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alexandme

Productivity Tips from Alex the Parrot

I just finished reading Irene Pepperberg's wonderful book Alex & Me, about her work and relationship with Alex, the African Grey parrot who became internationally renowned for his cognitive and communications skills, including being able to hold simple conversations, spell simple words, and do simple math. Turns out he could procrastinate, too. One problem Pepperberg had with Alex and the other parrots she worked with was that they got bored during the repetitive testing needed to gather data. When Alex didn't want to … [Read More...]

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 from a scarcity to an abundance mindset, and also from a shame/blame mindset to one focused on problem-solving. In this workshop by Hillary Rettig, author of the best-selling … [Read More...]

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Exclusive! John Scalzi’s Time Management and Career Tips

Last week, the publishing world was abuzz with the news that bestselling science fiction author John Scalzi signed a movie-star-like $3.4 million publishing deal for 10 books. Scalzi is someone I admire enormously, not just for his writing and career success, but because he's a genuinely nice guy, both offline (I've seen him at science fiction conventions) and online. Along with his time management and career strategies, Scalzi is a social media powerhouse, so I also interviewed him on his social media strategies. And he's an out, … [Read More...]

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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 procrastinate, since delaying our project is a great strategy for avoiding them. All of this applies to all writers and other creative workers, of course, and not just Ph.D. students! Your thoughts, experiences, … [Read More...]

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 - June 7 Weight Loss for Writers SavvyAuthors.com More info. Why I'm teaching a course on Weight Loss for Writers Online, July 6 - August 3 The 7 Secrets of the … [Read More...]

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 workshop and share an awesome and fun and friendly VEGAN POTLUCK! Needless to say...nonvegans, semivegans, vegancurious, and EVERYONE welcome. See you tomorrow! … [Read More...]

“Wise and kind and supportive.”

Kari Sperring - I've just been reading Hillary Rettig on writing (recommended to me by Stephanie Burgess and I am very grateful to her for that, for it is excellent). One of the things she writes about is how invested writers become in our work and its reception. It can sometimes become all tangled up in our sense of identity, and if it is rejected or ill-received, it feels like an attack on our inner, most sensitive selves. I've been in that place and it hurts. But, as Rettig points out, this belief, however natural, is also not the … [Read More...]

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Well Paid New York Times Writers Have Interesting Theoretical Discussion on Whether Poverty is Good for (Other) Writers

"Do Money Woes Spur Creativity or Stifle It?" This was the dingbat question editors of the New York Times Bookends column considered worth debating this week. I'll share my full comment on the piece in a moment, but first: can you even imagine asking this about practitioners in any non-arts field? I can't! Gives you a sense of how artists are valued in society. Unfortunately, the two writers the Times chose to address the question waffled and waxed poetic and seem to have needed to show off their erudition. So the question … [Read More...]

Why a Course on Weight Loss for Writers?

On May 11, I will be starting my next SavvyAuthors' exclusive Weight Loss for Writers class. To my knowledge, you won't find another class like it anywhere. But why a class on weight loss just for writers? Well, for one thing, writing is a sedentary occupation, so it's easy for writers to gain weight. For another, overweight (yes, I use it as a noun for convenience's sake!) has a lot in common with that other unfortunately common malady for writers, writer's block. Both are forms of procrastination fed by perfectionism and … [Read More...]

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Sisyphus should not be your role model! (Or, what to do if you’re distracted by the Internet.)

Wasting too much time online? The solution is actually easy: disconnect. At various times, and in various situations, I've done all of the below—and sometimes two or more at a time: In households where others needed WiFi access, I've chosen not to give myself the WiFi password. That meant that while everyone else could access the Internet freely from any location, I had to take my laptop to a specific location (usually, in another room from where I was working), and plug in a cable. In households where I was alone (for instance, … [Read More...]