Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Writing Advice - Have a routine

Get up in the morning.

Work out, walk or do something physical. Even if it's just cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash, so it's not hanging over you for later.

Eat Breakfast.

Shower. You do this after breakfast in case you got any on you.

Get dressed. Put on your shoes, one right after the other.

Go to your desk and sit down, or stand. I have a standing desk.

Put your hands on the keyboard, one after the other, or both at the same time. It doesn't matter.

Move your fingers on the keys and make words appear on the screen or paper. Do this for 4-5 hours.

Do not reread and attempt to edit while you write. You'll be doing that later anyway. Would you call a "redo" in the middle of a beautiful lay up, or as you were tossing the last M&M toward your mouth? No, and writing is no different.

While you're writing, pay no attention to your word count, misspellings, poor grammar choices, and similar. Gird yourself in the full armor of apathy about the process and just tell a story.

At the end of the 4-5 hours, move away from your desk and do something else. Go outside, pet a guinea pig, or organize your socks.

Later, reread what you wrote, probably over dinner while trying to avoid sauce getting on your copy.

Play video games, watch TV, read a book (important) and get to sleep at a decent hour so you can rise the following day and do it all over again.

Write every single day. The rest will hopefully figure itself out. Even while I was in Alaska, I tried to follow this routine as much as I could, in the morning, on the plane, whenever I wasn't taking pictures and feeling like a time-traveling viking.

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