Tag Archives: Writing

Don’t break the chain!

This is a good visual trick for establishing a routine of any sort. In this case, it’s about writing daily.

Jerry Seinfeld once gave advice to a young comic.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

And then he repeated for emphasis: Don’t break the chain.

In looking for an image to illustrate I found a site that allows you to do this online.

For some of you, this might be great. But you know me, I’m the analog girl, and for me, that big calendar on the wall would be the answer. In fact, it’s how I used to meet my deadlines when I was writing novels.  I’d have a one-year calendar on the wall beside my desk (where my storyboards are now) and I’d write each day’s page count on it and watch that chain of days grow longer and longer.  On good days, I’d scratch through the word count, sometimes more than once, as I kept adding more and more.  Deadline+adrenalin=werdz on page!

To add to the mix, a recent lifehacker post demonstrates “Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret on Steroids.” He points out that it can be used to build any habit from exercise to reading to Jerry’s original goal, writing.

After a long career of not writing daily, of believing that forcing words every day whether they seemed ready or not did not produce my best work, I finally gave in and started the writing daily habit.  I remembered those days under deadline, and how the adrenalin built, the muse flexed, the creativity soared.  And yes, I discovered that writing daily and insisting that I produce a certain number of words could work for me. I was amazed, and on a creative high.

Real life knocked me around a bit recently and I’m not writing now.  I miss it.  I need to get back on the bandwagon. I may even get another Yearly Wall Calendar if I can find a blank place on the wall to stick it, and a fat red marker… or no, I’ll keep the word count instead or… I dunno. I’ll figure it out. If I don’t get back on the wagon I think I’m going to lose my mind, though.

Do you write daily? Do you have any daily habit? Do you track it?  How?

In the meantime, advice to remember, writers–Don’t break the chain!

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4 Comments

Filed under Analog, Office gear, Organizing, Storyboard, Writing, Writing daily, Writing Process

Don't break the chain!

This is a good visual trick for establishing a routine of any sort. In this case, it’s about writing daily.

Jerry Seinfeld once gave advice to a young comic.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

And then he repeated for emphasis: Don’t break the chain.

In looking for an image to illustrate I found a site that allows you to do this online.

For some of you, this might be great. But you know me, I’m the analog girl, and for me, that big calendar on the wall would be the answer. In fact, it’s how I used to meet my deadlines when I was writing novels.  I’d have a one-year calendar on the wall beside my desk (where my storyboards are now) and I’d write each day’s page count on it and watch that chain of days grow longer and longer.  On good days, I’d scratch through the word count, sometimes more than once, as I kept adding more and more.  Deadline+adrenalin=werdz on page!

To add to the mix, a recent lifehacker post demonstrates “Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret on Steroids.” He points out that it can be used to build any habit from exercise to reading to Jerry’s original goal, writing.

After a long career of not writing daily, of believing that forcing words every day whether they seemed ready or not did not produce my best work, I finally gave in and started the writing daily habit.  I remembered those days under deadline, and how the adrenalin built, the muse flexed, the creativity soared.  And yes, I discovered that writing daily and insisting that I produce a certain number of words could work for me. I was amazed, and on a creative high.

Real life knocked me around a bit recently and I’m not writing now.  I miss it.  I need to get back on the bandwagon. I may even get another Yearly Wall Calendar if I can find a blank place on the wall to stick it, and a fat red marker… or no, I’ll keep the word count instead or… I dunno. I’ll figure it out. If I don’t get back on the wagon I think I’m going to lose my mind, though.

Do you write daily? Do you have any daily habit? Do you track it?  How?

In the meantime, advice to remember, writers–Don’t break the chain!

4 Comments

Filed under Analog, Office gear, Organizing, Storyboard, Writing, Writing daily, Writing Process

I am insane.

 

 


1711 / 50000 words. 3% done!

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under nanowrimo, Writers, Writing, Writing daily

So. This nanowrimo thing.

I may do this.  It’s crazy, man, crazy.  I have no business even thinking about it.  There’s every reason to believe I won’t be able to finish it.

But I may do this crazy thing.  I’ve churned out words before, but this November looks rough. Looks like a ridiculous time for me to even consider this insanity.

I wonder if I can have the name pooks.  I’m sure somebody else is already there with my name, damn it.  Maybe planetpooks?  I need to go sign up.

So.

Who’s in it with me?

Come on. Do it. Try. Just try. I don’t want to do it alooooone!

November 1st approaches….

NOTE:  I’m there.  My name is (brace yourself) pooks!  Be my buddy!

4 Comments

Filed under nanowrimo, Writers, Writing, Writing daily, Writing Process

“Do [ya] feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

Do you believe in lucky talismans?

I have tried. I have done certain things or collected certain things because they felt lucky, or the idea of them pleased me and felt lucky.  These are almost always around my writing.  Collecting feathers when I first started screenwriting, for example. Every time I found a new feather, it felt significant.  My friend and I taking our usual two-mile walk and having a bluejay feather literally drift to the ground in front of us.  An owl feather, fluffy and beautiful, on the ground by the car when I got out to look at the Rio Grande Gorge in New Mexico. A hawk feather on a desk, and being told by the man who owned that desk, “It’s illegal to own that. If it disappears from my desk and I don’t know what happened to it, I’m fine with that, though.” I mean, it seemed the universe was flinging feathers at me, so, this had to be lucky, right?

However, it was years before I won the Nicholl Fellowship, before the “lucky” things happened, and by then my feathers were dust-collectors that I hadn’t looked at or thought of in, well, years.  Very difficult to connect the dots there.

So, the thing about luck is, it’s fun for me to “play” with, but it doesn’t really seem to mean anything.  The idea of it is magical. The reality? Not so much.

As I continue to ruthlessly mine layers of my office and get rid of Stuff and box books to haul away, I have run across a few remnants of luck.  Some of it I am keeping because I just happen to like it.  I can’t recall why this little brass swan on my desk (a paperclip holder) was supposed to be lucky to me, but now it’s just a pretty thing on my desk and I like it.

(see brass paperclips? used on scripts with brass brads because the silver clashed, yes, I am like that)

The luck thing doesn’t seem to have helped me much, other than the adage that to be lucky, you have to do the work first, and I’ve done a hella lot of luck in my writing life to get lucky, and mostly, it seems the work is more important than the luck.

Do you believe in luck? Do you collect talismans?  Is luck real or just fun?

What do you collect because it makes you feel lucky?

[also should I paint my office or just rearrange it, and if I paint it, dare I use the darker green I love or play it safe with the lighter green that will be darker on the wall? if I paint I will be using green (chemical-odor-free) and green (color) paint, btw]

6 Comments

Filed under Green, Household, Luck, Office, Organizing, Writers, Writing

"Do [ya] feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Do you believe in lucky talismans?

I have tried. I have done certain things or collected certain things because they felt lucky, or the idea of them pleased me and felt lucky.  These are almost always around my writing.  Collecting feathers when I first started screenwriting, for example. Every time I found a new feather, it felt significant.  My friend and I taking our usual two-mile walk and having a bluejay feather literally drift to the ground in front of us.  An owl feather, fluffy and beautiful, on the ground by the car when I got out to look at the Rio Grande Gorge in New Mexico. A hawk feather on a desk, and being told by the man who owned that desk, “It’s illegal to own that. If it disappears from my desk and I don’t know what happened to it, I’m fine with that, though.” I mean, it seemed the universe was flinging feathers at me, so, this had to be lucky, right?

However, it was years before I won the Nicholl Fellowship, before the “lucky” things happened, and by then my feathers were dust-collectors that I hadn’t looked at or thought of in, well, years.  Very difficult to connect the dots there.

So, the thing about luck is, it’s fun for me to “play” with, but it doesn’t really seem to mean anything.  The idea of it is magical. The reality? Not so much.

As I continue to ruthlessly mine layers of my office and get rid of Stuff and box books to haul away, I have run across a few remnants of luck.  Some of it I am keeping because I just happen to like it.  I can’t recall why this little brass swan on my desk (a paperclip holder) was supposed to be lucky to me, but now it’s just a pretty thing on my desk and I like it.

(see brass paperclips? used on scripts with brass brads because the silver clashed, yes, I am like that)

The luck thing doesn’t seem to have helped me much, other than the adage that to be lucky, you have to do the work first, and I’ve done a hella lot of luck in my writing life to get lucky, and mostly, it seems the work is more important than the luck.

Do you believe in luck? Do you collect talismans?  Is luck real or just fun?

What do you collect because it makes you feel lucky?

[also should I paint my office or just rearrange it, and if I paint it, dare I use the darker green I love or play it safe with the lighter green that will be darker on the wall? if I paint I will be using green (chemical-odor-free) and green (color) paint, btw]

6 Comments

Filed under Green, Household, Luck, Office, Organizing, Writers, Writing

Publishing 101

There is a new agent in the biz, but she’s not new at all.  I’ve known her for mumbledy-mumble years, as a matter of fact.

She has been a book store manager, a book buyer for a national book store chain, an editor with her own imprint, and now she brings that vast knowledge and experience into her new role of agent. She has created a blog that has some of the most helpful info on publishing I’ve seen together in one spot.

Meet Denise Little.

You might want to check in now, because it seems like every day more great information goes up, whether you’re a published author learning the ins and outs of sell-throughs or just breaking into the business.

2 Comments

Filed under Publishing, Writers, Writing