How to set realistic writing goals

I’ve set big writing goals for myself several times in the past. This year, my goal was to publish 100,000 words between books and blog posts. Prior to that, I’d tried setting daily word count goals, like writing 500 words a day, and time-based goals, like writing for one hour every morning. But I’d never […]

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How I’m going to write four books in 12 months

If you search DuckDuckGo for “how to write a book,” you might be tempted to just give up on the whole idea. The top-ranking results are littered with words and phrases like “torture,” “horrible experience,” “didn’t make any money.” The conventional wisdom is that writing books is an arduous process and one that’s not really […]

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Why I’m publishing my ebook 100 words at a time

I’m writing my ebook in the least efficient way possible: Every day, I publish an update of at least 100 words. And you know what? It’s working great. Publishing 100-word chunks throws the “writing process” out the window Writing involves several discrete steps: organization and outlining, research, writing the first draft, editing the final draft, […]

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How I made $2,000 in 7 days launching my ebook

August, 2012: I’m pounding out pages for an ebook about Sublime Text. The book is growing steadily, and with it, a sense of panic: What happens when I’m done? My entire promotional strategy consists of pushing the publish button! I’m a programmer, not a sales wizard. Marketing seems like black magic. The thought of my […]

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Zombie time: How habits helped me fight failure and slay the procrastination monster

Every couple of months, it occurs to me that I’d be way more productive if I could just get up earlier and get some writing done on my ebook, weekly newsletter and blog before starting work at my day job. Writing is important to me, so why not tackle it first thing?

I get fired up, set an arbitrary goal (500 words a day sounds achievable!), crank my alarm back to 6:15 and hit the pillow with head abuzz about how I’m going to crush it on my new schedule.

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Five lessons from The 4-Hour Work Week

The negative reviews for Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week scared me off three times. A con man who needs to be taken down. Modern day snake oil. This advice works if you’re already making $40,000 a month, otherwise forget it. When my curiosity finally won out, I was braced for a hyper-ventilating sermon: “Start […]

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My $47 collapsible standing desk

I’ve wanted a standing desk ever since I first read about the idea three or four years ago. But even though the health benefits seem clear, it takes a special kind of guy to stand tall amongst an acre of of low-walled cubicles. That guy I am not, and during my corporate career I stowed […]

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Rocking GTD with Trello

Since discovering Getting Things Done four years ago, I’ve tried just about every task management system out there: text files, Remember the Milk, Toodledoo, Evernote, OneNote, Outlook, paper, hipster PDAs. They all have their strengths, but each was missing some key element that left me wanting more. The search is over, though. Trello is about […]

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I took Hanselman’s advice and now look at me…

About a month ago, I watched Scott Hanselman’s awesome productivity talk, It’s not what you read, it’s what you ignore, and it spurred me to take a hard look at my daily Internet usage. As a result I’ve finished several projects that were previously languishing on my to-do list, and I’ve improved my focus. One […]

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