What should you do before you start your writing day?

I’ve read plenty of advice on topics like this over the years, and I have to say upfront: I don’t think there’s a right way or a wrong way. You have to do what works for you.

However, I’ve also tried to do things differently at times, and sometimes been pleased with the results. So with that, here are five things you should do before you begin your writing day.

1) Wake up. I know, I know, of course you’re not writing in your sleep here. But what I mean is, go ahead and get something done before writing. If you’ve just gotten up, and you’re not a morning person (I’m a night owl myself), then you might need some coffee. Or food. Or both.

2) Meditation. I’ve written about this a little, and I recommend either prayer or meditation in the morning. If you’re not the spiritual type, maybe just a silent period of meditation would work wonders for you. Personally, I do my meditation at night, but I do pray in the morning. It can’t hurt.

3) Exercise. The above-referenced blog post was a trick question – Which Is Better for Writers: Meditation or Exercise? If you read it, you’ll see my answer was “you need both.”  Many successful business people recommend a morning workout routine, and I can’t argue with them. Getting your blood going means getting the blood to your brain going, right?

4) Clear The Decks. Sometimes it’s hard to write if you have something else weighing on your mind. Maybe you need to check your email for messages that require a timely response. Or maybe you need to do some social media post scheduling. Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to have a solid block of time dedicated to writing, rather than interrupting it multiple times. Do what you’ve got to do.

5) Roll Out And Write. I know some of you reading this are saying, “Huh? Isn’t this article all about doing things before you write?” It is, but maybe you shouldn’t do anything first, if you have that option. I used to do Morning Pages, as suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. Although most of what I wrote when I first woke up was stream-of-consciousness gobbledygook, I got some decent stuff out of the morass once in a while.

Maybe you’re not like me, though; maybe you wake up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and can crank out brilliant prose right away.

Me? I need coffee. Breakfast. Prayer. Affirmations. You name it. What can I tell you? I’m high maintenance, and a true night owl.

How about you? What are some good routines you use to make your writing time productive? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

work in progress

Whizzers: The Next Novel

Recently I sent out a subscriber-only newsletter about my next book launch. My fourth novel, Whizzers, is my current Work-In-Progress, and I plan to launch it in 2019. I was pleased to get some email responses to my newsletter, as I am looking to build the largest...
apple

Why Does Apple Suck Now?

I never thought I'd write even a comment, much less a whole blog entry, complaining about Apple. Yet here I am. Just to give you some perspective, here's something I wrote about Apple in my free Marketing for Authors e-book back in 2016:  I became a total Apple fan...
short blog long video

A Short Blog Post, But A Long Video Interview

Most of my Monday blog posts are a few hundred words long. Sometimes that's because I'm just plain long-winded (hey, I'm a novelist!), but usually it's for SEO purposes. The Google machine tells you that your "content" should always be at least 300 words long. In a...

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

When I was thinking of the title for this week's post, I realized I really needed to look it up and confirm that the word is "peace" and not "piece." Just in case. I'd forgotten that that expression is commonly used in weddings...ironic, since my lovely wife and I...

Frustrated By the Publishing Process?

Beep. Beep. Beep. You wake up bright and early to the sound of the dreaded alarm clock. First thing, you brew some coffee and grab your computer. It’s a Thursday, so you have to go to work, but you feel compelled to start each day with a bit of writing. You also...

A Vacation Blog Post and a Manross Library Appearance

The following post has been pre-scheduled. I've never tried to pre-schedule a blog post before, so I had to look up how to do it. If you know me well, you won't be surprised by that. Hey, I'm on vacation while you read this. Modern technology! I find it interesting to...
launch team

Talking About Your WIP

A few weeks ago, I posted something about my fourth novel, Whizzers. I've been working on the first 30-50% of the book over a period of years, but I had other projects ahead of it. So it was back-burnered for quite a while. Now it's on the front burner. When I...
launch-team

Turning a Street Team Into a Launch Team

Yesterday I sent out my monthly newsletter, and most of it was about my upcoming book launch. My fourth novel, Whizzers, is still a WIP (Work-In-Progress, for the uninitiated), but I'm planning to have it finished this year. That means a potential launch as early as...

What a Character

I was recently reading another author's blog, and saw a post about the writing process, and in particular the naming of characters. I wondered, Are people really interested in reading about this? I couldn't help thinking that only writers are so interested in other...
ISBN

More Fun With the ISBN Number

I've grown so accustomed to cranking out my blog posts on Monday afternoons, I almost forgot to schedule one for today. Thanks to the magic of WordPress, I can write this in the morning and schedule it for the afternoon. By the time you're reading this, I'll be out on...