I’m a Lazy Person Who Rejects 99% of Self-Help Tips. Here’s the One Trick that Kept Me Productive, Even in 2020.

Laura Belgray
7 min readSep 30, 2020

How to salvage your goals and dreams from the dumpster fire that is this year.

Even those of us who were physically healthy in 2020 have had a solid half-year of letting ourselves off the hook:

I’m not in a place to write my book/ do my art/ work out/ be productive, because pandemic. {cue soft, Stuart Smalley voice} And that’s ooookay.

Sure, we started off thinking we were going to do big things during lockdown — write songs, write a novel, learn Greek — but most of this year became an extended emotional sick day. A big ol’ doctor’s note not to do anything hard, because reality is hard enough.

(And hey, as someone who milked mononucleosis to get out of most of 11th grade, I’m no stranger to the love of an ongoing excuse to do diddly-squat.)

Welp, looks like the pandemic isn’t going anywhere for a while. Winter is coming. Covid spikes. More quarantine? Who knows what the next six months or even full year will bring, but it’s time to face it:

The freeze on our membership to the Productive Humans Club is over. Grace period’s up.

Time to resume life and get our shit together.

I have one trick for doing that. You might call it a “hack.”

It’s simple, involves iced coffee, and could salvage your goals and dreams from the dumpster fire that is 2020.

Miraculously, it kept me on track during this period. I credit it with making me a Real Writer.

See, for decades, I was a writer who didn’t write.

So much (not) so that I was going to partner with my other writer friend who didn’t write, to write a book called “How Not to Write.”

As expected, we blew off our writing sessions and never really got it going. Proof of concept!

Yes, I wrote for my copywriting clients. I wrote TV promos, website copy, video scripts. Then, blog posts and emails. At least those were my own, but I still felt the weeks, months, and years slipping away without me producing my Big Thing.



Laura Belgray

Copywriting expert, co-creator: The Copy Cure, author: Tough Titties, writer of the only newsletter anyone opens & reads. Get help w words at talkingshrimp.com