Welcome to the first edition of the “Around the Web Articles on Productivity and Writing” weekly newsletter where you will find articles I have curated. These articles are on becoming more productive in writing and the craft of writing. This Saturday’s issue is organized around the theme “do the work” and has several tips to do the work.
You will find a podcast interview with one of my favorite novelist, Brad Meltzer, and articles on
- That the fear of success is nothing other than the fear of hard work,
- Do the hard work that others won’t do, those key tasks that lead you to success,
- How to maintain discipline on doing the hard work, and
- Other miscellaneous tips to do the work.
Do the Work
James Altucher’s Podcast with Brad Meltzer: Creating a Bestselling Novel
I like listening to author journeys because each one is unique with different backgrounds and upbringings, different routines, and different interests. Some remain with one genre and others cross-over. From narrow to broad. Processes that are organic and those that are formulaic. James Altucher’s podcast interview this week was with one of my favorite thriller novelists, Brad Meltzer. I read Brad’s “The First Counsel” while at uni in my final year. The novel was my reading reward for studying in the two weeks leading up to my finals. In this podcast interview, Brad takes us through his author’s journey, his grit in the face of rejection and his unlimited potential in exploring different genre’s beyond thriller novels – children’s books and comic stories.
Tony Fahkry writes on Medium that the Fear of Success is Nonsense and that no one will fear what they want so much. While I don’t agree with him on people not fearing what they want I do agree with Fahkry in that the fear of success is more of a fear of hard work and that it is the resistance that author Steven Pressfield talks about in his book “Do the Work“. However, I believe we should read the opinions of others because within those opinions we can develop our own nuggets of knowledge and wisdom. Fahkry acknowledges that commitment, dedication and perseverance is needed to do the hard work. And while he believe that pursuing excellence will lead to success, he does not offer an actionable plan to do the work. You can find Fahkry’s article here.
The road to success often entails tasks that are not glamorous or easy. But if they are key components of your work then accept it and then go do it. Christopher D. Connors puts this in the framework of sport but writers often face the same issues. We got to edit the book we wrote and then we have to market it to sell it. In general, writers like to create words and often abhor the tasks related to post-production and marketing. But if we want to sell then we got to do those tasks that seem like hard work.
David Kadavy offers several methods to maintain a discipline in doing the work. This article complements the previous two articles in this newsletter and is highly actionable. Kadavy considers his mental energy throughout the day and week and schedules his big projects when his mental energy is high. He also speaks about creating habits to get the work done, rules to maintain focus, and using his environment to do different tasks.
This is a long article by Chrisopher D. Connors but there are several tips to get the work done: (i) Define what success means to you and understand where you are at on your journey, (ii) Grind it out by taking small steps, (iii) Master your thoughts, (iv) Plan your week to take small steps, and (v) Plan your day around Stephen Covey’s “Time Management Quadrant”.
Good writing should be appreciated. Among the articles curated, have a second read of David Kadavy’s article. It is well structured and focused on one aspect of the wide topic of self-discipline. The content is also highly actionable. Keep a copy of this article for future use.