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Gini Dietrich

Five Tips for Writing Large Body of Works

By: Gini Dietrich | February 18, 2013 | 
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A couple of weeks ago, Mr. D and I saw a super cheap flight and stay at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. I’m not normally a beach person. If we’re going to vacation in February, I’d prefer to ski.

But he sold it to me as, “You can get a lot of writing done” and, in fact, I’m writing this from a beach in Montego Bay. If we were skiing, I would not be writing.

We flew down only for the weekend, but it was enough for me to write 8,000 words of Spin Sucks, get some sun, and be waited on hand and foot.

No laundry to do. No dog waking me up at 5 a.m. for breakfast. No meal planning. No grocery shopping. No fighting with traffic in and out of Whole Foods. No responsibilities, whatsoever. Just me, my laptop, some sunscreen, and a beach chair.

If you write, I highly recommend it. But you have to be motivated to get it done and not be easily distracted by all the booze you can drink and the swim-up bar at the infinity pool.

Tips for Writing Large Body of Works

So how did I manage? Following are some tips.

  1. Set a goal. My goal was to write 2,000 words per day (for a total of 6,000 words). If you already know what you’re going to write about, 2,000 words should take you no more than four hours. On Sunday, I actually got them done in less than two hours. But I ended up writing more than my goal on Saturday so I wrote for five hours.
  2. Turn off the distractions. While I wrote, I turned off my WiFi access. If I needed to do some research, I turned it back on, got what I needed, and turned it off again. My friend Ken Jacobs can tell you he knew when I needed a brain break because he found me commenting on Facebook (and called me out several times).
  3. Don’t drink too much. We’re at an all-inclusive, which means, yes, even the booze is “free.” I keep joking that Ernest Hemingway said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” But I am not a big drinker to begin with so I know I wouldn’t be able to focus on the task at hand if drunk.
  4. Reward yourself. Once I finished writing each day, I shut down my laptop (and access to the rest of the world) for the rest of the day. No worrying about work or my overflowing inbox or my task list was my reward.
  5. Read some, too. Reading always motivates me to write more. So I spent some time reading fiction (I know, big surprise). I also gave myself an hour each day to read a business book. I’m reading Andy Crestodina’sContent Chemistry” right now.
Oh yeah. You also need a pair of dark sunglasses and a keyboard condom.

Of course, flying to Jamaica for the weekend isn’t always possible if you’re writing a book. These tips work just as well at home (if you’re willing to take a weekend off from your other responsibilities).

You tell me. What works for you?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

117 comments
ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@AmeliaJL What tips do you have for getting lots of writing done?

dbvickery
dbvickery

Hmm...things that stick out to me here:

 

- all inclusive resort (we are actually trying to plan a trip later this year)

- Write drunk, edit sober (always liked that quote...and nope, I do not write drunk)

- Keyboard condom...practice safe writing, my friends.

 

When we go to an all-inclusive we generally read a lot, overeat at the great restaurants, become overly acquainted with the swim-up bar, and play tennis and workout. Yep...we actually workout on vacations (so we can over-indulge on that food).

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

It seems like a zillion years ago that I was in Jamaica.

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

Definitely shutting off all distractions and getting it done first thing in the morning helps me...and I just discovered this a week ago! It feels great and i don't' have that lingering though "Aw man, I still need to do my writing today" at 4pm in the afternoon.

Matt_Cerms
Matt_Cerms

Top of the afternoon, Gini! Very jealous of the warm weather.

 

Turning off the wifi access is key. I usually get large amounts of writing done when I travel. Especially when I'm on the train because of the lack of wifi. No wifi plus a great playlist of tunes usually does it for me. I need the music especially when I'm writing something personal. Inspiration has to come from somewhere, right?

MacLeanHeather
MacLeanHeather

@ginidietrich Great post. I had to fight the distractions to get through it though :)

Guru_Franchise
Guru_Franchise

@ginidietrich Thanks for sharing, Gini. I am going to print this out and put it above my desk!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@LauriRottmayer Just saw your LI invite - will get in there soon!

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

So THAT'S why you weren't returning my calls??

 

Good for you Gini. I could get so much more work in Haena or Hanalei than in Spokane... I ought to just move there. 

AmeliaJL
AmeliaJL

@ginidietrich I'm old school-I start w/ a written plan/list of goals to check off as I go. Otherwise, much the same as the blog post

KensViews
KensViews

 @yvettepistorio That's a huge learning for many professionals, and is a useful tip to be more productive in any endeavor, not just writing books.

KensViews
KensViews

 @barrettrossie  Oh don't get me started on Ms. Dietrich and her apparent unwillingness to return calls, even though said calls might change her life! That said, it's nice to be called out on Spin Sucks for calling out Gini for misbehavior!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@AmeliaJL I like the written plan...very smart.

MacLeanHeather
MacLeanHeather

@ginidietrich I thought you would get a kick out of that. :)

AmeliaJL
AmeliaJL

@gstene @ginidietrich All good fun! Back on the grid-SUPER productive weekend!

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich lets talk... and I'll let you into it... its all about letting people be at heir best... improving the world *S*

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich Wow! yes... next week =?

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich ...and by that get the idea from the inside first ;-)

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich VERY soon.... if you want... you might have a helpful test URL... to friendly find bugs...

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@gstene You are!? Do you have a URL yet?

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich Me ? sleeping? that would be wasting time, wouldn't it? starting new company - with my son! Thats a weekend start!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@gstene That and writing my next book and that's about it. What about you? Shouldn't you be sleeping?

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich and what's up, beside weekend I mean ?

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich We all love excitement , don't we? ;-)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@gstene It's more exciting than okidokey!

gstene
gstene

@ginidietrich @AmeliaJL LOL, "Holy moley"? That's like "okidokey" or "uposydaisy" !!!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@AmeliaJL Holy moley! That's some serious concentration!

AmeliaJL
AmeliaJL

@ginidietrich Here's another trick/self-imposed deadline: go batttery power. I put down 3,000 words last night in 2.5 hours. #happywriting

KensViews
KensViews

 @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio  Now we all know that I'm not going to stop giving you hard time until: 1) I get my belated 2012 Arment Dietrich Holiday Card; 2) You return my birthday call; 3) You return my pre-President's Day call. (And will probably keep giving you hard time thereafter!)  Am I wrong, @Lindsay Bell Wheeler?

 

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  1. […] read Gini Dietrich’s SpinSucks blog and found a lot of really interesting stories, from tips for writing large bodies of work to refreshing one’s thinking about PR.  I gravitated toward this one because in my line of work, […]

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