Writing More In Less Time – Can We Really Do This?


Ooh! Scary!

They say that many people prefer to face the thought of death to the thought of having to give a speech.  As I enjoy the sound of my own voice and the idea that people are forced to listen to me, I am one of the lucky few who likes to get up in front of a group and talk.  Saturday is that opportunity.  Question is, can I really help people write more in less time?  It’s a challenge.

Timer, watch and schedule

Time is worth managing.

First, you should know that, as an engineer and Detroit industrialist in the auto heyday of the 1960’s, my dad was focused on processes and efficiencies.  As a result, our whole family works hard (or rather, I should say plays hard) at being organized.  I’m not sure if we achieve this, as relatives have been known to be forgotten at airports, and have accused each other of not sending important messages along, but we take pride in our own quirky sense of getting the job done, and doing it right. Plus I think every one of us has bought and regularly uses a labeling machine–you should see our Christmas presents!

I also remember, as a kid, playing the “timer game.”  My sister Linda was the mastermind behind this.  As we would clear the table and do the dishes for a family of ten, she’d “bet” us we could do some small task before the timer on the kitchen oven went off. Was I proud when I beat that clock!

So how can I translate playing with time into an entertaining and educational workshop this weekend?

Beyond crossing my fingers and whispering “I think I can” while little blue train engines run through my mind, I’ve been working on and off since January on coming up with a good outline and thoughts to pass along.  I’ve read several books–not hard when the subject is so much fun for me–and pulled together all sorts of information.

Add to that, I “tested” one of the tips–have a deadline–by promising myself that I’d complete the first draft of Sliced Vegetarian by June 5th. Oops! That’s today.

It’s all right. I completed that draft this last weekend. Happy feet dancing.

Here’s what I’m planning to cover on Saturday:

First hour: Building Writer Confidence

Sounds weird, right?  What does being “confident” do for writing efficiency?  Turns out, a lot.  Just as with anything you do, if you have the confidence to know how it’s done, you complete the task faster and better.  The challenge for writers is that each project can feel like you’re doing something totally new, and there are no systems for doing the work faster.  Well, I believe that writers can work on writing confidence by focusing on a few key skills and employing some good tools. Hint: one of the tools involves time keeping.

I also hope to share some writing prompts in the form of exercises on speech day.  These are not “creative” in the tell-me-a-story sense, but pragmatic list making that will help my audience build their own unique writer’s image and plan. Pretty cool, huh?

Hour Two (yep, they’re giving me two hours–brave souls): Writers’ Time Management

In the second part of my workshop, I’ll focus on time-saving and time-making.  So many people (myself included) have thought of “writing” as the actual butt-in-chair and hope for a muse to take pity on you kind of activity.  I hope to help people see that in two-minutes, five-minutes and larger chunks of time you can accomplish a lot, even if some of that effort doesn’t actually end up on your printed page.  You just have to be like the scouts and “be prepared” for opportunity, and know how to use it.

You’re Invited

So, if you’re in the Lakewood Colorado area  on Saturday afternoon, and have the luxury of two hours free, won’t you join me?  Here’s the information you need:

Talk: Write More In Less Time: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Writing Success
Place: Belmar Public Library
555 S. Allison Parkway,
Lakewood, CO 80226
Date: Saturday. June 8, 2013
Time: 1:00 – 3:00
Admission: free

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8 thoughts on “Writing More In Less Time – Can We Really Do This?

    • I remember both it and Dad’s love of it too. Actually mentioned the movie (with Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy) in my “About Your Speaker” handout. And your timer game in doing dishes!

  1. Hooray! I posted a comment & wanted to add that I, too, enjoy public speaking (7 years in Toastmasters!) You will be so good at this!!! Wish I was there to hear you. Love, Linda

    ________________________________

    • Linda, You have always been great with quick thinking and talking on a variety of subjects, and I hope one day to be able to hear one of your talks. I’ve been looking for a Toastmasters I can get into my schedule. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Love, Liesa

  2. Hi Liesa – I wish I could attend! Sounds like a great workshop! I often use the oven timer trick – write until the timer goes off. Sometimes I am in the groove by the time it buzzes, and can just keep going. Some days my writing muse must be tackled and hog-tied.

  3. Man I wish I were in the Colorado area. This looks like it would be very helpful for me… Nothing awesome ever happens in California!

    • Thanks, Nikki! The talk went pretty well and I hope people had fun. We did a lot of exercises to help build a writer’s work plan moving forward. Please let me know and I could work up a list of two or three for you to try, if you’d like. Meanwhile, what part of California are you in? I always thought it was a very active awe-inspiring place. Wishing you the best. Liesa

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