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Who or what do you credit when your writing is going well? Who or what do you blame when your writing is going badly? Either way, understanding where you are on the locus of control will help you reach better conclusions about yourself, your writing — and what you can do make a difference.

Picture this; you’ve just had an article you submitted to a publication accepted — yippee! They’re finally going to publish! Who or what do you feel is responsible? …


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Writing routines, plans and strategies work for writers because they reduce the mental energy involved in finding the time to write or making yourself focus. They help you do the thing you want to do with less stress and anxiety — and long term that helps you enjoy writing more. So, stop with all the trying — it’s time to automate yourself instead.

When Barack Obama was President, his morning routine was exactly the same every day.

His alarm clock went off at the same time every morning. His daily workout regime was identical. His breakfast would never change (even…


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At one time you couldn’t wait to get working on your writing project? But now you approach it with dread. Social media’s become cat nip. Writing sessions feel tortuous. You question EVERYTHING. Are you going backwards, forwards or around in circles — who knows? Over-editing, over-thinking, blaming yourself. Then there’s that shiny new idea you’ve just had…

Welcome. You’ve reached the sticky, swampy middle of your writing project and yep, it’s tough. It can send you down a negative mind-spiral of procrastination, self-doubt and guilt. But there is a way out.

Here’s how. In our research examining the writing processes and habits of 600 writers we found one thing and one thing only to be decisively linked to high levels of productivity and low levels of stress and that was the presence of some kind of personal writing ‘system’. …


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Some people equate being highly prolific writers with producing dross. They prefer to constantly refine and perfect ‘The One Idea’ they have.

Perhaps because they think their idea is so special. Perhaps because they think they’ll never have another idea again.

Either way, we believe that the best way to improve is to be unashamedly and un-apologetically productive — writing lots, failing lots, picking yourself up, writing more and improving.

It’s this belief that lies behind everything we make, do and build at Prolifiko. So with that in mind, here’s our writing manifesto. …


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Writing sprints provide boundaries, which give you clarity. Without boundaries, you get ambiguity — as any good parent or pet owner will tell you, you need lines that shouldn’t be crossed to avoid red-faced temper tantrums or Fido sleeping on your bed. When you’re a writer, ambiguity results in procrastination and/or perfectionism. So, as New Year looms into view, here is our 7-step training plan for running a personal writing sprint you can use to turbocharge your writing in 2019.

The idea behind a writing sprint is to move your project forwards quickly over a short burst of time. A…


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How do you hook new users in?

You give them a super-slick, frictionless on-boarding experience that delights them and makes them want more.

Making it easy and taking away barriers will make them love you — won’t it?

We’ve been prototyping a new on-boarding process for our digital writing coach Prolifiko and found that giving our users a harder task to complete resulted in a far better conversion rate.

Why? It all comes down to how people perceive value, how they get invested and two psychological states we all experience called reciprocity and cognitive dissonance.

How do academics write?

Prolifiko is a digital coach…


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The most cited work in the field of ‘writing productivity’ is that of Robert Boice from the 90s. Is that because there’s been no further research in this area or has nobody bettered his findings?

We’ve just launched our own study into writing practice. It’s research that we hope will give anyone who needs to write, evidence-based guidance on how to develop a writing system that works for them.

It builds on Boice’s work and we’re using startup principles and tools to do it.

Productive advice

Boice’s research was innovative at the time but boiled down, it amounted to one simple nugget…


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As a productivity method, we’re huge fans of time-blocking or scheduling. We’ve written before about how it’s essential to top academics like Adam Grant and it’s cropped up in our own research time and time again. But what’s the science behind time-blocking? Why is the act of scheduling important to helping you focus on your work — and what’s the alternative?

Time-blocking or scheduling involves booking out periods of time in your diary to focus on your work. How you schedule time is up to you. There’s no ideal way to do it — some people write effectively in short…


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Brian Clegg is a highly acclaimed author of 33 top-selling popular science books and 24 business books. But when he released his latest book, the New Scientist wrote this in a review:

“Brian Clegg is such a prolific writer of science books, it’s often easy to forget how good he is.” And they weren’t joking (the New Scientist never does).

Being a highly prolific writer is sneered at in some circles. Some people think there’s a trade-off between quality and quantity.

To do truly ‘great work’ — you can’t do very much of it. But science disagrees. Most of the…


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We’ve just launched a major study into academic writing practice.

It’s research that we hope will give anyone who needs to write evidence-based guidance on how to develop a writing system that works for them.

Here’s why we’re doing it and what’s involved.

At the beginning of the year we interviewed 23 top scholars about their writing practice. …

Chris Smith

Writing productivity coach and co-founder of Prolifiko. https://prolifiko.com/

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