Inspiring Post-Election Words from Atul Gawande and Perennial Wisdom from Gene Sharp

I’ll send out another productivity newsletter in a bit, but in the meantime, Atul Gawande’s New Yorker piece offers one of the most healing and encouraging responses to the election I’ve seen. Excerpt: To a large extent, though, institutions closer to home are what secure and sustain our values. This is the time to strengthen […]

Tips for a Distracting Time

It’s been a crazy and, in many ways, difficult week here in the U.S. If you’re having trouble working (as I am and I know many others are), grab your timer and do short intervals. (Even a minute or two!) You will make progress and, perhaps even more importantly, keep the material fresh in your […]

On Trying to Write While Sitting in the Midst of the Battle of Hogwarts

An author friend of mine recently wrote on Facebook (and gave me kind permission to post): “Almost impossible to work these days. It feels like I’m sitting in the entrance hall of Hogwarts trying to write…while the final battle with Voldemort and the Death Eaters is raging around me.” She’s not alone. Recently YouTube celebrity […]

Exclusive: Sharon Shinn’s Time Management Tips!

I was recently thrilled to have the opportunity to interview bestselling fantasy / science fiction / romance / young adult novelist Sharon Shinn. Why all the genres? She’s incredibly prolific. Moreover, she’s prolific while holding down a full-time job. A writing job! It’s just incredible. I just had to find out how she does it–especially because she also happens […]

Russian Translation of 7 Secrets of the Prolific Now Available!

And it’s got an amazing cover!               Thanks to the good people at Mann-Ivanov-Ferber for the translation.    

Reminder: Upcoming Workshops in Colorado, Missouri, and Michigan

Hope to see you at a workshop! Always check my calendar for the latest dates and information.

Upcoming Workshops and Classes (May – July 2015)

Online, July 6 – August 3 The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Basics of Joyful Production SavvyAuthors.com More info / To register Inspiration exists and is available to everyone at almost any time. Underproductivity, procrastination, and blocks are solvable problems. The secret to achieving a state of near-perpetual inspiration (a.k.a., “flow”) is to switch […]

Don’t Let Unintended/Unwanted Consequences Hold Back Your Projects

Reblogged from the Thesis Whisperer. The anonymous author of this piece, originally entitled “What’s it like to Finish?”, does a great job of articulating how even a great success, like finishing a thesis, will almost always yield some unwanted consequences. Often we at least intuit these, and the fear of them can cause us to […]

And for those of you who happen not to live in Cleveland :-) …

Don’t forget my upcoming online classes! ALL writers are invited to take the next two classes, including fiction, nonfiction, academic, nonprofit, business, and “other” writers. Online classes are cheap, convenient, fun, and there’s lots of free parking. 🙂 Plus, you’ll get loads of support and individual attention. – Hillary Online (Everyone welcome!), May 11 – […]

Talking TWICE in Cleveland Tomorrow! (Saturday, 4/25 – 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.)

Late notice, but I’ll be doing a double workshop on (1) how to do joyful vegan activism, and (2) writing productivity TOMORROW, Saturday, April 25, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Details here. You can come to one or both workshops – both will be lively and fun! You are also invited to come before the […]

Why People Quit Big Projects (And How Not To!)

The below fantastic article from ThesisWhisperer.com is aimed at graduate students, but really pertains to anyone who is struggling, or has struggled, with a big project. (Just substitute “boss” for “supervisor” if needed!) Thanks to the the Thesis Whisperer herself, Dr. Inger Mewburn, Director of Research Training at the Australian National University, for kind permission […]

On The Importance of Going OFF the Internet

Going off the Internet seems a radical act, but for most people it’s essential for creativity. The Internet is inherently and continuously interruptive, and that’s not a good mix with creative work, or productivity in general. In classes, I quote Jonathan Franzen (“It’s doubtful that anyone with an Internet connection at his workplace is writing […]

Be Sure to Check the “Preapproved Payments” Page on Your PayPal Account Every So Often…

…and to cancel those preapprovals no longer needed. I just found that I’ve been paying $10/month to elance.com. Unlike more honest, forthright companies, they don’t send account statements, so it’s easy to forget you’ve subscribed and are paying. I haven’t used elance probably in a year, so this was wasted money.

Why, in Writing, Process Trumps Product, And Why You Shouldn’t Worry About The Quality of Your Work

Everyone’s obsessed with quality, but the way to achieve it is not to focus on it. That’s because: 1) Quality is an Emergent Property An emergent property is one that’s intrinsic to a system, and that arises organically as that system operates. Think of relationships: if you try to force them, they wither and die. […]

I Bought the World’s Best Coffee Mug at Goodwill Recently, and The Best Part is…

              no matter what J says to me, I can respond simply by pointing at it.