Last spring at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest, I attended an enlightening presentation on increasing writing productivity by author Allie Pleiter. She contended most people are one of two types when it comes to productivity and used characters from the Disney movie, Finding Nemo (one of my favs), to demonstrate.
The first type is Marlin, Nemo’s father. Marlin had one goal in that film – to find his son. He set a course, made a plan, and never wavered from that goal, making quick work of any distractions or obstacles in his path. Marlins can get a lot done in big chunks of time. Their writing counts per day can be astronomical.
The second type is Dory, the fish who suffered from short-term memory loss. Dory flitted from place to place, having a lot of fun along the way, but was easily distracted. Her goal was to help Marlin find Nemo, but she needed to be continuously reminded of her goal and nudged back on the correct path throughout the movie.
If you haven’t figured it out yet – yep, I’m a Dory. Dory types were advised to set aside little chunks of time to accomplish their goals. For example, write 600 words in four chunks of time over a week and then hopefully, by the end of the week you have 2400 words. A Dory should plan for time-out distractions, but also make a to do list at the beginning of every week, putting down tasks between the scheduled writing times. I’ve found that when I do this, I’m much more productive.
So what is your type? Marlin? Dory? Or something in between?