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Hello writing friend 👋

When we're up against it our instinct is to double down on the work, put in the hours and push ourselves harder. Yet the research on deliberate practice, grit and creative persistence shows - repeatedly - the importance of rest.

Father of the 10,000-hour rule Anders Ericsson found that the ‘best’ students he studied “averaged around five hours more of sleep than the good students, mostly by taking more time for afternoon naps.” Taking time off is as valuable as time spent practicing, as long as it is done with intention.

It’s something we advise anxious, blocked and overwhelmed writers all the time: step away from the work-in-progress and get some perspective. I took my own advice last week headed to the sea for a few days – coinciding with a rare heatwave on the north Yorkshire coast.

While going to the sea was the perfect activity to recharge my batteries, you will have a different approach. This newsletter shares some tips including picking the right ingredients for your personal rest, inspiring links, books to read and a blog on rewards.

In order to keep going with our projects, we need to associate good things with our writing. Willpower and stick-to-it-ness won’t get you to the end – having a balanced approach to writing will. So go on, treat yourself.

Read more on the blog: How to keep writing using rewards

Rest up  ❤️ Bec

🕸️ Blow away the writing cobwebs

If you need to nudge your writing forwards in a supportive environment - we have two options for you. 

Take a bootcamp: Starting July 12th, our bootcamp offers one-to-one coaching support to help you find a writing practice that fits with you and your life. We have just 5 places so if you'd like a spot, best hurry! Find out more and enrol now 

Go for a sprint: Fun, fast and furious, our 7-Day Sprints help you push forward a piece of writing in a friendly community. Whether you're starting off or stuck in the saggy middle a sprint can help. And best of all they're completely free. Join July's sprint here. 

“Prolifiko showed me how to reflect on and understand my own writing process, encouraging me to experiment with different approaches. They helped me to realise that it wasn’t possible to recreate the set-up I enjoyed during my PhD, and to develop far healthier habits that allowed me to work effectively under very strange and difficult circumstances. Some months on, I continue to make use of the insights and tools. This is a terrific course that really helps you to play to your strengths and deal with obstacles.  Highly recommended!”  

- Kirsten Lloyd, January 2021

😴 Finding your rest routine

Rest researcher Claudia Hammond shares the perfect prescription for achieving a sense of restfulness. The ingredients are:
  • Taking a break from other people
  • Resting your mind as well as your body
  • Exerting your body in order to rest your mind
  • Being distracted from your worries
  • Allowing your mind to wander
  • Giving yourself permission to not achieve anything in particular

"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us."

- Maya Angelou


📚 What we're reading... 

The length of the average human lifespan is just four thousand weeks. Oliver Burkeman asks: 'How will you choose to spend yours?' in his forthcoming book about making the best use of time.

Rather than trying to fit more in, recovering productivity geek Burkeman urges us to admit defeat and accept the limits of life. With chapters on the efficiency trap, how to be a better procrastinator and rediscovering rest, he takes a philosophical approach to getting things done.

We were lucky enough to get an advance copy, which fittingly was read on the beach. Highly recommend pre-ordering a copy and taking a break to read it. Check out: Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It.

😍 3 things we love 

#1. Murakami's trunks: Want to copy your favourite authors' holiday looks? Here's 20 famous writers, snorkelling and strolling by the sea. Read the article

#2. Dr Sleep: Master of suspense Stephen King reveals that at 73, his daily writing ritual now involves 4 hours of writing followed by a quick snooze. Read on.  

#3. Second life: We love this new scheme supported by the Society of Authors that for the first time, pay authors royalties when second hand copies of their books are sold. Read the article

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🤷 Reading this for the first time?

The Wednesday Workout is an email newsletter from writing productivity coaches Bec Evans and Chris Smith, co-founders of Prolifiko.

Subscribe to get fortnightly coaching tips and advice and news of our latest coaching plans and courses. When you do we'll send you a free coaching plan The Distracted Writer's Guide to Finding FocusFind out more about Prolifiko.

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