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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

4.5 out of 5 stars 298 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


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.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Paperback : 257 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 098364540X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0983645405
  • Publisher : Infinite Art; 1st Edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
298 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Hugo Botley
5.0 out of 5 stars I have tried several self-help books over the last year and a half (some of the better ones include David Allen's GTD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2014
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7 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant cure - it works!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2015
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Amazon customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all creative people
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2013
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Will Once
3.0 out of 5 stars Preachy and overlong with some nuggets
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 14, 2015
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Connor Caple
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice for perfectionist authors
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2020
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