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The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block Paperback – November 15, 2011
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This book is fantastic. I use what I learned from it whenever I sit down to write. Even that I sit down to write, every day, is partly due to what I learned from this book. --Reader review
The author clearly has a vast amount of experience in helping people with writer's block and other productivity problems. The book not only lays out a clear and comprehensive path for overcoming such problems, but it is also filled with literally hundreds of little tips to help you get and keep moving on your writing projects. It really helped me through a difficult fundraising proposal that I had been struggling with for a long time. --Reader review
This book is a must-have for any writer or entrepreneur's library. Hillary is an absolutely inspiring author, coach, and teacher on the subjects of procrastination, increasing productivity, and time management. Her work is well-known within circles of writers and activists throughout New England on improving your effectiveness. In this book, she codifies her best material and makes it accessible to a wider audience. Go out a grab a copy for yourself - and then grab copies for everyone on your team and anyone in your life that could benefit from this kind of insight. --Reader review
About the Author
From Hillary Rettig: The core of my work is the idea that procrastination, blocks, and other forms of underproductivity are symptoms of disempowerment. Disempowerment means you re not missing anything you need to be productive: you re only separated from, or have lost access to, that which you have i.e., your strengths, skills, talents and energy. (Laziness, lack of discipline, lack of commitment, and other supposed deficiencies are all symptoms of the disempowerment, not causes, so please don t focus on them. And don t use them to negatively label yourself or anyone else!) All my work is devoted to helping people locate and remedy the disempowering forces in their work and life so they can reclaim their joyful productivity.
My other major contribution has been to characterize perfectionism as a complex phenomenon consisting of (to date) eighteen symptoms, including grandiosity, shortsightedness, prioritizing product over process, and prioritizing external recognition and rewards over internal measures of success.
Finally, I ve been able to design solutions to both procrastination and perfectionism that are uniquely targeted and effective.
I have taught productivity and time-management classes at top writing, business, educational, arts, and community organizations; and my articles have appeared in Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Future Buzz, Time Management Ninja, Tomorrow s Professor, Authors Helping Authors, and numerous other publications.
On a personal note, I'm a vegan, free software advocate, and lover of life and dogs. I m also a former foster mom of four teenage Sudanese refugees (a.k.a., Lost Boys ), now all adult and living independently. And I m a living kidney donor. If you re a prospective vegan, free software advocate, foster parent, or kidney donor, email me and I will support you however I can. I also have an abiding interest in social justice my first book was The Lifelong Activist, a self-help guide for progressive and radical activists and it was from my activism that I gained insights on personal power that inform my current work.
When I was a kid, I mainly wanted to do two things: write and help. And I find that, as an adult, the more time I devote to these activities the happier I am. I m a classic late bloomer who didn t start coming into my own, professionally or personally, until I was well into my forties, and so I understand first-hand the despair that comes from feeling like you re not living up to your potential. But I now know what I didn t know then: that blocks are often easily overcome once you stop blaming yourself for being lazy or undisciplined and start looking for the real roots of the problem. And so, my main message to others is often, relax, it s gonna be fine.
I believe deeply in the power of perseverance, the amazing possibilities of reinvention, and the benefits of living consciously. Life can be difficult, but it is always deeply fascinating.
I was born in the Bronx, and now live in Kalamazoo, MI, after stints in Ithaca, New York City, and Boston. My partner is a physics professor at Kalamazoo College, and we have two rescue dogs, Billy and Petey.
The best thing you can do to support me and my work is post a review of one of my books on Amazon. Thank you in advance, and if you let me know you've done it I will be happy to thank you personally.
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Top Customer Reviews
Rettig has written a compassionate manual for the blocked. This is not a silly how-to with writing prompts and stories about others who have succeeded. Or a list of ideas which MIGHT work. Nope. This book forces you to both analyze yourself and reconstruct your mindset.
It touches upon so many facets of the writer's life, while advising you and warning you through each facet. Everything seen in the light of perfectionism takes on a new hue. Sometimes this process is scary, sad, and enlightening.
If you have any type of creative block--whether in writing, painting, business, choreography, etc.--read this book. While it is certainly geared toward writers, the food for thought within will surprise you. Read this book if you want to move forward, through any block, while holding a better understanding of WHY you're blocked. And how the source of that block creeps up on you in EVERY AREA of your life!
Other books,often, keep you banging your head against the block until it cracks.
Rettig grants you a type of actionable psychological freedom. You will be impressed. I promise. Take it step by step, day by day.
Learn about procrastination in all its forms, about metaphorical invisibility and isolation, rejection, fear, mentors, pacing, self-publishing. And much more. You get more than your money's worth in this gem.
BUY IT. And good luck with your creative ventures! I, personally. feel great now.
In order to understand why we never finish anything, why we have a drawer full of beautiful first chapters, or why we 'just can't seem to find the time' we have to take a clinical look within.
Hillary Rettig helps us do that in an informative, kind and encouraging manner, and not only helps us identify the triggers to procrastination, but provides techniques to help us move past the very real obstacles we encounter.
I strongly recommend, if you have struggled with anything for more than a year, beat yourself up constantly over why you can't seem to complete a work and especially if you have read every craft book out there: sometimes the problem isn't the story. Sometimes the problem is y-o-u.
If you can face yourself objectively and are ready to roll up your sleeves, this book will offer some insights into what has caused certain behaviours, and what you can do about them. There is hope and there is help, so take heart my weary friend, and be prepared to move into the next successful phase of your writing.
Now the reason that I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. First of all there is a very annoying formatting error in every chapter. The first letter of the paragraph is located above the paragraph and then the first word is missing the first letter. Poor formatting indeed. I also had a real problem in that the book was not broken up in chapters but item numbers in the decimals. I found this very disorienting and weird and peculiar. These are relatively minor complaints that do not take away from the excellent content however.
The reviewer is the author of the new Kindle book entitled: SEX EDUCATION FOR ADULTS SECRETS TO AMAZING
SEX AND HAPPILY EVER AFTER TOO
I judge the book 4 starts for now, because I have not implemented her advice fully, and it scares me because it feels so counter-intuitive and paradoxical: I am facing a serious deadline and I have hard time imagining that doing 10-15 min a day of free nonperfectionistic writing to meeting that deadline (Hillary, if you read this, I think I know what you will say: "perfectionism, perfectionism in action!").
But I will try to implement her advice--because I am so desperate. And if it works, I will come back and update this review to 5 stars.
Feb 2016 - UPGRADING TO 5 stars: I am very glad to report that Hillary's method of non-perfectionistic writing is working very well. I have not met the above mentioned deadline, but following her advice for several months has freed to to write and think with much more productivity, and much less stress. I look forward to re-working through this book periodically (as my perfectionism is quite severe :-)).
Also, I wanted to note that I have now had the chance to interact with Hillary herself (via email and online writing class): not only has she thought about the problem of perfectionism deeply, but she also genuinely cares for the people who are afflicted by it. A rare combination. I recommend both the book, and working with Hillary in person, highly.