I came across an interesting method of productivity on Copyblogger the other day. Writer Sonia Simone called it “3 Sure-Fire Steps For Beating The Boring Content Blues,” but I’m calling it “30 Days To A Better Writer.” (This is also known as “The Seinfeld method of productivity.“)
The entire method involves 3 easy steps:
- Write Everyday–This means everyday! For the next 30 days (or longer if you can stand it). And you can write anything you want: a scene in your novel, an act in a play, a blog post, a journal entry.
Get a calendar and a marker. Then mark an ‘X’ across each day that you write. The idea is to not break the chain, and if you fall off or miss a day before you reach 30 days you start over.
You don’t need to write all day, just set aside at least 20 minutes.”Practicing every day will create breakthrough improvement–if you do it enough days in a row. It will give your work a depth it didn’t have before, a maturity and a new clarity,” Simone says.
Turn off your inner editor and give yourself permission to write crap. Sit down and write a crappy chapter in your novel.
“Crap is just fine,” Simone says. “Skipping a day is not.”
- Post Your Blog Every 2 or 3 Days; Polish Your Work At Least Once A Week–You probably won’t publish every post you write, but try to publish every 2 or 3 days. This will keep your content fresh and your readers coming back.
If you don’t have anywhere to publish your work right now (all you budding fiction writers!), try to go thru and edit a few pieces at least once a week.
- Capture 2 Ideas Everyday–Everyday, write down 2 ideas for a blog post or a scene in your short story or a verse of a poem. Make sure you have easy access to this list of ideas. The ideas don’t have to be good ideas; many will likely be pretty bad. What’s important is that you’re capturing lots of good ideas mixed in with the bad ones.
“If you get completely stuck on ideas for the day, think of two different angles on the post you just wrote,” Simone says. “Or riffs on two current events. Or load up magazines.com and capture a couple of Cosmo headlines.”
A wise writer once told me: “Everyone walks past a thousand story ideas everyday. Good writers see five or six; most people don’t see any.”
Two ideas a day keeps the writer’s block away.
So, Why Does It Work?
Simone says it works for a couple reasons: “First, you can’t write well unless you can learn to ignore the part of your brain that wants things to be perfect.” and “Second, you’re learning a habit not only of writing daily but of original thinking daily.”
The Most Important Thing To Take Away
“You’ll learn what every serious writer knows–there is no such thing as inspiration,” Simone says. “There is work and there is a commitment to show up, and then there is the alchemy that lets you create better writing than you thought you could write. These things are a result of daily commitment and practice.”
The best part of all of this is you’ll have some “reserve writing” for days when you just can’t think of anything to write about or need an idea starter.
And remember, you don’t have to continue this forever…just for 30 days. Unless you want to…
So what do you think? Can you commit to 30 days of writing for at least 20 minutes a day?
Share With Us
If you commit to it, copy and paste this pledge into the comments section of this blog and fill in your information:
“I, __________, commit to write everyday for the next 30 days. I will keep track of my accomplishments by marking the day off on my calendar. I’ll also post my blog every two or three days/I’ll also edit my work at least once a week. And I will capture at least two ideas a day.”