What Does it Mean to Be Productive as an Writer?
Blake Powell thank you for dispelling the myth that writers and bloggers must publish daily in order to be successful. I’m thrilled to see more people share the message that quality, not quantity, is what truly matters. Thank you for the reminder!
The line that “the quality of your life is not dependent on the quality of your productivity” stood out to me, as it reveals the underlying source of the stress you felt about not being prolific enough.
This persistent myth about how we need to publish daily and write X number of words per day comes down to a misconception about what it means to be productive.
I think redefining productivity is the first step in releasing our expectations about how much we “should” publish.
The old paradigm of productivity measures how many “units” we can produce in a given time frame. This metric makes sense if we are speaking about productivity in the context of something simple like manufacturing widgets, or other assembly line work.
Creative work is different. Great art, whether visual or in the form of writing, music, performance or face-to-face interaction, requires presence, nurturing and attention to craft.
Word count or blog posts published are not suitable measures of productivity for a writer. Great writing is not a widget. It doesn’t roll off an assembly line.
Those of us who create must rid ourselves of this old paradigm of productivity.
My definition of productivity is work that makes an impact. Productivity is about effectiveness over efficiency.
Publishing garbage every day doesn’t make an impact. Publishing something of quality that resonates with your readers makes an impact. The later is productive.
In short, productivity is about quality, not quantity.
I believe this is what you are saying.
When we reframe productivity as being about quality, instead of quantity, we automatically release the lies about how much we must publish to be successful.
And in that sense, I would offer that the quality of your life is dependent — or at least related to — the quality of your productivity.
Rather than viewing this as a source of stress, I view this as a natural result of what it truly means to be productive.