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Hello friends 👋

When naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (bearded old white man below left) returned from the remote Ternate islands of Indonesia in 1858, he sent his old friend Charles Darwin (bearded old white man below right) a letter asking for help.

The letter brought a swift end to one of the most epic examples of writing procrastination the world has ever witnessed. It also sparked into life one of the most revolutionary books the world has ever known. 

We've all circled round projects for too long. Case in point: our own book has gone on the back burner again over the past couple of months while we run another coaching program to help writers finish their writing projects. The irony is not lost on us...🙄

Darwin's fear of writing was overwhelming. Ours is (hopefully) less so but it's rooted in the same ancient part of the brain. And if you want to overcome it, you need to start by reducing the stakes.

New on the blog: Epic procrastination: What Darwin's 20-year delay teaches us about writing fear

Take care ❤️  Chris and Bec

PS. Let us know if you want to be a beta reader for our book... when it's written obvs 😆

🌱 A spring of sprints starting this March

If you want to give your writing project a boost or just get off the starting blocks, we have three of our famous 7-day writing sprints to join in March, April and May. Our sprints work like this: 

👋 Join the sprint club and pick a start date
⚙️ Complete a pre-race warm up plan
✍️ Write every day you can and learn along the way
💯 Get support and accountability from your sprint coaches
😎 Cool down with a post-race analysis
🔁 Continue and watch your writing practice develop

Want to be a member? Join here
Already a member and want to join a sprint? Sign up here

📈 Writing productivity playbook: how to set the perfect writing goal

A writing goal comprises of two main elements: the thing you’re going to write (the project) and the way you’re going to write it (the practice). Think of these project and practice elements like being two sides of the same coin – closely interlinked and dependent on each other.

The project
When you think about the project element of your goal, you're really considering how to compartmentalise your writing tasks in a way that makes them more tangible and doable. 

  • Is your aim to get to a certain point in your project by a certain date? 
  • Do you want to want to divide your project into milestones? 
  • What element of the project will you tackle first? What’s your starter step? 

The practice
Your practice goal is built from targets and frequencies – how much you’ll aim to write, how often. Think about whether you want to reach a specific stage or milestone, keep to a specific word-count per session or write for a specific amount or time. For example:

  • I’ll write for one hour a day in two bursts of 30 minutes.
  • I’ll write one paragraph each day between 9am and 11am. 
  • I’ll write 500 words of my introduction three days per week.

However you approach your goal, keep it specific and be realistic. Change and adapt your goal, try different approaches depending on where you are in the writing process. 


Want to learn more about goals? We've just updated our ultimate guide to goal setting. Read the blog. 

📚 What we're reading... 

The saying 'Jack of all trades, master of none', is often used as a snarky put down to generalists who dabble in multiple areas rather than have a singular focus or skill. But in his book Range, journalist David Epstein reveals that the full saying is actually 'Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one.'

He explains how having broad interests and a wide experience is far better for the individual and for society than being fantastic at one thing and rubbish at everything else. I'm only part way through but it contains some fascinating insights that apply to writing, creativity, research, education and life in general. 

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World

😍 3 things we love 

#1. Two novels then now't: Standup comic and writer Mitch Benn reveals how he got dropped by a major publisher and why he's self-publishing his next novel. Read the article

#2. Marketing mayhem: Learn how to market your book from Reedsy's marketing masters. Their new book is currently free as a Kindle edition on Amazon. Take a look.

#3. Dump your inner drill sergeant: The Happiness Lab's Dr Laurie Santos examines why being a kind to yourself works far better than being mean and shouty. Listen to the podcast.

🙏 Enjoy this newsletter? Sharing is caring...

If you enjoy our newsletter, please consider sharing it with someone else or on social media. It all really helps and we'd love to see the Wednesday Workout grow. If newsletters aren't your thing, you can find us on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Facebook and, of course, by simply hitting reply. 

🤷 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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