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Episode 221 of 229

New Years Productivity for Authors With Joanna Penn

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station description Learn the innovative book promotion secrets of bestselling authors
Novel Marketing
Duration: 33:17
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. Joanna is an accomplished novelist and a publishing mentor for writers. She also happens to be the most frequent guest on the Novel Marketing Podcast.



Her most recent book is Productivity for Authors: Find Time to Write
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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. Joanna is an accomplished novelist and a publishing mentor for writers. She also happens to be the most frequent guest on the Novel Marketing Podcast.



Her most recent book is Productivity for Authors: Find Time to Write, Organize Your Author Life and Decide What Really Matters (affiliate link), so we began by talking about priorities and productivity.



Just yesterday I was working in the office, and my daughter was standing on the other side of the baby gate in my doorway. She shot her hands straight up in the air which is her clear signal that she wants me to pick her up. She was staring at me with big beautiful eyes and beckoning me to pick her up, and I thought, “This email can wait!”



We all have many wonderful demands on our time, and Joanna gives us wisdom for managing our time in a productive way.



Why Productivity is Important



Thomas Umstattd Jr.: Joanna, why is productivity important for authors?



Joanna Penn: I’ve really struggled with productivity for a long time. I have been writing since 2006, and I’ve been publishing for over a decade. I’ve achieved a lot of stuff, but I have always struggled with this idea of productivity.



It finally clicked for me when I realized the question is “What
do you want to achieve?” Productivity is actually achieving that thing. So I
wrote this book about it.



I always got confused thinking productivity was ticking off
things from my to-do list. But so often my to-do list was around things I
didn’t necessarily want to achieve.



As writers, productivity is about writing, but more than
that, it’s about finishing books. You can be as creative as you like and write
lots of stuff, but productivity is what will help you get those words into the
world. You only have this finite amount of time in your life. What do you want
to achieve with that time, and what productive tasks are you going to do to
achieve those goals rather than just running around like a headless chicken ticking
things off your to-do list?



Thomas: That’s right, you can’t do everything. In the States, we had a series of commercials from this beer brand called Dos Equis. They had a character they called “the most interesting man in the world” who’d give advice through these little pithy sayings. In one of them, he looks at the camera and gives this advice on careers: “Find the one thing in the world you do not do well, and then don’t do that thing.”









It’s funny, but it’s really good advice because so often, we
want to do everything and we end up spending the largest amount of time on the
thing we don’t do well because we don’t do it well.



Joanna: Yes. This is really important for indie and
traditional authors in the present climate of publishing, because authors are
expected to do marketing. There are literally thousands of things you can do
for book marketing. You could spend all your time doing book marketing. And of
course, marketing is super important, and it’s something we all have to do.



Productivity is really considering what you want to achieve
with your time and then doing that and ruthlessly cutting out those other
things. You mentioned that email and your daughter. To be fair, the email can
wait. But my daughter is right there now. Maybe she’ll be asleep in a couple
hours,
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