Posts Tagged ‘to-do lists


Fits and Starts

Many of the writing gurus will tell you that you must set aside a schedule, that you must dictate a time – be it 15 minutes, half an hour, an hour, whatever – that each day you shall perform your writing duties, as if it is some sort of chore, something to be marked off on a checklist.

That may even work for some people. I am not one of those people, I have found. Much like “you must write 2,000 words a day” or “ten pages must be laid out by 10 PM,” setting a goal of this type tends to increase my resistance, my stubbornness, and my guilt when a day inevitably comes when I can’t meet that goal due to health or work issues.


What works for me is short bursts when I get the urge. When I don’t push myself, when I don’t say “I must write at 10AM for one hour” but rather in the course of the day say “Hey, I should scribble this down.” I find myself drifting naturally to the computer chair in between bouts of Binding of Isaac or YouTube binging or reading. I work until I’m tired or the current thought exhausts itself, then drift away again.

And know what? At the end of the day, I’ve usually managed at least a few pages on one of my works, a blog post or two, a new book review, and have generally been productive. Much more so than when I am putting mandates on myself.

So what about those of you out there? Do you subscribe to the checklist method, or come to the typewriter as the muse wills it? Have you tried both? What are your pros and cons on each side? Let us know down below!

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