(Transcript) – What’s the ONE THING you can do to be a more productive writer?


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  If you are interested in knowing what the ONE thing you can do to be a more productive writer is, you are in the right place. And if are on the replay, you can also tap hearts to let me know you’re there, [and] that you enjoyed the content; even though you didn’t catch us live, you can catch us next time. Go ahead and hit that “follow” button  [to] change the “plus” to a “check”, and it will let you know when I’m live.


Hello guys. Hello…


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : Hi again!!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Hello. RedHerring, it’s been a while. I’ve forgotten your name. Let me look at your profile. [irrelevant comment]. Joe. That’s right. I’m sorry Joe.


Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : [Hello]


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Hello Indra… Yes, welcome. Thanks for the hearts. As you know – yáll are pros – but if you like what we’re talking about you tap hearts on the screen. That lets me know that you’re there.


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) :  Been super busy… sorry.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … That’s okay, Joe. There’s always the replay. I totally do that too. I have blocks of time, and it’s like, “Ooo, I’ve got to put Periscope on pause for just a little bit.


Darnell Cureton ( https://twitter.com/DarnellCureton ) : Hello.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Hey Darnell!… If you’re not already following me, hit the little “Peri Dude” down there [to] change the “check” to a “plus”, and it will let you know that I’m live. And if you want to catch the notes that I take for you on these Periscopes, or the replays and the transcripts, go to




You can always catch them there. And our community is using this hashtag :


#periscopewriters ( https://twitter.com/search?q=%23periscopewriters&src=typd )  


So we can find and support each other. So if you Scope and write, [use] hashtag #periscopewriters.


Okay guys. Welcome. I’m so glad to see you. Y’all jumped on. You were like, “Man, I need to be more productive. Let me hop on Periscope.” [laughter] Just kidding. So I am Morgan Gist MacDonald. I’m a writing coach, an editor, and author. I run my business and my blog out of http://www.paperravenbooks.com .


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : Good idea #periscopewriters


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … “periscopewriters”. Yes Joe. Join the party… And I work with authors. I coach you from [the] vague idea of your book, to first draft, to finished manuscript. It’s a really fantastic process, and I coach and edit all the way through.


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) :  I've just done a scope on how important structure is!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac)  … Joe says, “ I've just done a scope on how important structure is!”… I love structure. You’re totally speaking my language.


CharlinoKR ( https://twitter.com/charlinho_kr ) : Hello Morgan!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Hey Charles. Hello again… Okay guys. This week we are all about productivity. Yesterday we were talking about like morning rituals, getting up in the morning, and deciding [the] first thing [which is] WHEN you’re going to do your writing. Because if writing is going to be a priority, you should do it first. Or, at least – if you can’t do it first thing in the morning – decide when you are going to do it.  


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) :  Set a timer. That's my top tip.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Joe, timers! Oh my gosh. We are like a match made in heaven. Okay. You and I need to talk, because structure and timers, like we are on the same page… We’re totally going to get there too. We’ve got a couple of more days in the week, but before we get to the practical stuff – because the practical stuff is so fun, right? Buying timers and all sorts of things…


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) :  Set timer for 30 minutes.

do nothing else in that 30 minutes.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … And Joe sets a timer for 30 minuutes, and [does] nothing else in that 30 minutes… I TOTALLY agree. Using a timer will change your life. So Joe and I both say, “Use a timer.”


So before we get to all the fun, juicy, practical stuff – I think we’re going to start that tomorrow – today I, kind of, want us to zero in. Okay. So we’ve got a morning ritual of AT LEAST getting up to DECIDE when we’re going to write. Even if you don’t write first thing in the morning, before your day REALLY gets rolling, decide. Say, “I AM going to write from 8:00 to 8:30 tonight, come hell or high water.” And make that the priority for the day.


Okay., so you’ve already done that this morning, right? [laughter] Who was with me this morning? And now we’re going to talk a little bit more about what’s the ONE thing you can do to be more productive? And this is, kind of, a “tongue in cheek” title, because the one thing you can do is to do one thing. Don’t write multiple things. In one writing session don’t try to do blogs, and a book, and an essay that you’re going to send to Huffington Post, or whatever. Really and truly, you can only focus on one major project at a time. Actually, I don’t think Ron is on this Scope. I know Ron is an author, and he usually has three books, sort of, rolling at once, but he’s never actually WRITING all three of them. So I would be interested to see what Ron says about this.


But in my experience coaching authors it’s really difficult to work on more than one project at a time, because life is so crazy and busy, and we really only have MAYBE an hour or two in a day where we can work on the side projects that are most important to us. So almost everyone has jobs, and family, and other things – maybe you’re in a  church, maybe you volunteer, maybe you’re in a sporting activity. I don’t know what it is you do, but you’ve got [a] life,okay? And you’re writing on the margins of life.


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) :  lol… I'm so good at not taking my own advice… I've got a book, a murder mystery and an idea…     ”:  

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) … Joe says, “I'm so good at not taking my own advice… I've got a book, a murder mystery and an idea.”… I know, Joe. [laughter] It’s really hard. Life is this little, sort of, crazy bubble, and you’ve got [a] margin…


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : The idea is SO distracting…  


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …. Oh, the idea has your energy, Joe. Is that how it goes? It is difficult when a new idea – new  shiny object – pops in. But you’ve got to realize that usually there is only ONE project that you can focus on at a time, and really make momentum on.


So a book that I’m going to recommend to you guys – and I’m hoping Jessica is on [because] she loves book recommendations – is called “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. I will put a link in the Scope Notes. HIs idea is that at any point in life – beyond the crazy business that is just running daily life – there should be one project that we are working on that will make everything else EASIER or UNNECESSARY. So I love that phrase “easier or unnecessary”. I think this is where a book can really come into play.


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) :  The one thing by Gary Keller?


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …“The One Thing” by Gary Keller. Yes. Thank you Joe for posting that down there. It will be in the Scope Notes too, right at http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope  .


Okay . So we have these plans for life, right? We have some purpose to fulfill.


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : I going to quit my second job so I can focus on writing and get ready for school in January!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Miguel says, “[I’m] going to quit my second job so I can focus on writing and get ready for school in January.”… Yes, Miguel. I think wé’ve talked about this before. So long as it doesn’t put you in dire straits I think that’s a great idea, because if you’re starting school in January you’ve got three months to write this book. [There’s] nothing like deadlines to really get you going [laughter]. So I would love to see you write this book before January. We’ll catch up on Twitter and see how it’s going.  


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : I’m good.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … You’re good? All right. Awesome. Then I EXPECT to see a book in January [laughter]. I want to review it, so send it to me before it goes on.


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Hey!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Hey Ron! Welcome… Okay. So you have a purpose in life. You have a business you want to build, a non-profit you want to support, a movement you want to start…


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : If there's any UK scopers on… writers retreat in January 29th- 31st.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Oh, Joe says there’s a UK Scopers RETREAT… Oh, cool! I don’t think I’m going to be in the UK then, but we should publicize that. I think Indra is in the UK. I don’t know [if] any other viewers are in the UK. But yáll should find each other.


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : Ok Morgan. You'll be the first.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …I’ll be the first… Thanks Miguel… Okay. So you’ve got a business, a non-profit, [or] movement. You’ve got SOMETHING that you’re really passionate about that you want to propel forward. I would suggest to you that a book is a really great way to make LEAPS of momentum.  If you’ré starting a business a book really CLARIFIES… Oh, thanks for sharing Ron… who you serve, and HOW you best serve them. If you’re starting, or contributing to, a non-profit, it will help you solidify where your interest truly lies. I mean, maybe you’re interested in education, but once you write a book about it maybe you discover that your interest in education is really in developing countries. or inner city America, [or something]. Right? Those are two totally different non-profit interests.


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : Books are ace for credibility for business too


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Yes. Joe says, “Books are [great] for credibility [and] business too.”… [I] TOTALLY agree. I will say [that] even the PROCESS of writing a book, though, is great for your own INTERNAL momentum. Like getting on fire about your business, and feeling like you have something to contribute. Or, I mean, even if you just want to raise AWARENESS, to have some soft of MOVEMENT around a topic that you really care about.


I don’t think Tracy is on here, but she writes about educating and encouraging girls in science and engineering. She doesn’t have a business model.


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : Books don't have to be LONG for digital amazon books either.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Right. Exactly Joe, “Books don't have to be LONG amazon.anymore.”.. That’s the beauty of our industry. The doors are wide open. Books are no longer this 70,000 word, research-heavy, behemoth thing that [takes] 10 to 20 years to write. Although I would wonder how many authors really would take so long to write that kind of book. If they’re REALLY writing… Oh, thanks for sharing Kenzel…


So, even if you’re starting a movement or raising awareness, the book will help you step into that path.   .


RedHerringGames ( https://twitter.com/Redherringgames ) : 70,000? that's short!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …70,000? that's short!… For nonfiction that’s about right. For fiction you’re totally right. Fiction can get very easily into the 100k category, and then split off into trilogies where each book is, gosh, who knows how long? I mean, I can’t imagine being George R.R. Martin’s editor. It would be cool, but really hard [laughter]. Those books get gigantic.  When you’re talking nonfiction, 55k to 70k is pretty normal. Of course, it can get longer than that if people get really into the research, and that sort of thing.


But the point is [that] it’s what you WANT it to be now. There are LOTS of really successful books that really do have a transformative power, even though they’re 20 to 30 thousand words long. And that’s pretty doable to write in a couple of months. So what I would encourage you to think about is : one writing project… Oh, thanks for sharing, Joe…


Okay. So let’s circle back around to where we started : “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. [That’s] the book that I’m, sort of, basing all of this off of. It’s an AMAZING book, [that can] totally change your life. It totally changed my BUSINESS, honestly. Reading – well, I was listening, [as] it’s an audiobook and I was on a road trip – inspired so many ideas in helping me realize [that] I needed to focus on one thing at a time.


Okay. So you’re focusing on one writing project at a time, and you should choose the writing project that will make everything else either easier or unnecessary. So [if] you’re starting a business that’s super-overwhelming, you need to get clear. Writing the book could be that thing that helps you gain clarity, momentum, [and] credibility. [If] you want to start a nonprofit, writing the book could be that thing that helps you get into conversations with important people in the world. I mean, I don’t know : Congressmen [laughter], diplomats, people who raise money – fundraisers – who knows. If you’re raising awareness for some sort of movement then writing a book could be that thing that helps you get followers. Okay? So the book could be this momentum point. So you’ve got to choose one topic, and you’ve got to focus on it to get it done so that that momentum can start. Because it WON’T have any power until it’s finished. Seriously [laughter].


Having a book that’s half-written does you no good. Do you know how many unfinished manuscripts are in top drawers of desks around the country [and] around the world? Too many to count! And they’re sitting there doing NOTHING. Your book can’t do anything for your life, or your reader’s life, until it is finished and out in the world, So I’m hoping that this week, since we’re focusing on productivity, you can get up in the morning, set your time for when you’re going to write, and then choose one thing that is the most important, the most impactful, [and] the most potential for truly changing lives. Focus on it, and commit to finishing it, and not get distracted by all the shiny objects.


I totally know the distraction of shiny objects. I’m an entrepreneur. Like every day I’m like, “I need to watch that webinar, and take this course, and read this book.” And it’s like shiny object craziness out here in the online world. But this is the discipline of creating change. The discipline is focusing on one thing.


So that’s my message for you guys today. And starting tomorrow we’re going to get into some more nitty-gritty, fun, practical things. I think we’re going to talk about tricks for increasing mental clarity when you’re about to start writing.


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : I woke up early but somehow it was an hour later!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Migual says, “I woke up early but somehow it was an hour later.”… Was there a time change? In that case you need to check your alarm [laughter]  Maybe you need to set a LOUDER alarm… So yeah. Tomorrow we’re going to talk about tricks for increasing your mental clarity, which will be timely.


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Oh yeah. I was up at [4:00 am]


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …You were up at 4:00 am… Ron, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic. I suspect sarcasm in that comment. I just have a feeling… Tomorrow I also have a webinar, so I’m probably going to hop on here later.


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : No, really.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … No, really? You were up at 4:00 am.? Good job! Were you writing, or were you doing yoga? Because I know you do yoga.


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : No fell back to sleep. Lol.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Oh, you fell asleep Miguel. Okay. [laughter] Well okay, maybe TWO alarms [laughter] … Tomorrow I have a webinar…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Yes.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Yes, you were doing yoga? I hope you were writing and not doing yoga at the same time… Well, good for you. Props to Ron for getting up and writing at 4:00 am. That’s impressive… Anybody else? I’m a 4:00 am kind of writer – well, not 4:00 am ; 4:30 am to 5:00 am is when I start getting up.


Tomorrow and Thursday I’m having webinars, and I’m walking you through…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : 1200 words


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … 1,200 words? Nice Very nice. Impressive… I’m going to walk you through the 12 step, easy-peasy process for writing an ebook that boosts your business and builds your platform. So it’s a 45 minute webinar, and it walks you through every step, and afterward I hope that you feel empowered and couraged to actually write your book. Then you’ll know all of the steps from coming up with the idea, through three phases of revisions, and why you need three phases of revisions. So you can find out more about that at http://www.paperravenbooks.com/12stepswebinar


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : I'm getting there. Maybe u should give me a wake up call. Lol.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … MIguel says, “I'm getting there. Maybe you should give me a wake up call”… No. I cannot be responsible for anyone else. I have three children, a husband, and a guinea pig. LIke, I am overloaded with responsibility for other people right now [laughter] You are going to have to get yourself up. I believe in you.


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Give me your cell, Miguel


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Yeah, right. Ron will give you a call. Yáll are in the same time zone anyway. That will be easier.


[So], http://www.paperravenbooks.com/12stepswebinar . It’s going to be a party. It’s going to be really fun. All right, guys. Thank you for hanging out.  Go pick your one book topic, and I will see you guys very soon. Bye.  


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