How’s it going? My weekend was normal–Sunday paper, comics, and things like that. Yesterday we got pounded with rain/freezing rain.
And then I realized we’ve begun the New Year’s Slide. That’s what I call the last part of December, especially after Christmas, when not a whole heck of a lot happens, and then the New Year hits.
And I’d like to talk about it a little bit.
The New Year’s Slide leads to a lack of productivity, mental meandering, and general listlessness (or it can, at least).
And if you’re anything like me, goofing off more than a little bit can cause you to feel more than a little guilty about it–even if you’ve worked really hard up until then.
Then I started hearing things to put the “pro” back in “productivity” as 2015 hits its close (Friday is New Year’s Day this year).
One marketer with an email list that I’m on suggested that people treat December as the start of the New Year, and start making, sketching, and reaching for their goals then. I didn’t do a good job of implementing that one.
A second marketer suggested that no matter how busy you are, you take the first hour of every day for your personal projects/to-dos, instead of a client’s or other work (which I mentioned here).
These are both excellent ideas others have come up with (and I’m trying to get into the habit of using the second one, more and more).
But how does all this make you a better writer/marketer? Sure you can actually DO these things, but I’m suggesting something else…
Writers think a lot. Research a lot, too. Not to mention observing people in action a lot.
As a fiction writer, why not try to use the above suggestions on your characters, settings, or plots instead? Since characters have to act like real people, give them some resistance when they’re using these techniques–people telling them they work too hard, they’re nuts, or what-have-ya. How does your character deal with criticism? What if laziness is against the law in your setting? What if people get tired? How do they deal with it?
And if you’re an email writer, copywriter, or marketer, think about how someone’s life can change if they were to be even halfhearted in their application of these techniques. If someone wrote 150 words per day, 5 days a week, in one year that’s 39,000 words (provided my math is right). And that’s just output, not editing–heck, it doesn’t even include writing on the weekends. Reading 150 to 200 words a day written by someone else would take even less effort–that would be a whole book or so in one year, more if you read (or wrote) more.
If you have other things you’re working on that don’t involve writing, how many of those can you do in one hour? Depends on the things, but moving forward on something, no matter how much or little, is good.
That’s why I talk about the Pizza Method for goals and things. No overwhelm, no burnout, and measurable progress. And if you want to up the output after you get comfortable, feel free.
And if you’re the dash instead of the marathon type, you can fall back on these ideas if you decide to slow down.
Until next time,