Social Writing Tips for Productivity (By Tiberio Garza, P.O.W.E.R. Consultant)

 

Social Writing Tips for Productivity

By Tiberio Garza, P.O.W.E.R. Consultant
 

How can we be productive in writing? Should we close our doors to everyone we know and love in order to be “one” with our writing? Should we emerge from our writing caves with hunched backs and tired eyes only to share our writing with those willing to read it? Such misconceptions about being a productive writer remind me of voices from the past, such as “no man is an island” (John Donne) or that “we are social animals” (Aristotle).
 

Take a moment to daydream with me. Suppose I gave you the training and knowledge needed to be productive in writing. Writing came to you effortlessly as water flows from the faucet. Let’s also say I helped you get started and you got really confident and saw first-hand what it’s like to be productive. Then, since you were such a great student learner, I saw it best for me to move on and left you with these simple words of wisdom: “You must keep doing what I have taught you in order to stay productive.” The days passed and you continued to do well. Months even went by as you continued to excel! Pretty soon thereafter, people around you even started noticing your stellar productivity. Yet, a question began to grow and linger in your mind, “How long can I sustain this exceptional productivity?”
 

If we know how to be productive in writing, yet are unable to keep the habits ongoing, what else can be done? How can our productivity in writing stand the test of time, since time can wear down even the best writer? The solution lies among us: embrace community with other writers.
 

You can start small.
First, accept the ‘uncomfortable truth’ that community is what your productivity is missing. Next, find a writing partner, but realize he/she primarily serves to keep you accountable to being productive. Accountability is a helpful tool to encourage you to keep writing, and not intended to coerce punishment nor guilt upon you. Before you meet with your writing partner, also make sure you both share the same goal of being productive writers.
 

You can start interactively.
After some time writing productively with your writing partner (or community), start the writing sessions by expressing writing goals or what you plan to accomplish during the writing time. Over time, writers can naturally become comfortable with each other. As a result, writers can be transparent and share their writing struggles and triumphs. Don’t worry – this is part of building a healthy writing community.
 

You can start with your family.
If you have a busy family life, here is an idea: set a time to write together. After all, if writing is important to you, your family will understand. Don’t worry, your family will still love you.  Once you surpass your family’s initial resistance, complaints, and compromises, they will (more than likely) thank you for making them write with you. Time spent together is time well spent. Also, aim for a specific time and place in your household where your family can come together to write. Indirectly, your children are instilled with the fact that writing is important.
 

You can start intensively
An example of structuring your productivity during writing is to use the Pomodoro Technique (http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/). Also keep in mind, when it is time to write, everyone writes! Meaning, while people are writing, there is no chatter going on. Then, after 45 – 60 minutes of writing, all writers should take a break. Generally, a break should last anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes and serve as the time for chatter. Also, these structured writing sessions can provide opportunities for exchanging writing feedback.

 

Did you know Albert Einstein was part of a community that read what he had to say, challenged his thoughts, and criticized his work? By being in a place for discussion and growth, he was able to achieve much more than if he chose to sit alone quietly in a corner to think and write. Interestingly, there is an aspect of social interaction with other writers that can serve to extend our productivity beyond our own strength.