Reflections on writing with Ann Gomez…

Reading time: about 2 minutes

What interferes with writing for Ann Gomez is her OTHER work! Read this interview to learn how Ann copes with this conundrum….

Ann Gomez is the founder and president Clear Concept Inc., a training organization for productivity, collaboration, mindset and wellbeing. Ann was also the productivity columnist for this blog from September 2023 to June 2024. Her latest book is Workday Warrior.

I was excited to talk to Ann Gomez about how she approaches writing. 

Q: Roughly how much time do you spend writing every day?

It ranges from 5 minutes to two hours (average ~30 min.), depending on my other work. I try to do a little bit of writing/editing every day, but on jam-packed days, I give myself permission to skip a day. 

Q: What’s a simple activity or habit that makes you a better writer?

My most effective strategy is to start my day with at least five minutes of writing/editing. I’m always tempted to jump straight into “urgent” tasks, but it’s hard to find time for writing/editing if I don’t protect my writing time.

Q: What interferes with your writing?

The top thing interfering with my writing is other work. My primary focus is to lead training workshops, which always require a lot of focused attention. When I book too many back-to-back training sessions, I struggle to protect my writing time.

Oh yes, and striving for perfection also pops up more often than I’d like 😉

Q: How do you persuade yourself to sit down to write on days when you really, really DON’T feel like doing it?

I set my timer and encourage myself to write for a just a little bit of time (i.e., five to 20 minutes). Once I ramp up, I find I enjoy it.

To be honest, I think of writing/editing as a treat. I’m working towards shifting my responsibilities so I can spend more time doing it each day.  

Q: Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found helpful for writing?

I keep thinking of the phrase you taught me, Daphne, “Don’t edit while you write.”

I also remind myself that “progress versus perfection” is the goal.

Q: Which stage of the writing process do you enjoy the most: researching, writing or editing/rewriting and why?

I love the research phase as I am a learner at heart. But I must monitor myself to make sure I’m not overdoing it with this phase. Then, I like the editing phase. I love that feeling of settling on writing that feels crisp, clear and engaging.

Q: What’s the best book you’ve read (either fiction or non) in the last five years?

Oh, now this is a tough question! I’m an avid reader and so many books stand out. It’s hard to pick just one. But I’ll go with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (fiction) and Big Potential by Shawn Achor (non-fiction).

Q: What book are you reading right now? 

I read a few books at a time. I usually have a fiction book on my nightstand that I read before bed. I tend to gobble up Kate Morton’s books. And I have a tall stack of non-fiction books that I plan to dig into over the summer. Plus, I have a few audio books on the go that I jump between depending on my mood (including Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg, Steal the Show by Michael Port and Multipliers by Liz Wiseman.) 

Q: What do you think is the biggest misperception that new writers have about the act of writing?

For me, the biggest misperception was how much more effort I needed to put into editing (versus writing). I used to think I’d done most of the work after the initial writing phase. But now I understand that editing is where the magic is. Truly engaging prose is always well-edited prose.



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