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Intelligent Productivity For Freelance Writers – A Review

John Soares, who blogs at ProductiveWriters.com, has an ebook called Intelligent Productivity for Freelance Writers and frankly the book tends to drive me slightly mad.

John must be the second most organized freelance writer on the planet. If I hadn’t promised to review it, I might have stopped reading… and I’m really glad I didn’t, but kept reading.

First of all, the book has way more suggestions about writing and life than I’d ever think to use. He’s organized the book into six sections and 63 chapters!

Don’t panic. Each chapter is just a couple of pages so you can quickly grasp his major points. Each chapter concludes with a couple of questions aimed at helping you focus on the tips you just read, and at least a couple of resources. The resources are often books, and he’s frank about the links to the book being affiliate links of his – if you buy the book he makes a small commission.

Much of what he’s written we already know; John sets up a framework that may very well help actually move the reader in the direction he intends.

As I read I found tips I liked, in no particular order:

  • His chapter on searching the internet is excellent. First he urges getting clarity, then he explains exactly how operands like “AND” and the plus sign actually work.
  • He explains the art of the efficient interview – helpful if you’re new to the skill and interesting even if your not.
  • He talks more eloquently and accurately than I’ve ever been able to do about working with others, co-authoring and collaboration.
  • John sets out a criteria for meetings that I’ve made my own – and I never would have thought of it without his book.
  • Like me, he understands that ‘no!’ is a complete sentence and gives some decent guidelines for using it.
  • John has an excellent chapter on determining your hourly rate and how that turns into your true hourly wage – they are not the same.
  • He even talks clearly about how to hire outside help – from writers to housekeepers.

But my favorite tip of John’s, probably because it’s also one of mine, is his Chapter 17, Avoid Perfectionism. He points out that just as soon as we give up trying to be perfect, an impossible task in my not very humble opinion on the subject, our productivity increases like mad.

This book turns out to be one I’ll page through over and over again – particularly in those times when I recognize I need a sharp kick in the behind or am struggling to find a better way to do things.

And the darn thing only costs $17. Hard to go wrong for less than twenty. Please note that if you buy the book or his other products through this website I too will get a commission – it’s called affiliate marketing. This is a book I recommend.

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Nice to see your posts John. I do like it.

  • Excellent work done by John, conceptualbrains.com

    • Anne

      Yeah, John does good work.

  • Hi Anne!

    Just wanted to let you know that I bought the book through your link a minute ago. The thing is, I’ve always fantasized about 240-hour days. Since that is not happening, I’d love to be as productive as possible. And I have to say your review of John’s book had me on internet searching and the art of the efficient interview:)

  • I agree about John’s blog. I just put it in my RSS feed and am enjoying the posts. I haven’t read his book, but it sounds like I have a leg up as I know I’m not perfect. 😀

    Thanks for the review, Anne. I like the idea!

  • Nina Lewis

    Oh my! I think that you have just given me the best bit of knowledge that I could have ever been given — and that is to avoid perfectionism! (Has John been looking over my shoulder? Have you??)

    Thanks for reviewing this book. I’m putting it on my ‘must have’ list.

  • I can imagine what the chapter on interviewing is about – I’ve been held hostage in a few interviews. I’ve learned to say “I have just a few more minutes before my next appointment” in order to regain control of things.

    Sounds like a great book all the way around! Thanks for introducing us to it, Anne.

    • I’m also liking John’s blog, productivewriters.com.

  • Anne, thank you so much for your kind words here. It means a lot that another veteran freelance writer likes what I created — and found some useful advice.

    And I must say, “avoiding perfectionism” has made me a lot of money over the course of my career, so I’m glad it’s a keystone for you too.

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