5 Things to Do Before You Begin Your Writing Day

by | Apr 26, 2021 | Articles | 0 comments

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.

relax

Five Ways to Relax During Quarantine

​I thought a good blog post this week would be on how to unwind—not just during our current era of quarantine and “social distancing,” but on any day off. What my wife calls a holiday. That could be any time, right? I’ve been running so hard lately, I've barely had...

Taking a Page from the Dylan Playbook?

Although he doesn't use the term himself, recent Nobel winner Bob Dylan's relentless touring has been referred to as the Never-Ending Tour. Taking a page from the Dylan playbook might seem like a weird idea for an author, but recently I have thought about doing just...
robot

More Thoughts On Robot Writers and The Tech Dystopia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post here called When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us? Apparently, I’m fairly obsessed with this stuff, because every time I come here and empty my brain, it seems to come up again. Today is no different. Part of the reason,...
door

The Open Door Of A New Year

Dawn another year, Open it aright; Thou shalt have no fear In its fading light. —Joseph Krauskopf   I read this quote in a meditation book a couple days ago and it kind of stuck with me. Not the exact wording, of course—I mean the overall spirit. After all, the...
biscuit

“What Do You Want for Nothing—A Rubber Biscuit?”

Readers who are old enough to remember the Blues Brothers’ cover version of The Chips’ Rubber Biscuit will no doubt understand the reference in today’s headline. For everyone else: just shorten it to “What do you want for nothing?” I guess that’s my way of saying,...
ebook

Another Monday Blog Post – And a Special Offer

One of the great things about WordPress websites is the ability to schedule blog posts. So Happy Monday to you, but you're probably reading this while I'm taking my wife to DisneyWorld! Last week was "Happy New Year" time, so now we're into good old regular blog...
creativity

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #5: Creativity vs. Money

One of the most daunting questions amateur writers face is whether they can make money following their most creative pursuits. Are they too non-commercial? Will an agent be interested? Will my work sell at all? The question of Creativity vs. Money isn’t relevant for...
political

Navigating the Murky Waters of Political Correctness

“If you don't have a sense of humor, it just isn't funny.”  —Wavy Gravy   When it comes to political correctness, I’m not convinced we should go back to the “good old days.” I mean, do we really want to go back to calling someone born to an unwed mother a...
break

Taking The Time to Tell You I’m Taking Some Time

Some writers plan out all their blog posts well in advance, creating a schedule of topics. The calendar might include a month’s worth or more of diverse subjects with which they can engage, inform, and entertain subscribers.  And then there’s me. I’m only...
patchworks

Patchworks: A Book Review

Today I woke to the all-too-familiar tragic news of yet another mass shooting. Sadly, we all know what will happen next: politicians will sputter, talking heads will bloviate, and the next thing that gets done about gun control will be – absolutely nothing. Such is...
self-promotion

What’s The Problem With Shameless Self-Promotion?

While I still find it somewhat hard to believe, I've been on Twitter for almost eight years. I know this not only because Twitter shows Joined March 2015 on my profile but also because, even if they eliminate that feature, I use a tracker called Who Unfollowed Me? If...
MLK

MLK Day 2023

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many of us, today is always something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seemed to take in recent years....

Twitter Tips for Authors in 2023

If you follow my blog, you probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. In 2020, I wrote a post about Twitter for fellow writers that got a good response. Three years later, the landscape has changed, but some Twitter best practices...
rails

Going Off The Rails (But Not On A Crazy Train)

Last April, I wrote a blog post called Back on Track With a Work-In-Progress. Part of that post was to talk about the difference between a “plotter” and a “pantser” (and to describe myself as a hybrid of the two, a “plantser”). Another, less obvious motive, was to...
French

Those Tricky French Authors and Their Obsessions

Today’s blog post was originally going to be Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. III. However, after seeing parts I and II lined up, I decided to call an audible and make it something less repetitive. Somehow the SEO gods have gotten into my head. As I’ve mentioned...
scared

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. II

In last week’s post, I mentioned a pretty well-known author who has publicly reported his publisher “wouldn’t touch” a new release, in part because a character in his novel referred to herself as “fat.” I heard this story on a podcast, and I remember thinking, “Wait...
censorship

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want

I’ve been stewing on this for a while. It’s been brewing for quite a while. I could probably write a song about it (how about a rap?), but I don’t think I will. This is more of a blog post topic, and it might even deserve a series. And that’s the title and topic of...
gratitude

Should Every Month Be Gratitude Month?

When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. I read it daily and collected nearly every paperback volume of the cartoon, so I could see what I’d missed since the comic strip’s inception in 1950.  Certain things stuck: quotes like “happiness is a warm puppy”...
robot

More Thoughts On Robot Writers and The Tech Dystopia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post here called When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us? Apparently, I’m fairly obsessed with this stuff, because every time I come here and empty my brain, it seems to come up again. Today is no different. Part of the reason,...