High Productivity Is Still Eluding Me

However hard I try I still don’t get anywhere very quickly. The holy grail of productivity is something that I strive for most days and yet when I look back at my progress it’s still disappointing. I’ve always been very efficient at work but perhaps therein lies the answer.

When I used to work as an accountant I would hate my days and if I could ever get away with doing as little as possible then I would. The idea of labouring over a report or a presentation would have been crazy talk. I did the bare minimum and that was it. But writing is not the same at all…


The biggest difference is quality. In the old days I couldn’t have cared less if the output was just average, in  fact I was aiming for average, and I knew that I could easily ‘get by’ with producing just enough. When I’m writing novels though this is a completely different kettle of fish. For me, it’s not about just getting books released and moving on to the next one, if it was then I’d be on my third or fourth book by now.

Instead my whole future relies upon the quality of what I write. If it’s terrible then I won’t be able to build a platform for future books, so it’s important. It takes time and effort to achieve quality, amounts of which are unquantifiable. 

Learning Curve

I’m still learning how to be a writer. There are so many facets of being a writer that I don’t know yet and each one takes time to learn. The best way to present a story, characterisation, plot, and structure are all components that I can improve and this is quite a depressing thought. But there is also the marketing, the technical publishing process, the cover work, and the social media that all add to the amount of work that is necessary to not only launch a book but to sell it as well. I know that over time the learning curve effect will reduce and this should make things easier but I still have to get to that stage. 

Business Model

All successful authors, unfortunately, mention the amount of work that you can sell as one of the most important factors to success. So, although you have to keep your eye on quality you must also be prolific. The problem in reality is that these two ideals are completely opposed to each other. I assume the answer to this is that you must first of all concentrate on quality but then work really hard to become prolific as well.

I shall keep aiming for high productivity and I’m sure the wheels will become more streamlined in the future, but until then I will continue to curse the fact that I’ve still not published anything.

Does anyone else feel my pain?


4 responses to “High Productivity Is Still Eluding Me

  1. Learning to up your game when you’ve spent so much time being happy with mediocrity may be the toughest thing you learn on your path to being a published writer. No bad thing, as you can then apply this new found excellence to all you do, not just writing!
    I still think that one of the best approaches to take is to set a deadline to actually finish the whole of the first book. It’ll give you an end goal which can then be broken down into achievable targets, which, once achieved will help your motivation.
    You can’t sell what hasn’t been written so stop concerning yourself about the peripherals.
    It seems to me that you’re “knife drawer tidying” rather than truly focusing on achieving. Don’t wait to fail the test before you start working! I know you can do this so just get on with it!
    Set a date. Any date. Deadline – March 2nd for a published book!

    • Yoda, you are.

      Thank you for your motivational speech and I accept that most of it’s right. I’m not ‘knife-drawer tidying’ though, I’m genuinely working… and hard. The one part I do agree with though is taking on too many things at once and not being able to concentrate on finishing one thing. I’ve learnt from this but at the moment I’m in the middle of still finishing what I’ve started.

      As for the peripherals, if I finish a book and then launch it and only then do I start the marketing then I’ll be releasing one book a year if that. The two need to co-exist and I will get better at balancing them but I need to be all areas of this business not just the creative department first and then the sales department.

      thank you for your advice though, I am grateful for it, and as always I will think about it carefully.

    • by the way, I will DEFINITELY have a book published by March 2nd.

  2. ……way to go!

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