In the first course in his “Psychology of Writing” series, author and writing coach Dave Fox explored writer’s block – what causes it and how to fix it. Now he’s back with a follow-up workshop that explores time management and distraction management for writers, and for people who want to be writers, who struggle to find the time they need to fulfill their writing dreams.
We’re living in a hyper-distracted world. So many different things are competing for our attention: family and friends, work or school, phone calls, Facebook and so much more. Many of these distractions are things we want in our lives, but they make it difficult to find the time we need to pursue our writing goals. This course teaches you how to manage those things – how to gently talk to the people in your life who don’t understand your need to write, how to shut out electronic distractions and interruptions, how to discover your optimum writing environment, how to build writing time into your schedule, and how to become a much more productive writer.
This course also tackles the age-old problem of procrastination – why we do it, how we do it, and how to stop doing it – because, hey, we all procrastinate sometimes, but if we learn to catch ourselves and do it less, we’ll get a lot more writing done.
If you’re a writer, or you’d like to be one, Dave offers solid advice, proven tips, and techniques you can use right away, to help you write more and finish those writing projects you’ve been talking about and dreaming about for a long time!
Do Dave’s methods work? They’ve worked for him. He has published two bestselling travel books (with a third one on the way) as well as hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles – and he has done this with a major (medically diagnosed) case of Attention Deficit Disorder! He has learned to thrive as an independent freelance writer in spite of his easily distracted brain. The techniques Dave uses to focus on his writing and be super productive will work for anybody, regardless of whether or they have ADD/ADHD.
We are all feeling distracted these days. We can’t eliminate distractions from our lives, but we can learn to manage them and do lots of great writing in spite of them. Dave teaches this energizing workshop with a mix of strategies, encouragement, humor, and a splash of tough love, to help you take control of your time and get more written.
This course also includes a special guest appearance with Andy Bombeck, son of the iconic American humor writer, Erma Bombeck. Dave talks with Andy via Skype about how his mother built her wildly successful career – writing more than a dozen books, and more than 4,000 newspaper columns – at home, while raising three kids.
If you struggle with writer’s block and insecurities about your writing, course number one in this series will help you become a more confident writer. If you struggle to find the time, the environment, and the focus you need to just sit down and write, then this course will help you discover and create those things in your life. You’ll learn how to get a lot more written – and how to let go of that writing angst that gets in so many people’s way.
Welcome to our course! Distractions and procrastination are challenges all writers face from time to time. This course is designed to help writers and aspiring writers overcome those challenges so they start the writing projects they dream of doing, finish the writing projects they start, and learn productivity techniques to help them fine-tune their time-management skills and get more writing done.
I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 41. Prior to that diagnosis, I had already published two bestselling travel books and hundreds of freelance newspaper and magazine articles. How did I manage to do this in spite of my easily-distractible brain? Without knowing I had ADD, I had already mastered a set of time management and motivational techniques that can work for anybody, regardless of whether they have ADD / ADHD, or whether they're just living in our current age in which everybody is feeling distracted and pressed for time. In this lesson, I tell the story of how I used these techniques and approaches to do so much writing.
At the end of each section in the course, we will have a short writing / journaling exercise. You can do these on your own, or you can share them in the Udemy forums – which is both fun and helpful as it gives you the opportunity to commiserate and share strategies with other writers.
The first step in finding the time and space you need for writing is adapting your attitude about why you write and the importance it plays in your life.
Many people who want to write say they don't have time – and yet, most of the time, that's not actually true. Time isn't something you "find." It's something you must create. In this lesson, we discuss proven strategies for making more time in your life for writing, and then following through and showing up for those writing times.
Many people write better at particular times of day. The tricky thing is, the best time of day for writing varies from person to person. Furthermore, our most productive time for writing might not be practical with the schedule we keep.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to determine your best times of day to write (and the answer might surprise you!) We'll also look at how to be a productive writer even when you can't write during your most ideal times.
It's time to head out on a fun series of missions to determine your optimum writing spaces and times.
There are so many things in the world that can interrupt our writing in a variety of different ways. Some are things we feel tempted to do instead of writing. Resisting those temptations is fully in our control. There are other things we don’t have as much control over, such as family commitments, career obligations, or people walking into the room and interrupting us, which we need to approach a little differently.
Different kinds of distractions must be managed in different ways. We kick off this section with a look at the different things that distract us from our writing, and we gain a clearer understanding of the variety of approaches we can take to manage these interruptions.
In the history of distractions, the Internet a new arrival on the scene. It is one of the most potent distractions writers face, yet it is also one of our most powerful writing tools – which means that often, we can't just turn it off. In this lesson, we focus on the World Wide Web. We gain a better understanding of how websites lure you into staying on their site or heading elsewhere on the web, and we learn techniques to help thwart those temptations!
Phone calls, e-mail, and text messages are a few of the ways people can interrupt us from afar. Depending on how we use them, they can help or hurt our ability to get more writing done.
The people in life who we are most close to can sometimes get in the way of our writing. Talking to them about the time and space we need for writing is hard for some people – but there are fun ways you can approach them and have honest discussions with them about our needs as writers.
It's time for a special guest! Andy Bombeck, son of the iconic American humorist, Erma Bombeck, joins us via Skype to chat about how his mother managed to write more than a dozen books and 4,000 (wow!) newspaper columns – all while working at home and raising three kids.
If you want to be a travel writer, you need time to write while you're traveling. But how do you work that out when you're traveling with someone who isn't a writer? Since travel writing is one of the genres I specialize in (and many of my travel writing students are enrolled in this course), I've included this lesson to help you find the writing time you need, even if you're on vacation with someone who isn't a writer.
Some final thoughts on managing our distractions, and writing productively in spite of them.
Another fun journaling exercise to help you explore the things that distract you.
There are lots of different ways and reasons to procrastinate. Identifying them helps to change them.
Proven techniques to help you stop procrastinating and get more written.
Discover one of the most common ways people sabotage their writing projects – and how to avoid doing that to yourself!
What do you do when you're in a writing dry-spell? What can you do during the times you're not writing to keep your writer's brain active, and how do you get rolling again?
This bonus lesson first appeared in the first course in this series, but its information is equally relevant here – so for those of you who haven't taken that course, I'm including it here as a free bonus lesson.
Another fun writing exercise: In this one, we switch from journaling to letter writing.
We take a look back at the key points to this course and re-examine the steps you can take to be a more efficient and productive writer.
An course is coming to an end, but some bonus lessons are on the way! You can also find out in this lesson about how to reach me if you're interested in my other courses, one-on-one writer coaching, or if you have quick follow-up questions or just want to say hi.
Your final assignment for this course will help you get more written -- today!
Dave Fox is on a mission to help people tell scintillating stories. He's a professional travel and humor writer, a writing and humor coach, a chronic storyteller, and the author of two bestselling books. Dave thrives on stepping outside of his cultural comfort zones in search of adventures and misadventures. He also makes really good sandwiches if you ask him nicely.
Originally from the United States, Dave started travel journaling at age seven when his family moved to England for a year. During that time, he developed an obsession with foreign cultures, which eventually morphed into his travel writing career. He also developed a British accent, which eventually morphed back to a mostly-American accent, but he respects your right to spell "humour" with that extra "U" if it makes you happy.
Dave's love for humo(u)r writing evolved in early adulthood when he discovered office memos didn't have to be boring. He fled nine-to-five life in 2001 on a mission to expand beyond office memos, and published his first book of travel-humor essays three years later after winning the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop Book Proposal Contest. He has been teaching writing workshops for more than 20 years. He has been making sandwiches even longer.
Dave has worked as a Public Radio news anchor, a tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe, an international cruise ship lecturer, and an iguana groomer. (Okay, not really an iguana groomer. Iguanas get cranky when you try to groom them.) His work has been featured on the History Channel, Channel NewsAsia, and national radio broadcasts in the US and Australia. He has also been an opening speaker for Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. (True story: When the princess told Dave he spoke excellent Norwegian, Dave replied, "Thank you, Your Majesty. So do you.")
For 16 years, Dave guided tours around Europe for Rick Steves' travel company. He has lived in the US, England, Norway, and Turkey and Singapore. He currently lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he works as the Vietnam correspondent for TTG Asia and freelances for a variety of other publications including the Straits Times of Singapore, and Singapore Airlines' magazine and website. His work has also appeared in books by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Travelers' Tales, and the 2014 Moon Guide to Burma.
Dave's own books, Getting Lost: Mishaps of an Accidental Nomad, and Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!), have both been Amazon travel bestsellers. He is currently working on a new book, The Ghosts of Bui Vien Street, about modern life in Ho Chi Minh City.
Dave shares his travel tales, humor essays, and writing advice on his website. (Please see below for the link.) He is available for one-on-one writing and travel coaching via Skype, e-mail, and in person.