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Hello writing friend 👋

Before we coach someone, we have a chat about their writing and the kind of things that get in the way. We ask what they normally do to get back on track when they get stuck or lose focus. Sometimes, they say things like this:

  • I try to force myself to keep focused.
  • I make myself sit down and write.
  • I do my level best to feel positive.
  • I’ll try really hard to concentrate.

Then, when we ask whether this approach typically works, the answer's normally a very big ‘no’. Forcing yourself might feel like the right thing to do (everyone wants to be the little engine that could) but it can make writing a miserable guilt-laden slog because if you try and fail you can then go on to assume that the fault is in you. That you're not trying hard enough. 

This is the willpower trap. You can avoid this trap by noticing what pulls you away from your writing and having a plan to manage these obstacles when they occur.  

Read more on the blog: How to avoid the willpower trap

Take care ❤️ Chris

📢Final call for beta readers. If you'd like to help us write a book, find out more and complete a quick survey here

🚀  Want a place on our spring bootcamp?

We opened the doors of our spring writing bootcamp with just 10 places available due to a bulk order. If you'd like to reset your relationship with writing, reserve your spot today!

Find out more and enrol - remember, 10 places only so be quick! 🏃🏽‍♀️

“Bec and Chris have catalyzed the wisdom from researchers and writers from across various fields into this amazing bootcamp! Their program fitted easily into my hectic schedule and quickly formed a type of scaffolding to shore-up my writing and strengthen my process. Their simple tools of crafting goals and engaging with daily reflection will be with me for years to come, the Prolifiko support structure is built to last!”


- Lettie Y Conrad, author and researcher

📚 What we're reading... 

The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is our most recommended book for getting published. That’s why we were excited to get a sneak peek of their latest title in the series: How to plan, structure and write your novel by William Ryan. Published 13th of May, you can pre-order here.
Starting with the basics from getting organised and asking: ‘why this novel?’ it guides aspiring novelists through the techniques needed to construct, craft and draft a novel. 
It’s not a manifesto or hot take on writing, but a thorough, practical guide from this trusted creative writing brand. Bec has already turned the corners on several pages as she makes a start on her own novel (she promises to finish writing the Prolifiko book first!). 

📝 How to... beat your writing obstacles

Rather than relying on your willpower to write, get a plan using Gabriele Oettingen's WOOP Kit:

W – Think about the coming month, what is the wish you’d like to fulfil? It should feel possible within the time frame, but also involve a little bit of a stretch.

O – With your wish in the front of your mind, imagine what is the best outcome you associate with fulfilling it? How would that achievement feel? What would that look like? 
O – Now, imagine what holds you back from realising that wish. What obstacles stand in your way? Are there behaviours, thoughts or actions that prevent you from fulfilling your goal? 
P – What can you do to overcome your obstacle? Identify the actions you can take, then hone down on one. Find it, summarize it, and keep it in the front of your mind as you devise a plan to tackle it using the if-then planning model.

Next, take the obstacle you identified and place it after the word ‘if.’ Next, place the action to overcome your obstacle after the word ‘then’:

If … (obstacle) … then I will ... (action or thought to overcome your obstacle).

😍 3 things we love 

#1. Walk the walk: Rousseau once said, “There is something about walking which stimulates and enlivens my thoughts." This fab LitHub article explores the links between creativity and movement. Read the article

#2. Difficult reads: In this Bookshelfie from the Women's Prize for Fiction podcast, comedian Sara Pascoe shares why reading novels you might disagree with is a good antidote to an increasingly polarised world. Listen here

#3. Write don't type: A new study from neuroscientists at the University of Tokyo finds that handwriting aids memory better than typing. Want an excuse to buy expensive stationery? Read on.

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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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