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The 7 Secrets of the Prolific

This workshop helps liberate you from the internal and external constraints that are frequent causes of procrastination, perfectionism and writer's block. We discuss six sets of constraints and how to liberate yourself from them. We also do in-class writing exercises that help you experience, and develop the habit of, the kind of effortless and fun writing that leads to prolific output. Topics include:

I. Liberation from Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer's Block
Procrastination, perfectionism and writer's block are not moral flaws; nor are they caused by laziness, lack of discipline or lack of commitment. Rather, they are habits rooted in fear and the great news is that once we start properly characterizing and alleviating our fears, our procrastination and related problems are often remarkably easily solved. We examine the true nature of, causes of, and solutions to, procrastination, perfectionism and blocks.

2. Liberation from Internal, External and Community Constraints
What resources do you need to write prolifically? More than you might think! We discuss the internal resources (including resilience and compassion toward self), external resources (time, information, software), and community resources (colleagues, mentors, supportive family) most writers require. We also discuss the eight stages of the writing process and the requirements for each stage. Finally, we examine the (major) role luck plays in writing careers, and how to function in its presence or absence.

3. Liberation from Time Constraints
We discuss the true importance and value of time, and time management as a primary tool for achieving your important goals, including writing goals. We also discuss how to manage (budget and track) your time, guidelines for prioritizing, and delegation and other techniques for “creating time.”

4. Liberation from Bias and Internalized Oppression
Society offers many negative ideas and stereotypes about writers and writing. We examine the degree to which you may have internalized them, and how having done so may be affecting your writing. Also, the truth about writers and writing, and how can you attain a more objective and compassionate view of your endeavor. We also examine how various writing genres are deprecated, and the costs, to the writer and society, of that deprecation.

5. Liberation from Fear of Rejection: “Coming Out” as a Writer
Many blocked writers are terrified of rejection. For them, the block, while a source of shame and frustration, also serves to render them invisible to a professional community who might harshly judge and/or reject them. We talk about how to come out as a writer to yourself, your immediate circle, your colleagues, and others. We also discuss strategies for coping with rejection, an inevitable consequence of coming out.

6. Liberation from Weak and Exploitative Career Paths
We discuss which marketing and sales strategies work for writers, and how slush piles and other heavily luck-reliant approaches should be, at best, a small part of your strategy. We also discuss how to utilize the Internet's revolutionary ability to provide today's authors with what their forebears could have only dreamed of: the ability to cheaply publish, promote and distribute their work to a global audience.

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