M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest !

How to be a productive writer is a question I ask myself nearly everyday. I read about (when I should write), I listen to AuthorTuber about it (when I should be writing) and read craft books about it (when I should be writing). In this blog post, I attempt to find out what it takes to be a productive writer like Agatha Christie was.

I’ve always, always, always dreamed of being able to be as productive a writer as Agatha Christie was.

Note that I didn’t write « as brilliant a writer » nor « as successful a writer ».

First, being a successful writer is highly out of my (our) control. When I worked at a publishing house, I quickly learned that the success of a book was impossible to predict, no matter the time-energy-money one would invest in it.

Don’t get me wrong, it certainly helps a great deal. But it does not guarantee success.

Second, being a brilliant writer is also highly out of my control. I can only do my best to better my writing craft. I can only keep writing and never give up my dream/goal: earning a living publishing novels.

That being saiiiiid… What does it take to write like Agatha Christie !!!

The Icy Writing Productivity Path

I cannot count the amount of blog posts I read. Many authors out there are giving tips, tricks and hacks to boost the creative writing productivity.

Yep, I did too and wrote one or two of those. In fact, for my future new business blog, I’m working on a whole series of blog posts about writing productivity.

Yes, there’s some tested tips and some of my own writing productivity tricks.

But (a but in bold, because I insist) before all the helpful part, I found myself questioning at length the very notion of writing productivity.

Why do we, deeply deeply deep down feel the urge/need to be productive writers?

I Name You, Writing Productivity Shame !

There’s many answer to that complicated « WHY ». I’m still doing my research, and there’s no definitive answer.

However, I do think part of the answer as to do with the fast-forward pace world we’re living in, how the book industry is pushing debut authors and mega big names only. It created the weirdest, most depressing notion I’ve seen around AuthorTube notably, that you have to write a novel before you’re 30 or you’re finished.

Aïe aïe aïe !!! What the hot-fudge-on-vanilla-ice-cream is that ?!

One thing is certain: the book industry (plus diligently reading Publishers weekly) creates in me a specific kind of problem.

Productivity shame. A lot of us are more and more in the known about this, since we’re working from home and many of us feel a bit like it’s harder to stop working.

The idea works with writing too. I’m a strong case of writing productivity shame.

Dear fellow writers, I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I feel like I’m not writing enough, not working hard enough, and therefore, I’m not aloud to do anything I consider not productive.

And I’m fighting very hard every day against the nagging feeling.

I’m ready to bet Agatha Christie never had that problem…

What Does It Takes to Write Like Agatha Christie?

Different times, different realities. You know it as well as I do.

It took Agatha Christie between 3 to 4 months to write a novel. She would work on two novels at the same time. On the side, she would take countless notes for her next novels or plays.

She was productive not only for the sake of her avid readers, but because she knew more books meant more royalties.

Royalties don’t pay much (some things never change!), unless you indeed earn royalties from many, many books.

It doesn’t hurt your writing productivity when you know that each of your books will be a bestseller and will be translated in several languages.
The only thing she could not have known… at first anyway… is that almost a century later, her books would still be studied and read by new generation of readers.

Nope, it doesn’t hurt at all. Sooooo, what does it take to write like Agatha Christie did?

It takes imagination, determination, tenacity.
It takes people to believe in you.
It takes courage.

Writing Productivity Tips, Tricks

Here a thorough blog post about productivity methods. 8 Writing Productivity Methods by Smiti Nathan

Wanna answer some big questions about your writing. Here’s 20+ Insightful Questions to Improve Your Writing Mindset by Shelby Bunker

My own humble writing productivity tips:

  • Read every novel you can
  • Spy on people (discreetly)
  • Stick to your writing goals
  • Turn off the cellphone
  • Turn off the wi-fi
  • Turn off the tv
  • Get comfy
  • Write

My take on this is sort of a melting pot of writing productivity advice I’ve heard on AuthorTube or read in books and on a variety of blog posts.

Now, I need to stop writing about writing novels and go… hum, write novels.

Fellow writers, from wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re safe, healthy and loved. Thanks for reading.

May all the good words flow your way!

2 réflexions sur “Writing Productivity : What Does It Takes To Be As Productive As Agatha Christie

  1. Michele Lee dit :

    Informative post!


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