I get asked how often I write… I write every day. Sure, some days I put out way more than others but still… I WRITE EVERY DAY.
Let me share a very simple technique that I learned many years ago. Simply get yourself a yearly calendar. Don’t worry, I made a 2015 Write Every Day Calendar. Just print it out and stick it on a wall or wherever you think you’ll see it every day… Preferably three or four times a day.
I created a 2015 calendar so you’d have plenty of time to think about it and commit to it.
Get yourself a red pen… Yes, RED. A Sharpie is MY preference. Now go ahead and start writing and just so we understand each other? I’m talking about your screenplay or your book.
Once you’ve written? Jot down a nice RED “X” over the day that you’ve written. Try to get through your entire first month without breaking the chain. That’s right… Thirty days of PURE RED Xs.
Why does it work?
You’re simply training yourself into securing a habit but because of your reticular activating system, you’re also creating and setting a DESIRED goal for yourself:
“Setting your intent plays a key role in encouraging your subconscious mind to bring forth a desired goal, as well the most optimal future. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word intent is derived from the word intend, which means to direct the mind and proceed on course towards a goal. The word intent originated from the Latin intendere, which means to stretch towards.”
For “most” of us, when we finally commit to this technique, we’ll WANT to be able to place a big fat RED X over every date on that calendar but we have to WRITE in order to do that. Your brain will work out a way to be able to do just that.
Set your INTENT…
Keep telling yourself you want to write EVERY DAY. Keep telling yourself YOU NEED TO WRITE EVERY DAY. Doing that sets up the dominoes. Now visualize yourself writing. Visualize where you most like to write — where you enjoy writing. Now open that file and write something. An action paragraph. A master scene heading. ANYTHING that allows you to mark that calendar with a big fat RED X.
If you’re writing a book? Same difference. Start or finish a chapter. Don’t worry about anything being perfect… Writing is rewriting.
After having written? Reward yourself with a nice triple shot of Wild Turkey and take that big red Sharpie out and cross off the day in question because all your dominoes have fallen over.
YOU DID IT!
One last tip… I try to set a consistent time every day to cross those days off. Not sure if that’ll work for YOU, but it does work for me. Seems to be something I get anxious about doing every day and somewhere in my subconscious, I think being able to cross that day off is just about as important as writing every day.
The two FEED each other.