Megan Mitcham · planning · writing advice

Productivity 101

Many of my college classes began with a pop quiz. It’s only fitting productivity 101 has one too.

Pop Quiz

1) What do you want?

2) What are you willing to do to get it?


We’re talking authority stuff here. So, if you want a venti chai latte, a vacation or Vin Diesel as you boyfriend, you’re out of luck. If you want to be more productive or find the path that leads to your writerly desires, you’re in the right place. I can’t answer the quiz questions for you, but I’ll walk you through my previously unproductive phase and the subsequent changes which allowed me to complete two 70,000 word novels already this year.

My previously unproductive answers:

1) I want a career as an author.

2) I’m willing to work hard.

And honestly, I worked hard…at spinning my wheels. I nit picked the same manuscript for a year, changing a word here or a phrase there. The problem was I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to get there. I needed a map.

Here are some ways to boost productivity:

  • Find you weaknesses and strengthen them
  • Set yearly, monthly and daily goals
  • Set a writing schedule conducive to your live

My answers as of late 2013:

1) I want a career as an author.

2) I am willing to do the following:

  • Complete workshops focused on self editing and plotting
  • Write four approximately 70,000 word novels per year
  • Keep a daily word count log
  • Write a minimum of 2,000 words per weekday
  • Write at least 500 words on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Wake every weekday morning and write from 4:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., 10:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

Now, has every weekday seen 2k output? No, some have seen 3-4.5k, while others have seen 300. Life is unpredictable, but if you plan a little, work smarter and harder, you’ll increase your productivity. Will my answer change against next year? You bet. I’ll revise as needed and keep on writing.

What are some of the things you do to maintain or increase your productivity?




All the best,

Megan Mitcham, Author

Words Excite. Imagination Thrills.
Coming Home, Cowboy Heat – March 2014