Your productivity doesn’t equal your worth.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

In the past, I’ve written about how my Bullet Journal is the single most important tool I have to staying on track with my projects and goals. I’ve also written a lot, particularly here on Medium, about productivity and ways we can increase it. But I’ve had a change of heart.

I love my bullet journal. Like I said, it’s my #1 writing tool. But it’d become something I was avoiding. I didn’t want to use it, I stopped tossing it in my purse when I left the house. Some days, I wouldn’t even open it. What happened?

First, I watched Rachael Stephen’s video on the mistakes she was making in her Bullet Journal and it all made sense. I was making the same mistakes. And, like Rachael, what I was doing was sucking the joy out of my journal and out of my days. …


Write it all out and move on with your day.

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Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

A brain dump is a highly effective way to combat overwhelm, reduce stress, and calm your mind. All it takes is a couple sheets of paper, or a notebook, and a pen. You can brain dump when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a massive task list or when you’re planning a new project.

What’s a Brain Dump

At its most basic, a brain dump is a list of everything that’s inside your mind at any particular moment. Essentially, it’s a form of brainstorming. …


Quick and dirty steps to end the need to be perfect

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Photo by Fabian Grohs on Unsplash

We are our worst critics, plain and simple. We’re too hard on ourselves, believing everything we produce must be perfect.

We need to let go of perfect.

  • Reality Check
    Are your expectations realistic? If not, it might be time to reevaluate.
  • Show Weakness
    It’s hard, but be vulnerable. Everyone makes mistakes so celebrate yours.
  • Reevaluate Success
    Success isn’t a binary yes or no. Embrace the process and remember something is better than nothing.
  • Guidelines, not Absolutes
    Ideals for success and accomplishment should be guidelines, not benchmarks. …


Make a space where your stories bloom.

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Photo by Ferenc Horvath on Unsplash

The space in which we do our work can have a massive impact on the quality. Many beloved authors had a dedicated space in which they worked. Famously, Roald Dahl converted a shed in his garden into his writing space (and you can go see it!). But how do you create that space if you don’t have a garden shed? Your ideal writing space could be anywhere from a spare room to a corner of your living room to the kitchen table. It’s possible to create a perfect space for writing anywhere.

This list is by no means exhaustive, nor a “must-haves list”. Instead, it’s based on my own experience setting up my space over the years. …


Get sh*t done and care for yourself, too.

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Photo by Analise Benevides on Unsplash

We are so busy! There’s always something happening: we’re at work, we’re out with friends, a sibling’s birthday. Hell, many of us even have a side job in addition to our regular ones. The constant hustle and culture of busyness create stress in our lives and without reigning it in, can cause burnout. And when we’re so busy, we neglect the most important person in our lives: ourselves.

Take a step back from what you’re doing and schedule a little time for yourself. I promise you’ll feel better for it.

I don’t mean yoga, I mean balance your plate. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can do wonders for your stress levels. The right proportions of protein, carbs, and fats help power our bodies more efficiently. …


An effective system for juggling multiple projects.

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Photo by Dimon Blr on Unsplash

Hi, my name’s Leanne and I’m a project hoarder.

At any given time, I usually have 2 or 3 writing projects, and a few freelance projects on the go. I used to suffer from massive overwhelm, get burnt out, miss deadlines, and otherwise freeze up. But this year, I’ve stumbled into a system that actually works to help to keep everything straight, meet deadlines, and even add Medium stories to my already packed writing life.

This system is something I call draft cycling. Much to my dad’s chagrin, it has nothing to do with the Tour de France and everything to do with effectively juggling multiple writing projects without dropping a single one. …


We’re a lot cooler than you think!

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Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

There are a lot of things people think about writers. Very few of them are true, at least in my experiences. I’ve compiled a list of the top five misconceptions people have of writers that I’ve come across.

Nope! I’m sure many writers want to become teachers and I enjoy teaching the occasional workshop, but I definitely do not want to be a teacher.

I do, however, believe that educating and mentoring others, particularly new writers, is a responsibility we have as writers. I also believe that this is something that can be accomplished outside a classroom environment.

Also not true. Since becoming more involved in the writing community in Saskatoon, I have a much busier social life than I had before! …


Start writing again

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Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash

I stopped writing while I was in University. I didn’t mean to, but with papers and exams, I didn’t have enough time to write for myself. It’s a pretty common thing that young writers go through. The problem wasn’t that I stopped writing while in school. No, the problem was it took me eight years to pick up a pen again.

Eight years.

It was easy to stop writing. Getting back into it, though, was one of the mentally hardest things I’ve done.

If you’re in a similar situation, I hope you find these strategies helpful enough to get more words on the page and return to something you love. …


What’s in a good one?

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Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

Writers’ groups aren’t for everyone. Those who have found a good group recognize the value it brings to their writers’ toolkit. But how do you find a good writers’ group?

The short answer is trial and error. I’ve been a part of many groups over the years. Some have been good, filled with people who motivated and inspired me to get more writing done. Others, not so much.

When shopping around for a new group, these are a few hallmarks of a good group and things to look for.

Stable Membership/Attendance

I’d argue that the number of members doesn’t matter as much as a stable number and regular attendance. …


Idea mines to tap when you’re fresh out.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

One piece of advice I’ve been given many times over the years, particularly when I’m struggling with beginning a new project, is that there are no new ideas. Every story’s already been told a hundred times in a hundred different ways. While I’m sure it’s meant to be motivating, I’ve seen it discourage new writers.

The thing is, they’re not wrong. There are seven basic plots and nearly every story follows one of them. How then, are there so many new books every year? It’s because the idea behind the story is different in each one. As readers, we see the story through the lens of our own experiences. …

About

Leanne Johnson

Usually found with a pen and paper or rolling dice with friends. Messy, creative, and a little chaotic.

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