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Increasing Productivity

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Increasing Productivity

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Increasing Productivity

Increasing Productivity

by Mindy Obenhaus

Lately I’ve been working on increasing my productivity as a writer. I’d come to a crossroads in my writing that called for a change. What I’ve been doing, the pace at which I’d been working just wasn’t sufficient anymore. So I was faced with a dilemma. Settle for the status quo or strive for something more?

I wanted more.

The big question, though, was “How?” I mean, I was already at my computer for hours each day. Granted, a good bit of that might have been spent staring at the ceiling as I struggled to write an entire scene each day. At least, a scene a day was the goal, though I rarely achieved it. Inevitably, I’d get bogged down in details. Setting, what is she wearing—

Of course, that led to an internet search and down a big old rabbit hole. And by the end of many a day, I hadn’t made much progress at all. At least, until it got down to crunch time. As that deadline approached, I buckled down and sailed through those scenes. I began to wonder why I wasn’t that disciplined all the time.

Obviously, it was time to change my approach to writing. It was right around that time Mary Connealy shared that she wrote a thousand words a day. Period. And if you’re familiar with Mary’s books, then you know just how quickly those thousand words can add up.

Hmph. “A thousand words a day,” I thought. That’s doable. So you know what I did? I tucked that little nugget into my memory and continued along the path I was on. Until I came to the afore mentioned crossroads. I did a little math. If I did a thousand words only five days a week that would be five thousand words a week. Twenty thousand words in a month.

So, I decided to make the change. I committed to those thousand words a day, five days a week. There were a couple of days I fell short, but I made them up the next day. And you know what? It worked. By the end of the month I’d written almost 24,000 words. Not only that, I found I was much more disciplined. I felt less pressure, too.

So if you’re looking to increase your productivity—

Set an achievable goal – Something that will work with your schedule. For me, a thousand words a day is maybe two-thirds to half a scene. Yet I often found that once I got going, I was more eager to finish it.

It doesn’t have to be perfect – The goal was to simply get the story out of my head. Part of my problem before, why I’d labor over each scene, was that I wanted it to be perfect. By giving myself the freedom to simply get the bones of the scene down, along with a good chunk of dialog, I was able to move on instead of getting bogged down in the details. Though often times, they still made it in there. Particularly if I had a good visual in my head.

Stick with it – This was not difficult once I saw how much progress I was making. It felt good to see that word count climb. Honestly, I’ve never really tracked my daily word count before, so that might have played a role. I’m goal oriented, so knowing I was aiming for a specific number was good for me. It was a more tangible goal than simply saying I wanted to write a scene.

Now, I’m sure many of you may be looking at this and thinking this is no big deal, that it’s what you do this all the time. In which case, I applaud you. But April 2022 was a pivotal month for this writer. And to think, I owe it all to Mary Connealy. Go figure.

Mary, I owe you a dinner. For the rest of you, give me your thoughts. Have you ever made one small change in your life that suddenly made a world of difference?

Oh, and before I go, I’ve got a brand-new cover to share with you. The Cowgirl’s Redemption is the first book in my new Hope Crossing series and releases on August 23rd. Here’s a bit about the story.

Increasing Productivity

She came home to make things right. Will she be given a second chance?

Gloriana Prescott has returned to her Texas hometown to make amends—even if the townsfolk she left behind aren’t ready to forgive. But when her mother’s ranch manager, Justin Broussard, is tasked with saving the struggling rodeo so his teen daughter can compete, Gloriana sees a chance to prove she’s really changed. But can she prove to Justin, and the town, that she’s trustworthy? 


Increasing Productivity

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching copious amounts of the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com

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25 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: Increasing Productivity

  • Lee-Ann
    on May 04, 2022 | 08:23 Lee-Annsaid :
    "Thanks for this post Mindy. I remember the post by Mary you referred to. 1000 words a day stuck in my head too!
    The chunky method was a game changer for me. I found using the chunky method helps to set monthly achievable goals, though I don't always make my daily goal. Knowing what I can reasonably achieve in each writing session makes planning my writing schedule relatively easy."
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 04, 2022 | 08:23 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "I hit that same crossroad, Mindy. It was last fall and my non-writing life had suddenly gotten MUCH busier - and at the same time my writing goals got a lot bigger.

    I haven't hit my word count goal every day, but I've settled into a good habit of carving out the time I need to write when my brain works the best.

    I'm harvesting the benefits of those new habits now! Two books - maybe three - coming out this year, and the first of those at the end of May.

    It feels good to develop good habits to increase productivity, doesn't it?"
  • Glynis
    on May 04, 2022 | 08:26 Glynissaid :
    "Great reminder to us that little things add up to big things! I wish I had some words of wisdom but my own productivity has been too low for too long. I will take this to heart and find a few small changes to make. I'm excited about your new series! That cover is beautiful! "
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 10:08 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Lee-Ann, I always say we have to find what works for our individual needs. We all have different lifestyles and perspectives, so what works for one may not work for another. But when you find that method that works for you, it's priceless. ;) "
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 10:10 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Yes, it does, Jan. And I'm so proud of you for embarking on this new adventure of yours. Can't wait for release day!"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 10:11 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Thank you, Glynis. I'm excited, too. And yes, little things do add up. The key is to keep progressing. You can do this, Glynis! :)"
  • Mary Connealy
    on May 04, 2022 | 10:20 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Wow, Mindy, terrific cover!"
  • Mary Connealy
    on May 04, 2022 | 10:23 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Before I was published, based on something someone said, my rule was what I called, A Fast 300. So my goal was 300 words. I tried to never write less than that and I'd almost always write more. And here's the thing. It's the FIRST SENTENCE that's hard. It's sitting down, opening that book document...figuring out what you're going to write about. When I got published, I raised it to 1000 and have maintained that. I've tried a few times to do a higher daily count but it seems to be hard and I guess I'm just comfortable in my 1000 lane. Thans for quoting me, Minday. My feelings are all shiny and soothed!!! )"
  • Mary Connealy
    on May 04, 2022 | 10:24 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Jan two books, maybe three? YAY!!!"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 11:27 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Thank you, Mary. I was really pleased. They nailed the setting perfectly."
  • kaybee
    on May 04, 2022 | 11:27 kaybeesaid :
    "Productivity is a problem right now. The children grew up and left, I retired from full-time work -- just in time for a retired husband. Actually he's pretty good and he'll give me the time and space I need if I ask him, I just need to ask. This is going to be my year for 1,000 words a day! It's a pretty good goal and I know most of the Seekers do it. seems to work for you.
    On the plus side, I FINALLY hauled out my WIIP, which I haven't touched since October, making it a non-WIP, if you're strict about the definition of WIP. Started working on it again and it's not so bad. Not so great, but not so bad.
    On the minus side, I've had a bad cold and haven't left the house for five days. Hope it's not COVID. Again. Getting a lot of writing done and related tasks, including proofs for my next nonfiction history book, but this is not the way to do it.
    May be back later.
    I am hopped up on cold medication.
    Kathy Bailey
    Your Kaybee
    Sick as a dog in New Hampshire"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 11:28 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "LOL! Shiny and soothed, huh? Well, I know I'm not the first writer whose life you made a difference in, so thank you."
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 11:31 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Kathy, if you can still write with a cold, I commend you. I'm sorry you're under the weather, though. That's never fun. And good for you for hauling out that non-WIP. Sounds like it's time to make it a full-blown WIP again. ;)"
  • Pepper Basham
    on May 04, 2022 | 13:41 Pepper Bashamsaid :
    "This is me! Just trying to eek words onto a page right now! Yesterday I wrote 3500 words. I haven't done that in...I don't even know! And MUCH needed!! But, boy, I've been fighting for those words the past three months. I think celebrating is a BIG deal!"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 04, 2022 | 13:46 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Pepper, celebrating is always a big deal. And I think writing 3500 words in one day is worthy of something decadent. ;) "
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 04, 2022 | 14:00 Debby Giustisaid :
    "I'm struggling to get "into" my current WIP. It's as if the hero and heroine aren't cooperating. I've never had so much trouble starting a story! Pulling out hair! I should try Mary's 1,000 words/day technique! "
  • Mary Connealy
    on May 04, 2022 | 15:19 Mary Connealysaid :
    "I hope you get to feeling better soon, Kathy. I had two colds this last winter. One awful and one just blah. I suppose one of them was covid but who can say. triple vaxxed. Some colds you just can't work through. So rest!"
  • Sandy Smith
    on May 04, 2022 | 17:38 Sandy Smithsaid :
    "Great post, Mindy. I can usually write a set number of words, but I am at the point where my first draft of my novel is written and the revision just isn't coming for me. How do you published authors handle the revision part of your novels?"
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 05, 2022 | 11:26 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Sandy, I enjoy revising more than getting those first words on the page. I feel the revision stage is when the book comes together, but then, my first draft is very rough. Maybe you write a fairly clean first copy."
  • Sarah Taylor
    on May 05, 2022 | 13:20 Sarah Taylorsaid :
    "Congratulations on your new book Love the cover !"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 05, 2022 | 14:58 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Debby, sometimes those characters are too tight-lipped for their own good. I hate that! Praying they will open up soon. In the meantime, just write what you do know about the story. You can always change it later, but your characters might open up while you write."
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 05, 2022 | 15:02 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Sandy, it depends what aspects you need to revise. But once you've finished the book and go back to revise, you have the advantage of knowing the whole story, as well as knowing your characters better. It makes it easier to add more details and foreshadowing or cutout any fluff. "
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 05, 2022 | 15:02 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Thank you, Sarah!"
  • Dana R. Lynn
    on May 05, 2022 | 19:07 Dana R. Lynnsaid :
    "Mindy, what a great post! I'm trying to think of a small change I made that made a difference. I'm going to go with some advice that Becca Syme gave me. She told me to keep my WIP open on my desktop at all times. This helped me because whenever I turn on my computer, I'm immediately reminded of what I need to get down that day, and it helps me to actually do it rather than go straight to the internet. "
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 06, 2022 | 09:57 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "That's some sound advice, Dana."
Increasing Productivity

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