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 So revisions are tough, right? We’ve been establishing that. But you know what to do, right? Just go through your manuscript and make all the changes that need to happen.

Yeah, I hear you laughing. Don’t worry, I know it’s not that simple.

A part of what makes revisions so challenging is that once you’ve put all that time and effort into writing the manuscript–time and effort you weren’t sure existed–now you have to return to that manuscript and face it with critical eyes.

How are you going to find the energy for that?

Let’s be honest: Revision is not about knowing what you need to do. You know what you need to do. (If you aren’t sure about which revision steps to take, check out my blog on Wednesday containing a revision checklist.)

Instead, revision so often hinges on having the proper mental state to tackle changes to your manuscript. For me at least, changes take almost more energy than original writing, and it’s far from simple to delete 30K from your manuscript as I have recently done. (How do you decide what stays and what goes? More on that at a later date.)

Revision is never simple, and rarely easy. I think it’s one of the top reasons writers get burnt out. And, like original writing, how far you get depends on your energy and productivity throughout the task.

That’s why I’m going to use this post to tell you how to maximize your energy–with the help of a CNN article (link below).

When I read this article about productivity, I thought immediately of how it pertains to writing. If you’re like me, it’s a constant struggle to make time to write. You always have to weigh your to-do list and do what is most important each day. Can that pile of laundry really wait? Or is your underwear drawer dangerously close to empty?

We all want to make our writing more productive, get the most done when we have the time. If you’re a full time writer, you want to use your time efficiently so that you don’t spend hours in front of your laptop you don’t need to.

The interesting thing about this article is that it’s not about putting in more hours, or organizing yourself, or similar productivity tips.

No, what this article says is something most of us already know: It’s about the energy you give to a project, not time.

However, the trick is to realize that everyone is more effective at one time of day over another. We may call it being a night owl or early bird, but we each feel that there’s a certain part of day where we have more energy than another.

I’m probably a mid-morning person. I’m not an early bird, and by late at night, I’m too tired to think (especially after all day spent with a toddler). But once I’ve been up for an hour or two, gotten some coffee and sat the toddler down with breakfast, I have focused energy to devote to my writing projects.

That is the time where I have more energy and more motivation to accomplish tasks.

Being more productive does not mean working longer, but means making note of those times and scheduling my day so I can work during them.


  1. Log it. Track your day and figure out when you have the most energy and feel most motivated. If you’re working during that time, how much do you get done compared to other times of the day?
  2. Schedule it. Look for ways that you can schedule your writing during that time of day. If you stay at home with kids (like me), can you shift nap time a little? Can you get up an hour before the kids to write? Stay up an hour later? Can you put the kids in front of the TV for a half hour while you write madly? If you work outside the home, same questions kind of apply, but could you maybe shift your lunch hour to coincide with a more productive writing time? Or cram in some writing on your 15 minute break? Can you wake up early and write at home? Or could you go by a coffee shop after work and write for a few minutes before going home?
  3. Prevent burnout. Don’t forget to take time for yourself every day. Take a 10 minute walk around the block (good for your health too!), or meditate 10 minutes, or read a book, or invest in an adult coloring book, or do something that relaxes you. Your body needs to be taken care of physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Do not neglect it.

And do check out the article below. It’s well worth the read.

via BBC – Capital – Why working smarter means conserving your energy.


Tell me: What time of day do you work best? Do you have any tricks you’d add to making the most of your writing time?