have an inclination to find out more about self-publishing digital books.So, here are some questions that often play in my mind.


  • Can I earn a full-time income self-publishing digital books?
  • What’s the fastest way for your eBooks to reach your target audience?
  • What systems do prolific eBook writers  use?
  • What techniques can eBook writers learn from pulp writers of the 50s to write faster?


Each of this topic could be turned into a whole book.


  • How to Earn a Full-Time Income Self-Publishing eBooks without Resorting to Vanity Publishing
  • The Writing Systems of 5 Prolific eBook Writers
  • The Speed Writing Secrets eBook Writers Can Steal from Pulp Fiction Writers


As I’m curious about these subjects, I’ll actively look for answers to these questions. The answers will pose more questions and I’ll be diving deeper. The deeper I dive the more ‘pearls’ I’ll be bringing up which I can then later share with readers.


So, it’s pertinent to pin down what you’re curious about which will lead you to writing extensively about it.


It’s not about what you know. If you’ve been working as a storekeeper for the past twenty-five years and you don’t talk about it although you know a lot about it, it means you’re not curious about about your job. No curiosity means no excitement.
Action Plan
So, in order to write faster, list down the topics you’re curious about.Write down all the questions you would love to have answered, no matter how silly they sound.

Then go all out to find the answers.


You will find that it will easier and more fun  to share what you’re curious about with readers who share the same curiosity.

So, focus on what you’re curious about.  You’ll be on the road to writing faster.


How Not to Lose Momentum on a Writing Project After Starting It

“I’m pretty disciplined to keep the momentum of a story going by writing everyday, even if it’s only a couple of paragraphs or a page or two.” James Rollins

Recently I had to call a rescue service to move my unused car to another spot. The car had not been driven for many months and the battery had gone weak.

The mechanic who came to jump start the car said, “Don’t stop anywhere and turn off your engine. If you do, you won’t be able to start the car again.”

So, I drove the car, keeping the foot firmly on the gas pedal, taking extra care not to let the engine die especially when I was going up a slope.

Even after I reached my destination, I was not hasty to turn the engine off. I made sure I got a suitable parking spot. Then I turned off the ignition.

As I was walking back home, I thought,”Maybe I should approach writing in the same manner. I shouldn’t turn off the engine until there’s nothing more to do.”

Not that I don’t already have momentum. The first thing I do daily after jumping out from bed is sit down and write. I do this 7 days a week just to keep my writing machine well-oiled. 

 But then I have to keep reminding remind myself to keep rekindling the fire. Why? In the past I had shot myself in the foot by letting  momentum die on some writing projects when the going got tough. All the initial work and effort gone down the drain for want of courage to continue.

If you’ve been writing for a while especially on big projects – novel, play, screenplay – which needs to be worked on over a period of time, you’ll appreciate the need for maintaining momentum.

So, here are some pointers that can assist and inspire you  to keep moving until you see your writing project to completion.

Remind Yourself of The Effort to Get Started

Remind yourself the amount of time you put in to prepare and get started on the project. Are you going to let your hard work go to waste? 

Tell yourself that all you have to do now is keep the engine running by pouring as much fuel as possible into it  the form of words. Never mind if you can’t write pages every day. Just a few paragraphs or a short scene would do on each day if the situation allows it.

Reignite the Initial Spark

It’s easier to maintain momentum if you’re charged up to write. How do you do it?  Play the movie of your excitement when you first started the project. This was when you had no obstacles or blocks to contend with. Imagine you are back in such a state. Done right, it will give you the needed inspiration to maintain the momentum. 

No Excuses

In my experience failing to maintain momentum comes as a result of giving the excuse of having something more important to do. A priority project. As you get sucked into it, you find your self sailing farther and farther away from the  project and then completely losing sight of it.

Then one day when you feel like going to it, you have to make great effort to get started because you’ve completely lost touch with it. Since you have to start from scratch, you find it difficult to get into the flow again.

If you like most writers, you’ll come to the conclusion that it’s not worth spending all the energy on the piece and you decide to give up on it.

Even if you’ve to go away and work something else, keep the project top of mind. Even if you can’t continue, read through it to keep it fresh in your mind. While reading something may click in your mind and lead you to writing.

My Experience

I wrote a 20-page children mystery story a long while ago. When I was on page 17 or so, I stopped writing to concentrate on other projects. 

Now more than a year later, as I seek to complete the series, I find myself being a stranger to the story I’ve written.

Although I have an outline and could have written the remaining three pages in one sitting, I didn’t. It was a terrible mistake. I could have written a paragraph a day and finished it a long time ago.
The experience taught me a good lesson – never to let anything hanging even if there’s one page left to conclude the piece. For all of my other projects, I vow to keep the momentum going until a first draft is completed. Then if I lose the momentum, not much harm is done.

So, take a leaf from my experience. Whether your work is going well or not, promise yourself not to lose track of it. Keep at it until its done, no matter how dissatisfied you’re with it. Embrace this challenge and you’re a different breed of writer.

This Simple Tweak Will Dramatically Improve Your Daily Writing Productivity

Don’t have enough time for writing?

If only you weren’t working full time and have family commitments, you would have put much more into  writing, wouldn’t you?

Well, you wouldn’t have,really. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Read More

Is Negative Feedback Making You Procrastinate on Writing Your Next Piece?

  First Hit

You’ve just completed a short story or an article. You have worked hard on it and are glad that you’ve seen it to completion. The thing is you don’t know how good it is. You are eager to find out. So, you pass your work around to people you think can give you feedback.

When the feedback arrives, it’s not what you expect. You shortcomings are pointed out. You never thought you had them.

You’re disappointed. You thought you’ve done well. You put the piece away and still hurt from the response you’ve received.

Once Bitten Twice Shy

It takes you days to put the unpleasant experience behind you. Days later, you get another idea for a  piece of writing.

You’re excited about the idea. Just then an uneasy thought intrudes. Will it be good enough if you pursue it? Will it suffer a similar fate as the previous piece?

You hesitate and put off writing it.

You don’t want to go through the pain of another negative feedback.

The Seed is Sown

Whether you realize it or not, you have started cultivating the procrastination habit.

Remember this. There was a time you didn’t procrastinate when it came to writing.    Driven by passion, you had full confidence in your ability  to write. 

You set out to showcase your best work. But then your euphoria was shortlived. Along came a rejection letter. Or negative feedback. Your journey to procrastination started. You reached the destination quite fast.

Points to Take Note Of

If you’ve experienced this situation or in the midst of undergoing one, take note of the following points.

It doesn’t mean that you’ve received negative feedback on one piece, you’ll receive it on your next one. Of course, if you’re a beginner,  you are prone to judge yourself based on one piece of work. Avoid this.

Secondly, don’t make the a big mistake of accepting negative feedback as gospel truth(s).

If writers are going to shattered by each negative feedback they receive, then there will be very little published. Every writer at one point or another has received less than favourable feedback on her work.

JK Rowling had her first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,  rejected by 12 publishers. If that had discouraged her and she had sat brooding and procrastinated on writing the next one, the world would not have enjoyed the adventures of the boy wizard.

is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so
cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case,
you fail by default,” said J.K. Rowling

 So, bear in mind that you’re not the only one receiving negative feedback for your work. Even successful writers who have been in the game for decades receive their fair share of brickbats.

Bad Reviews

Just head to the Amazon Bestselling books. Among the five star reviews there will be a few one star reviews which tears the book apart and lay bare its ‘flaws’.

Does this mean that the writer will start wondering whether he should be writing his next book?

No, the writer is wise enough to know that he can’t please everyone with his book, no matter how good he think it is.

So, the best thing to do is avoid thinking about the ‘bad ‘ reviews and continue with his next work.

You must have heard of some writers who don’t read reviews of their work. They have this arrogance – I create what I think is best for my readers. If you don’t like what I’m offering then it’s your problem.

You should try to adopt this attitude as early as possible in your writing career.

Waste of Time

Spending time thinking about what others think of your work is a complete waste of time. The time would be better spent writing which would certainly improve your skills.  

Yes, your job as a writer is to keep on writing.

Think about others who receive negative feedback, even those big, capable companies who supposedly can’t make mistakes with all their resources at hand.

Someone steps into a restaurant, tastes the food and says that it’s unpalatable . He says it’s the worst food he has eaten. Does this mean the restaurant owner will close shop  because of the negative feedback? 

No, he won’t. Because he has invested enough time and money on the business. He’s not going to let a few less than favorable feedback make him hesitate and wonder if he should continue with what he’s doing.

He’ll serve the same food, most of the time, without bothering to improve the recipe. He knows his food is good enough. He knows for the hundred people who doesn’t like his food, there will be hundreds more who will.

The Incompetent Editor

Maybe you have not received positive feedback on your work. That’s alright. It could be because feedback comes from the wrong type of people. So, instead of taking this feedback seriously, just tell yourself that you’ve yet to meet the people who will like your work. You will meet them soon if you keep writing.

Now, let’s talk about the people who offer feedback on your work. I would like to make a sweeping statement here, based on my experience.

I think moist of them aren’t qualified to comment on your work, even the so-called professional ones.

 As a children book writer, I write books in a series of eight books. After more than a decade of writing them full-time, and having got them accepted each time, I had an unpleasant experience with a new editor. 

The editor got back to me saying that he’s rejecting all the books in the series. When asked, he replied, “I like to read books that make me cry. Your books doesn’t make me cry.”

At once I knew I was confronting an incompetent editor who let his personal taste creep into the judgment of the suitability of a manuscript for publication. 

I ignored his feedback and contacted the publishing manager who suggested some changes but she never made it a requirement that the stories should make the reader cry. She understood that the stories taught children to be bold and proactive.

There are so many incompetent so-called editors out there who judge work based on their personal tastes.  If you feel your work doesn’t deserve the negative feedback, just ignore it start writing your next one.

Don’t let a few negative responses stall you and waste all the time and effort you have put in to succeed at writing.

No Feedback Required

Better still, don’t ask for feedback on your work. Just finish your work and send it out for publication or publish it in your blog. This is not to say, you shouldn’t get feedback and learn from it. If feedback is halting your writing progress, then go ahead and dispense with it.

The truth is whatever feedback you receive isn’t going to and shouldn’t affect your writing competence. If you get glowing feedback, that doesn’t mean you’ve writing ability is at a high level. Your ability is what it is at a particular moment and will only improve over time.

So, why let negative feedback give you the false impression that you’re not as good as what you think you’re?

Devil May Care Attitude

These days I can’t be bothered with criticism about my work. I know I’ve paid my dues by writing consistently for over a quarter of a century. I know I’m not a perfect writer, but I’m improving. Yes, everyone is an improving writer if he keeps on with the daily grind.

These people who are giving all the negative feedback and non-constructive criticism can’t do much to improve me as a writer. It’s all down to me. 

Yes, it’s down to you. They critics will offer their two cents and  leave. But you’re the one who must be the ultimate judge of your ability. So, judge yourself fairly.

When criticism comes uninvited, tell yourself that it’s normal. Does a politician quit just because someone criticizes his decision or statement he made? No. These politicians are know to have hides thicker than that of crocodiles.

So, develop a crocodile’s hide when it comes to writing to protect yourself from the bullet of criticism or negative feedback that can injure you.

So, instead of procrastinating on your next project following a criticism or negative response, go ahead and start working on it now.

You can’t stop the negative feedback just like you can’t get rid your home of ants, roaches or lizards. They’ll be around. Let them be. 

You concentrate on producing more work.

Don’t Forget This Secret of Attracting More Readers to Your Article, Blog Post and Ebook

While surfing the Net, you encounter a curiosity- arousing headline or title. Without much ado, you click on it because it’s on a topic you’re interested in and would like to know more about.

Little Breathing Space for the Eyes

However, when you arrive at the page, you’re disappointed. It is filled with paragraphs with huge chunks of text. It turns out that you’ve read quite a bit of text on the computer screen for the day.

Your eyes need some breathing space. You decide to forgo reading the content. Never mind if it promises interesting or quality content. Your eyes are not simply up to the task.

One look at how the content is laid out and you’ve lost 50% of your mood to read. You have experienced the feeling of ploughing through a thick volume of
textual sludge. You don’t want to go through it again.

Fulfill this Reader Expectation 

The first expectation of a reader who visits a web page is to read quality content which would serve his needs. But that’s all he expects. He expect the physical act of reading to be a pleasant one and almost effortless.

How many time have you ignored a book which did not have content laid out in an eye-pleasing manner.

Recently, I went to the library to pick up some books to provide a change from reading ebooks and web articles. I found some interesting titles and proceeded to flip through the pages. Out of the ten or so books I went through, at least eight didn’t lure me to read on. 

The pages were filled with chunks and chunks of paragraphs without any sub headings to offer relief to the reader’s eyes. All seemed intent on pushing the reader’s head underwater and keeping it submerged there as long as possible.

My Resolution

I made a quick decision. I decided not to borrow any of  those I knew if I did, I wouldn’t be taking the trouble to read them.

I read at night for an hour or two after a long day at the office. I definitely would not want to strain my eyes zeroing in on blocks of texts that resembels a facade of a skyscraper.

In the end I borrowed a book which had short chapters and many subheadings without worrying about its content quality. After all, I’m not reading for an examination. I have no time for books that doesn’t take reading comfort into consideration.

At that instant I made up my mind not to repeat this mistake in my ebooks. I want the reader to have a comfortable reading experience. I’ll make it a point to lay text out with a generous amount of white space. Yes, there’ll be plenty of ‘breathing space’ for the eye. 

White Space Doesn’t Cost Anything

While it’s understandable for print books to have small fonts and cramped paragraphs owing to trim production cost, I don’t understand the rationale of web content publishers in cramming content into whatever white space is available.

They seem to forget that white space on a web page doesn’t cost anything.That’s the beauty of web publishing.

These writers seemed not to have paid heed to the proper paragraphing web content. I don’t blame them really. When I was transitioning from print writing to web publishing, I was guilty of the same thing.

I was writing technical articles for a content website and I followed the print writing paragraph format. My editors were always pointing out this flaw,  requesting me to break up huge blocks of text into smaller paragraphs.

At first I was wondering why they were making a big fuss out of it. Then I realised how tough it is to read text over the computer screen.

A Quick Guide

Have you tried reading PDF ebooks over the computer screen? Especially those converted directly from the print version?You know how tough it is to plough through the text.

So, the next time you write you web content or ebook, give your readers a comfortable reading experience. Provide relief for their eyes by employing short paragraphs and a lot of white space around the text.

Break down you content into as many paragraphs as possible. Ideally, stick to one paragraph per point.

As a general guide try not have more than five short sentences per paragraph or three long sentences.

Nobody will complain if you have many paragraphs in your post or article, On the contrary, they’ll welcome it and if you keep doing it, you’ll be attracting more readers.

You May Not Be Solely Responsible for Your Procrastination Problem :Here’s a Trick to Try

The experts have us believe that procrastination is an internal thing. Yes, it is, most of the time. It has something to do with self-doubt, lack of confidence or conditioning – simply not wanting to go through an unpleasant experience again. 

Group Behaviour

However, sometimes our tendency to procrastinate is contributed by the people we are surrounded with – people who like to procrastinate. Or we are in a group where procrastination is accepted.

Everybody procrastinates and we are encouraged to do that. This group have us believe that procrastination is not a sin. Trying to overcome procrastination or doing stuff immediately can be equated with haste or impatience.

What’s the hurry to do that now? Can’t you be patient? 

The Meaningful Meeting

In his book, How to Save an Hour Every Day Michael Heppell tells his experience of meeting a man called David Bell who was supposed to help him start a business.

Bell suggested that Heppell met someone who had just started an Internet business to get some ideas. When Heppell agreed, Bell called the person immediately and set up an appointment. He even handed the phone to Heppell so that he could arrange a suitable time for the meeting.

Then Heppell asked Bell if he had read a particular article. When Heppell replied in the negative, Bell immediately had his assistant photocopy the article and passed it to Heppell.

Heppell came away from the meeting truly inspired by the do-it-now guy and shared this experience with his friends.

He had met a person who didn’t seem to have a piling  to-do-list. He settled a task immediately when it beckoned.

If you’re procrastinating working on your writing projects, seek out a person who who finishes tasks immediately and borrow the do-it-now spirit from him.

If you can’t find someone suitable, well, you have to borrow the do-it-now spirit from yourself. What do you do without delaying? Pay bills? Check your email first thing in the morning. Reply your phone messages?

Can you transfer the do-it-now spirit to writing? You can.

Heppell used  this trick when he felt like procrastinating.

Your Daily Mantra

It’s a mantra he kept repeating:
“Do It Now! Do It Now! Do It Now!”

He kept repeating it until he did the thing he was supposed to do.

Why not try repeating the mantra until you feel guilty of avoiding a task and start doing it immediately.

If Heppell could use this simple trick to beat procrastination, so can you.

Simple tricks like this are the best way to beat procrastination without much effort on your part.

If you would like to explore more tricks like this, check out my book,30 Deadly Anti-Procrastination Tricks to Rescue the Stalling Writer: Sneaky Mind Games and Sly Action Plans to Overpower Writing Resistance and Get Your Words Flowing Again

Anti-Procrastination Tricks

What’s the Best Anti-Procrastination Strategy to Get the Most Out of Your Writing Time and Write Productively?

Are you clueless when procrastination confronts you  when it’s time to write? Do you just give up and avoid writing or just postpone it to an unspecified time?
Alternatively, do you  make a serious attempt to write while struggling with procrastination but find yourself fighting a losing battle each time?

Does frustration and disillusionment rule your writing day as a result of low or zero  productivity born of procrastination?

If so, it’s time to take stock of things.

Do You Have a Strategy?
What may be contributing to your problem is the lack of an effective strategy.
Most writers, including me at one time, try to handle procrastination by bulldozing their way through it stubbornly. We apply the seat of our pants to the chair and start writing away. We set deadlines in the hope that it will keep procrastination away. 
Despite these measures, we find ourselves procrastinating when it comes to the next writing session. Just when we thought that we have tamed the enemy, it rears its ugly head again and again, looking even mightier. Its roar frightens us and we shy away from writing as if its red-hot iron not to be touched..
Over the years I have thought hard about a battle plan I could use against procrastination whereby I could emerge unscathed. Finally, after many trial and errors I found that procrastination could effectively be leashed by the use of deceit and trickery instead of taking it head on.
I decided that tricking it into no-show when it’s time for me to sit down and write is the best way to keep out procrastination
I created some tricks of my own to outwit procrastination and put them to test. Some worked and some didn’t. What I learned from this exercise is I can’t rely on a few tricks alone to keep procrastination at bay. I needed a bagful of tricks to arm myself against procrastination’s attack in case the ones I have don’t really work on a particular day.
This is when  I started researching tricks used by other writers and started collecting them and testing them out. Some worked really well and I decided to make them my priority weapons against procrastination.

If you feel you’re the only writer out there fighting a battle with procrastination, take heart. Every writer faces the problem, not matter how experienced he or she is, although many would not care or dare to admit.

Procrastination should not be really considered as a sin to be avoided. You ought to treat it more like an occupational hazard. When we procrastinate on such simple matters as cleaning our room or posting a letter, why can’t writing which involves real work roll out the red carpet  to procrastination?

In the course of my research, I became interested in how prolific writers manage to produce day  in and day out without procrastination troubling them.

A Prolific Writer’s Trick
I stumbled upon the tricks used by Ryoki Inoue, a Brazilian writer recognized as the world’s most prolific writer, having written over a thousand books.

One of the tricks he used to write is relying on his first inspiration without worrying about where  it takes him. What this means is he doesn’t wait when an idea hits him. When it’s red hot, he starts writing although he’s not sure of his final destination or where the writing would take him.

With such an approach to writing, will procrastination dare go near him?

Other writers would start considering whether the idea is good enough or not and then as they start doing it they may hear a voice saying it would not amount to anything. This would naturally throw them into the procrastination mode.

When procrastination stares you in the face and you feel helpless, follow in Ryoki Inoue’s footsteps and write without worrying where the writing will take you or whether it would be any good. Make it a habit of doing that.

What I also learned from my exploration is the most productive and prolific writers like Ryoki Inoue use simple tricks to beat procrastination and get their words flowing.

I have compiled the best tricks to beat procrastination into a book, 30 Deadly Anti-Procrastination Tricks to Rescue The Stalling Writer : Sneaky Mind Games and Sly Action Plan to Overpower Writing Resistance and Get Your Words Flowing.

I have used successfully them to beat procrastination while living by my pen for the past 27 years. Do check out the book. You have thirty tricks to try out for a whole month and not leave home without the ones that really click with you..

After reading the book, you’ll not have to worry about getting started immediately when you sit down to write. No matter what evil plans procrastination has against you, the tricks in the book will help you blow it away from your writing life.

Believe me, the best way to paralyze procrastination is employ mind games and trickery against it.

The One Attitude You Need to Cultivate to Beat Procrastination and Write Productively – Borrowed from Issac Asimov

Pix courtesy of Zakeena @ Sketchport

There are two things writers usually do when procrastination waylays them.

They either avoid working  or if they manage to get going, they get hit by procrastination along the way and are overpowered in such a manner that they end up quitting or delaying completing their work.

A main reason why they become easy meat for procrastination is because of their attitude towards their work.

If it’s work they don’t have any or much passion for  then  procrastination rules the day.

If  it’s  work the writer wants to exhibit a high standard (usually to satisfy somebody else) or  to match that of an existing work,  procrastination will start flexing its muscles and wait to deliver the killer blow.

In short, writers must understand that procrastination is not an external force that takes delight in attacking writers at its whims and fancies.

It attacks you when you provide it with enough ammunition to do so. It’s your attitude towards writing that invites or shut out procrastination.

Think about the areas in your writing life that procrastination doesn’t intrude.

Overestimating the Intelligence of Your Readers
Does  procrastination bother you  when you reply an internal company email?

You know addressee(s) well.

You know they aren’t in a position to actually judge your writing.

You know that they are only interested in the message. So, you  don’t feel the pressure of coming up with a perfect email reply.

You know  everyone in your department  uses normal  English, with bad grammar or poor sentence construction and so in the effort to get the message across.

Why can’t you apply the same kind of thinking when  it comes to something more serious, like writing an article or an ebook?

The problem here is you start imagine your reader as  someone who’s more capable than you’re – in a position of higher authority who will take a look at your work with an unimpressed eye.

They are sure to find faults with your writing.

Once this thought creeps into your mind, you start questioning your ability to deliver.

When you have doubt in your own ability to write (even if you’re actually capable) or you doubt the quality of your writing, then procrastination moves in for the kill and has the last laugh.

Issac Asimov’s Formula
To help overcome this shortcoming, I would like to draw your attention to Issac Asimov’s mindset when it comes to writing.

As you may already know, he was a prolific science fiction writer.

Although many regarded him as a genius, I don’t think that contributed to his prolific output.

There are many geniuses out there who are just ordinary when it comes to writing. They produce very little writing or none at all.

Asimov  found a formula that enabled him to beat procrastination and start writing prolifically.

It’s a two-part formula:

1) Write in simple English
2) Never doubt your writing quality

I personally think quality number two is the most important weapon to have to beat procrastination.

Procrastination doesn’t exist in our dictionary when we write without doubting our  writing quality.

There are many out there who know they don’t produce quality writing, but they keep on churning work after work.

That’s because they don’t doubt their writing.

They start off writing feeling their writing is really useful and badly needed by the readers out there.

Well, this doesn’t have to be true actually. You don’t need statistics to prove it. We just need to believe it when we are writing.

Have you heard of writers who don’t read reviews of their work?

They are actually busy working on the next project.

Whether it’s good reviews or bad, they aren’t concerned.

What matters is that they regard their work as useful and nothing else matters.

So, these kind of writers have no problem in starting and finishing whatever they start.

The concern of publishing a piece of work, or shipping it as they call in marketing circles, overrides the concern for quality.

They ship no matter what.

Many, especially literary purists, have run down the writing Issac Asimov’s writing quality.

It’s not that Asimov doesn’t have the capability to write in a literary style.

He has consciously chosen to write in a straightforward style  to get his ideas across.

A lesser writer would have been affected by the negative feedback and procrastinated on the next work.

If he had he would have lost out to the handful critics and deprived millions of readers there who enjoyed his works without really being concerned of his writing quality.

The Internet Marketer’s Podcast
Recently I was listening to a podcast by an internet marketer. He was talking about creating an ebook over the next few days. Of course his technique was dictating a book and sending it to be transcribed and then editing and publishing it. That part did not interest me as I feel writing the book is faster.

What interested me is the part where he mentions that you just have to put out version 1 of your product and then come back to improve it in subsequent versions.

These Internet marketers swear by this approach and that’s their secret for producing products after products.

Most of them have just passable writing skills but they are more focused on getting the message across than writing style or quality. I have read a good many ebooks with typos and grammatical mistakes. But they can be excusable. After all, they can be excused because they are offering more much in terms of solutions to problems in a presentable fashion, which those books published by the big boys really don’t with all the fluff and padding.

It’s Enough to Be Good Enough
The Internet marketer on the podcast said one should be out to put out a ‘good enough’ product out there instead of a perfect product.

This makes perfect sense. The market is willing to accept ‘good enough’ content, just like it accepts ‘good enough’ food, movies, service and so on.

It’s you who decide that the market would not accept anything that isn’t perfect you end up digging your own grave. You think readers out there would be examining every word or sentence you write. Fact is market has no time for that. Market just want the gist of your message and move on to something else. So, chances are what you’re writing is good enough, but you’re the one who is killing your progress with self-doubt.

So the trick to beat procrastination is to write  with the confidence that your  content is good enough for the market.

And whatever you do, never let doubt about your ability or writing quality creep into the picture.

Your Mantra
If  self-doubt keeps cornering you, write in Issac Asimov Mode. He said in an interview, “To write prolifically you have to be supremely confident of yourself as a writer.”

Make that your mantra.

If you can do that, you can very well bid adieu to procrastination.

If you wish to explore more tricks like this, check out my book, 30 Deadly Anti-Procrastination Tricks to Rescue the Stalling Writer : Sneaky Mind Games and Sly Action Plans  to Overpower Resistance and Get Your Words Flowing Again

3o Deadly Anti-Procrastination Tricks to Rescue the Stalling Writer

8 Quick Steps to Stop Procrastinating, Revive Your Stalled Writing Projects and Complete Them Painlessly

Do you have a stalled writing project that keeps popping up in your mind every now and then? Do you feel guilty abandoning it when it had shown so much promise when you first started it? Maybe you hit a few rough patches along the way before deciding to ditch it. Now you’re hearing its call for attention and are you ignoring it.

If you’re, it’s time you take a look at it so that you  can rid yourself of carrying a mental baggage that keeps bothering you.

Yes, you would like to get started on the stalled writing project, but then, does the thought of the previous  unsuccessful attempts paralyze you?

If so, here are some tips to help you painlessly reopen an old wound, sew it up and heal it.

Here are some quick steps to follow to that end.

Banish Thoughts of  Previous Unsuccessful Attempts
Remind yourself that you aren’t going to take a look at it from the point of view of the writer of the piece, lest you react negatively to it.

Imagine you are now an editor tasked to offer feedback to an anonymous writer. You’re looking at the work for the first time. Since you’ve  not looked at the work in a long while, it would be easy to to maintain the necessary distance from the work. Only thing is you need to reset your mind to look at it from an editor’s point of view.

So, how do you easily look at it with an editor’s eyes? Think back to the time when you edited someone’s work. How did it feel? You certainly had no attachment to the work and only wanted to shape it into a good piece of writing.

Keep telling yourself this before you look at the piece of writing. Some of you will find it a little tough to slip into the editor mode. You’ve got to try and get used to it. This habit will come useful in future when you produce more pieces of writing and need to clean them up.

The key is to avoid recalling how you went about writing the piece of work. Don’t entertain any thoughts of it at all.

Show  Up
After setting your mind to go into editor’s mode, you’ll have to set a time to look at the work. If you’re still reluctant to look at it, it means you’ve not fully put yourself into the editor’s mode. It’s alright if you face this problem. especially if you’re new to the writing process.

Here’s a  trick I use when I don’t feel like showing up at a piece of work. I set my mind to neutral, which means that I don;t think like a writer or an editor. I clear my mind and leave it blank. It helps if you can divert your mind to something that puts your mind into the neutral mode.

What I usually do is listen to music or concentrate on my slow breathing.  If you’re already feeling anxious about looking at the work, leave your work space for a while. Go for a brisk walk and come back about fifteen or twenty minutes later.

Dispel any anxiety by saying that once you get started, everything will be alright. You may want to recall a time when you were reluctant to start working on a writing project, but once you got going everything clicked into gear.

Examine the Work Speedily, Dispassionately
Now, this is an important step. If you don’t handle this well, then you’ll not make much progress in reviving your stalled project.

The key here is to go through the work as fast as possible. You’re going to speed read your work in such a way that no thoughts intrude into it.

Imagine you’re a very busy editor with stacks of work to look at it. It would help if you could just scan or skim through the work.

I advise you not to allocate a long reading session for this. Limit it to a ten or fifteen minute session.

If it’s a longer piece of work like a book or novel, you’ll have to break it down into smaller parts. Again, make sure you don’t exceed ten to fifteen minutes a session and don’t try to do it all in a single day.

Once you’re done with a session close the work. Done with the reading, you’ll either like what you’ve read or not be very impressed with it. Don’t be carried away by any of these thoughts.

Just praise yourself for showing up at the work you’ve been reluctant to look at.

Clear you mind of any thoughts that result from the impression of your work.  Go for a walk or do something physical like cleaning your house or something. Anything physical will do as long as it helps you operate in a neutral mode.

Prepare a Quick Report
After you’ve sufficiently distanced yourself from the work, it’s time to slip into the no-nonsense editor mode.

This steps involves you preparing a quick report on what you’ve read. Since your’re a busy editor, you’ll only prepare a very brief report. Say three positive things about what you’ve read.
Maybe you can say a) conversational  writing style b) power words and c) good flow etc.

Then highlight three areas that can be improved on: a) opening can be shortened to get to the point faster. b) break up paragraphs into shorter chunks  c) expand on certain parts and so on.

Keep the report as brief as possible.

This report is meant for the writer and you may even want to ask questions to help clarify the writer’s vision of the work. You may want to ask questions such as why the writer wrote the work. What  the reader takeaway the writer expects from the work is. What are the important reader questions the writer wants answered in the work.

Questions can also be asked as to the subject matter of the work. For example, if the piece on the subject of procrastination if a statement is made to the effect that even successful writers procrastinate when it comes to sitting down and writing, can we have examples?

You may have many improvements to suggest, but for the first round, just stick to three or four.

At best limit your report to about two to three hundred words.

After you have done this, your role as the editor is over.

Operating in Writer Mode
Now you switch to the writer mode.  Allow yourself some time to get into the writer’s mode. Maybe a day or two. Meanwhile, prepare yourself to get into the writer’s mode. Tell yourself that you will be receiving some feedback from an editor, and you’ll do you best to follow the instructions.

Tell yourself that your work has potential. It’s just a draft and it will have rough spots like any other written by anybody else. You will try your best to improve on nit and you’ll enjoy doing it.

Read through the feedback from the editor. Now take out a sheet of paper and list down the action steps you’re supposed to take.

For example, you’ll want to write:
a) Write three opening paragraphs without worrying much about the quality. I’ll choose the best later
b) Cut down longer paragraphs and explain ideas as succinctly as possible
c) Provide examples where a matter needs more explanation

Break Project Down to Bite-Size Parts
The most important thing to note here is not to overwork yourself. Chances are the piece you’re working on is a personal project and you can go at a slower pace as long as you’re moving.

Please be careful to break down the tasks to the smallest steps possible. For example, you  may want to spend a whole session brainstorming titles  That’s alright, even if ordicarily you think it’s not making the best use of your time.

Allocate ten or fifteen minutes a day to work on the improvement. Work as fast as possible so as not to allow yourself to think about what you’re doing and elicit an improper emotional reaction to it that will discourage you from proceeding further.

For the time being, you’ll be operating in a neutral mental state, you’ll entertain no thoughts, whether positive or negative, about what you’re doing.

If you get the impression that your efforts are getting nowhere, keep going. Like Winston Churchill said, if you feel you’re going through hell, keep going.

The most important thing here is not to attain a certain quality in your work, but to cultivate the habit of not giving up on a stalled project and keep working on it.

Just ask yourself., “What benefit do I get by abandoning it?”

At least if I keep working on it, I may see light at the end of the tunnel.

Work for the sake of not giving up on what you’ve started. You not only sharpen your craft but also toughen your mental resolve in relation to  writing which is one of the qualities needed to be a successful writer.

Show Up Every Day 
Like as has been explained earlier, it’s mighty important to be working in a dispassionate mode. Whether the work is going well or not, promise to show up every day. But then you say, there’s no way I can show up every day. I have many other important things to do. You’re right.

But then you don’t have to show up for long periods of time and interrupt your other more important activities.

Even ten minutes a day will do. Putting in ten minutes a day means you’re showing up. Why, even five minutes a day is enough. What can you do in my five minutes, you ask? Check out my book, 30 Deadly Tricks to Crack Procrastination and you can learn how showing up for a five minutes take your far in your writing project.

Showing up is important because it will keep your project on top of your mind. If you feel unmotivated to show up, tell yourself that you’re going to work on your project until you can make it publishable.  You’ll keep on with it until you can make something out of it.

Show Up. Keep Going.

Stop Even if The Going is Good 
This is my personal experience. Sometimes when working on a writing project, when I’m flowing, I keep going until I reach a point where I hit a wall. That itself discourages me from moving on further. In my excitement to finish the work as soon as possible, I’ve set up myself to hit a dead end and have a negative reaction to my work.

What I do, is I stop when the going is good and keep the good feeling and continue the next day because I know where I’m headed. You may want to make a note of what you’re supposed to be doing the next day to keep you on track.

Hemingway used the same trick to keep his writing going.

Get Ready for the Worst Case Scenario
Over the years working on numerous writing projects, I have learned an important lesson. There’s no such thing as project that doesn’t work. Someone else has done something similar to you and have completed it successfully. So, don’t act as if you’re the first person to be doing such a work and that’s why you’re not getting anywhere.

If you think the project is going anywhere, don’t trust you judgement yet. It’s just an emotional reaction. Most of the time, our emotional reactions are not accurate predictions. In such situations ask yourself what else you should be doing.

List down the action steps:
1) Read similar works to examine how the writers are dealing with the subject
2) Do more research on the subject – could provide a new angle
3) Stop trying to be original – maybe you should use an existing work as a model and provide your own spin to it.

I believe that if you’re excited enough to start a project, there’s something to it. Sit down and think what got you excited in it in the first place. You may have to dig deep for answers.

Recently, I started a novel which involves a sales girl who marries a doctor who later disappears from her life. I even had the ending in mind but the work wasn’t moving. Then I asked myself, what got me started in the first place. Of course the basis for the novel was a news report where a doctor was arrested for molesting his patient and a charming and enthusiastic sales girl I met selling organic products. I tried to get the novel moving on these two foundations.

Later, thinking hard about it, I realized that it’s not about the doctor or the sales girl. It’s about the individual in conflict with the community. Can the individual break free of the community and realize her true self herself although what she does isn’t approved of by the community?

Once I found this golden thread, I knew how to restructure the novel.

So, try to find out what’s your work about. What philosophy or message or theme are you trying to explore in your work.

Maybe this will fuel the work to its completion.

Track Your Progress
So, you’ve decided to keep working on your project no matter what. You’ve also decided to show up every day.

After a while, you may really be wondering if you’re really making any progress on it. You want to see progress so that you’re motivated to work on it.

To motivate you to move ahead with the project, it’s essential that you can see your progress. So, I would recommend that you keep a record of your daily progress.

Have a kind of a progress chart in a spreadsheet or something.

Write down
Monday – worked on title – 10 minutes
Tuesday – finished two paragraphs on the opening chapter – 20 minutes
Wednesday – Re-outlined the third chapter – 25 minutes

When you see a list of activities completed, it will spur you to keep going. As long as you’re moving you’re fine.

Remember, reviving a stalled project is not easy because oi your emotional reaction to it. But once you overcome it and get moving, chances are you’ll successfully completed.

If you’re finding it difficult to get started on your stalled writing project, ad need some assistance to get you moving, check out 30 Deadly Tricks to Crack Procrastination and Start Writing the moment  you face the Blank Page.

It takes great effort to open a rusty door, once you prise it open and oil it, everything is going to be smooth again.

: Aandones housing project, taken over by a new developer.

1) Show Up
2) Identify Your Bootlenexks
3) Prepare an Action Plan
4) Take One Small Step at a Time
5) Prepare Your Report to Track Your Progress

Case Study: How I do it on a Stalled Project:
Children wriuting… in fact I’m showing up now…

How to Start Loving a Writing Project You Hate and Finish It

“I hate writing. I love having written.” Dorothy Parker

Most of us work on writing projects we love, related to subjects or themes we are excited about.

But there are times when we are compelled to undertake projects that we  aren’t excited about, can’t lend our hearts to.

It could be a college assignment, a work-related writing task sanctioned by your superior.

The first thing we want to do when faced with such a situation is flee from the challenge. We try to delay working on the project although we know we have the knowledge to finish  it. Finally we when deadline day is around the corner or we receive reminders as to the completion of the task at hand, we force ourselves to sit down and finish it, grumbling and fighting resistance.

The feeling that accompanies us at this juncture is ‘let’s finish it and get it out of the way’ and hope another similar project doesn’t turn up for good.

Hoping another project doesn’t turn up for good? That’s unlikely to happen. There will always be projects where you can’t put your heart into.

So, instead of fretting and complaining let’s find a way out so that we can eliminate our resentment and anxiety plus the guilt of avoiding it.

Recently, I was asked to write a business plan for my company. When the
project was explained to me, my heart reacted in a negative way to it.
That’s not my cup of tea. I  love writing stories and articles and ebooks that inspire and instruct.

But previous experience told me that the way my heart reacts counts for
nothing. The work has still got to be delivered.

Here are some techniques I used to get started and finish the project.

Zero Thinking. Clearing the Mind
Chances are you’re resenting working on it because of a previous unpleasant experience working on a similar project. If you sense such a thought creeping in, shoot it down immediately. Imagine this is the first time you’re working on it and you can do it. Your previous experience doesn’t count here.

If I find that I can’t avoid thinking about it, I tell myself that, it’s no big deal because I’ve successfully handled much more ‘boring’ projects before. So, why worry when you  have the experience?

Show Up as Soon as Possible and Dive In
To avoid thinking about the project and make negative thoughts rub salt into my lack of interest and give rise to procrastination, I immediately opened Google Doc and started writing down the brief and put down the main headings of the business plan.

It took me less than an hour and I knew I don’t have to tackle the issue of getting started.

I’ve started the engine and only thing I need to do is keep it running.  My target now – to fill up the first heading in the next writing session.

I don’t have to worry about getting started.

Moral: Deliver the First Blow Soonest.

Focus on the Benefits Rather Than Your Lack of Interest
Look at the Positive Aspects of Working on the Project.

Even if you can’t see any benefit of working on  the project, take out a sheet of paper and start listing the benefits.

When I started running through the benefits of writing a business plan, here’s what I came up with:

a) Writing the business plan will give me writing practice, which is important to develop as a writer. This benefit itself reduced the resentment I had for the project by 50%.

b) I would learn how to write a business plan, which would come handy later. It could be part of my writing services. Future income opportunity.

c) I would learn some useful business terms which would come handy someday when I’m writing on a business subject. My belief is that nothing learned is ever wasted. It will serve its purpose one day. Never mind if it’s five or ten years later.

d) I may need this knowledge in future if I plan to open a business and need to write a business plan.

e) Writing a business plan will help develop the entrepreneur side of me instead of leaning heavily towards the artistic side. It will give me a new perspective in my effort to earn a living online.

f) Opportunity to write in a different tone and style – Writing how-to articles and stories call for a different style and tone. A business plan will definitely call for a different style and this will help me improve my versatility as a writer.

Focus on the Language Instead of the Subject 
I also treated the assignment as an opportunity to use words and phrases I may not have previously used in other projects. While reading, I mentally pick up and also jot down ‘power words’ and phrases which I don’t usually get the opportunity to use on some writing projects.

So, I hoped this writing project will give me the opportunity to have my subconscious throw such power words and phrases on to the page, maybe some nice phrasal verbs or idioms and such.

Now, running all these thoughts through my mind, I come to the conclusion that the benefits of working on the project far outweigh the one reason I have for not starting – my dislike of the subject.

I hope the next time you’re faced with a writing project your heart rejects, try to look at the other side of the coin.

Don’t be surprised that you’ll end up feeling ashamed of yourself for not starting on the project and enjoying the numerous benefits waiting for you.

Have you ever handled a writing project which didn’t appeal to your heart? How did you manage to complete it?

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