Category Archives: Listicle

spiral staircase

30 Things To Do Before You Sit Down To Write

  1. Re-read old stories you wrote years ago and consider fixing them.
  2. Organize all the pens on your desk by color or type of pen and then fan them out into a pen rainbow.
  3. Answer the phone call from your mother.
  4. Decide to call a family meeting about the pressing issue of the dishwasher not being emptied or filled at a suitable pace.
  5. Ponder this question: Do I even have what it takes to be a writer?
  6. Decide now is the time to intervene about your child or spouse’s social media addiction.
  7. Go on Amazon. You just can’t write until you have a new notebook/binder/purse.
  8. Patch all the nail holes in your walls.
  9. Deep clean anything. Some ideas: the washing machine, the bathtub, the kitchen counters.
  10. Try a new recipe that requires an ingredient you have to go to the store to find.
  11. Clip your toenails. You’ve been putting it off way too long.
  12. Then pull every random facial hair you can find.
  13. Check your email. Be sure to fill out the customer survey you find there for a chance to win a $100 gift card. You never know!
  14. Google dog training services in your area. You’ve been meaning to sign up for years. You really can’t put it off another day.
  15. While you’re at it, give the dogs a bath.
  16. Make a sandwich you can barely get your mouth around because all work requires fuel, even typing. Eat it, then take a nap.
  17. Edge-clean the floors.
  18. Decide that now is the time to talk to your teenager about the importance of having a plan for the future.
  19. Download an app to help you get focused when you write and learn how to use it.
  20. Make a list of books you need to read for research.
  21. Organize your desk and sharpen every pencil so that it is ready to use when you need it.
  22. Read some blogs about effective outlining techniques or how to write stories that have tension.
  23. DM your best friend that you are about to start writing! Preferably through Snapchat so you can use an animal ears filter or start a game of blow the bubbles.
  24. Dress up your pets and have your own pet parade.
  25. Decide on paint colors for your bathroom, because certain colors inspire creativity and you need that before you write.
  26. Ask your spouse/ significant other/ friend to read what you’ve written so far and give you feedback so you know what a reader might think about your work before you move forward.
  27. Read that article that just came through your feed about the latest Trump-fail.
  28. Paint your nails your main character’s favorite color to get in the spirit.
  29. Write a blog list of Things To Do Before You Sit Down To Write.
  30. Check your retirement account and shift some things around.
The word writer, hashed out with a don't sign

Five ways to sabotage your writing time

Want to sabotage your writing time? Have I got some ideas for you.

1. Do anything else “real quick”.

This includes checking email, social media accounts, doing a little food prep for dinner, taking out the trash. There are so many important tasks that will show up as soon as you event think about writing. Just do a few real quick.

2. Listen to negative self-talk about your story.

When you are in the middle of death-defying act like sky-diving or some crazy triple-flip aerial is that the time to question whether or not you are cut out for skydiving or gymnastics?

Same goes with writing. You want to kill your mojo real quick? Let all those negative thoughts in. Engage with them.

3. Be narrow-minded about when and how much time you need for writing.

If you’ve decided that if you need two hours for writing, but you’ve only got an hour and a half, bag it. Go watch TV instead.

4. Always take your work seriously.

Don’t ever freewrite. Don’t ever intentionally write your story as cliche, full of adverbs, and over-told as you possible can for a laugh. Always be severe in your expectations.

5. Work on more than one thing at a time.

Hope springs eternal, right? If you finally sat down and made time, why not try to bust out two short stories instead of one? Do some research and write a blog? There’s no effing way you’ll get past the first thing on your list and you’ll feel like a failure, but goals are good–right?

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Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone