Collin Lessing, Senior Grantwriter, Joining Vision and Action (JVA)


Collin Lessing brings more than a decade of experience in communications and marketing to his role as Senior Grantwriter at Joining Vision and Action.

Here are Collin’s tips for productivity:

These are some tips I learned from the Stephen King book “On Writing” that help my productivity immensely when writing. He’s a big proponent of writers creating and sticking to a routine—making things as routine as possible. Within that context, here are a few strategies that King calls out that I incorporate into my work:

1. Write at the same time every day.

I try to schedule all meetings and calls for the afternoon so that the first half or three quarters of my day can be blocked off for writing. My writing is definitely at its fastest and sharpest in the morning. If I’m on a mega-deadline that requires extra time outside of office hours, I always plan to do as much of that extra work early in the morning rather than at night so that it’s closer to my routine.

2. Listening to music (the same music) when writing.

I always write with music playing in my earbuds because it silences out any background noise. My Pandora channel hasn’t changed in the last seven years and I don’t plan on changing it anytime soon. Hearing the same songs over and over again (I listen to what you might call “orthodontist office music”) means the music doesn’t distract me. Rather, hearing the same old songs immediately puts me in a conditioned mood to write. After a couple of songs, I barely notice the music at all and I’m just in a groove.

3. Write in the same physical space every day.

I’m not a fan of going to coffee shops or working from home to simply “change things up” when it comes where I write. On writing days, I’m always in JVA’s shared working space because there is something about that large room that has always energized me and allowed me to focus. Writing comes easy for me in that space, so that’s where I go.

By setting the routine and sticking to it, I take the guesswork out of writing with efficiency. My mind knows exactly how to settle in to the task at hand—it doesn’t have to figure out anything new or adapt to new stimuli. It’s just primed to write.


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