Over the years, I’ve had some really bad writing days. And many of them ended in binge-watching “House Hunters International.” However, through trial and error, I found my own personal self-imposed rules for having a good writing day. They took me awhile to figure out, but turned my writing life around.
Here they are…
1. START EARLY AND TURN YOUR DAMN PHONE OFF. (No one cares if you don’t answer your phone for three hours. Get over yourself. You’re not that important.)
2. DRINK COFFEE. LOTS OF IT. (No explanation necessary)
3. HAVE A CLEAR WRITING GOAL, PAGES OR WORD COUNT, FOR THE DAY. (When you start a project, figure out how many pages total, then do some simple math to give yourself a daily goal. Keep moving forward. Don’t get caught in a backward rewrite spiral.)
4. SELF CONTROL APP ON. (This will block your access to the internet when you’re writing. Handy link here… and it’s free! www.selfcontrolapp.com
5. CRANK LOUD MUSIC AT LEAST ONCE AND DANCE. (Getting out of your head and into your body will give you a new rush of energy! I prefer Metallica.)
6. FEEL FREE TO WRITE TOTAL CRAP. (Umm… this is actually how you will be brilliant.)
7. WRITE THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY. (This is really important.)
8. PET YOUR DOG OR CAT. (Not sure why.)
9. WHEN THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD TELLS YOU YOUR PAGES SUCK, TELL IT TO SHUT THE HELL UP. (Feel free to use stronger language here.)
10. TREAT YOUR WRITING LIKE A JOB. (You CANNOT move on to other tasks until you’ve finished your daily writing goal. Read Steven Pressfield’s book THE WAR OF ART. Then read it again. )
I can pretty much guarantee that if you do these things every day, you will complete your screenplay or novel or memoir. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle mightily with all of these rules. But when I stick to the program, I’m productive.
Take action! What’s one of these rules you can implement today?