Writing can be like folding a banquet-sized tablecloth; you can do it yourself, but it’s a lot easier when you can find somebody to help.
—Ted Kooser and Steve Cox, Writing Brave and Free, p. 118.
I’m an inveterate introvert. I prefer staying home alone—even when I don’t have to trudge through snow to get somewhere. But when I analyzed my most-productive writing times, I discovered something surprising. I write more when I am connecting intentionally with other writers. Go figure. Here are three ways you can boost your productivity by connecting with other writers:
Connect: Make a Deadline Pact
Chris Baty started National Novel Writing Month to give writers a deadline, the one element he believed writers needed to succeed. Create a deadline pact with another writer. Promise that by a certain date you will each write 50,000 words, finish a project, or complete a portion of a manuscript. To make it both more fun and easier to succeed, make a bet. Perhaps the loser can treat the winner to dinner or a glass of wine!
Connect: Create a Critique Partnership
Professional writers study great writing to learn how to best tell a story. When we invite other writers to read and critique our writing, we expand our understanding of good writing. We also learn where our blind spots are. From complex comments on structure and voice to technical lessons on commas and run-on sentences, a good critique will strengthen our writing. Find a colleague, exchange manuscripts, and give each other feedback.
When I exercise, I like to do sprints: run or bike really fast for a short period of time every 3-5 minutes. It makes my exercise session move faster. I first heard about writing sprints at a National Novel Writing Month Write-in. In a writing sprint, the writer races against the clock (and often another writer) to amass as many words as possible in a short amount of time. Find a friend online or meet in person and compete to see who can write the most words in ten to twenty minutes.
How has connecting with others helped you to write more? Leave your suggestions below!
Connect: Join a Write-A-Thon Group & Write More!
If you’d like to write more this summer–maybe start or finish a project that’s been haunting you for years, then consider joining a Write-A-Thon group. You’ll learn how to make writing a habit, and overcome writer’s block. But most importantly, you’ll get what every writer needs to succeed: accountability and support.
What you get:
You’ll receive six group coaching sessions, which will include:
- A check in: how did you do with your goal since our last session?
- A short writing lesson based on something the group wants to learn.
- Discussion about an issue raised by a member with coaching around the issue from the coach. Each member will have an opportunity to talk about a writing question at least once during the six sessions of coaching.
- Brief check out: What do you commit to doing before we meet next?
Groups start June 8th (12 PM and 6 PM CDT) and are limited to eight people each. Space is limited. Why wait?
Sign up here: Write-A-Thon Group Coaching.