I love getting things done. That's why I spend several hours a day reading productivity articles. And when the day is done, I bookmark the ones I didn't get to for later. I learned that trick in a productivity article. —Sarah Cooper

The Process

Whenever I attend a talk by a prominent writer, someone always stands up during the question and answer to ask about their artistic process. It’s always interesting to hear how writers spend their day and what makes them productive. Some writers like to work early in the morning, some at night or in the afternoon. Some need to putter around for a while, some sit right down to the keyboard. Some writers like to outline, some simply can’t work that way. I once heard a famous writer (okay it was Walter Mosley) say that he liked to write in the nude.

Different strokes.

Am I Doing This Right?

I suspect that writers ask this question for the same reason that Sarah Cooper (and I) reads productivity articles. We suspect that there must be a better path through the hard work of writing. We fear that our method isn’t getting us anywhere. We think others have this figured out; that there must be a secret shortcut somewhere.

Just Do The Small Thing

Of course, there are always ways to refine and improve your process. The productivity articles make us feel as if we are accomplishing something, but the truth is most of us don’t really want to accomplish reading productivity articles. We want to write our stories. And, in the end, what you really have to do is one small thing at a time, and keep doing it until the work is finished. That often means accepting the meandering path that is the artistic process.

As long as you are making progress, you’re doing this right. So if you haven’t written yet this week, consider this the kick in the pants you need!