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How Do You Start Your Writing Day?

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.

Mike Sahno
Mike Sahnohttps://msahno.com
Born in Bristol, CT, Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. He obtained a Master of Arts in English from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY at the age of 24, going on to become a full-time professional writer in 2001. Since founding Sahno Publishing in 2015, he has gone on to achieve national and international recognition, gaining over 18,000 followers on Twitter and publishing and selling three novels both in the U.S. and abroad. Sahno has ghostwritten books for entrepreneurs in the U.S., and continues to electrify audiences with his story and his natural gift for entertaining while informing.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I do not have a specific writing day or set routine. My articles spontaneously write themselves way before I type them. An article can pop into my head at any time and anywhere. Nothing is ever planned in advance as it is all spontaneous. John Denver was the same way. Some articles I can write all at once while others are written over the course of several days. I may start an article only to discover I can’t finish it or if I judge it to be awful so I will erase it and try to come up with something else. My writing is done only late at night after all the lights are out. I sit by the computer desk (aka my office) with only a small desk lamp so I can see the keyboard. At that point, it is just me and the screen. The words will either flow or not. Sometimes I have to put music on for stimulation. I may have several articles pop into my head at one time but I may store some of them mentally or discard them mentally.

  2. Now to your question regarding writing. Writing is a very personal thing to me in that it’s constant whether in my mind as I go through the day or on paper.
    Routines are kind of a misnomer in that yes I have my chair where I write and normally my laptop (it crashed yesterday so I’ve brought a desktop over) which allows me the ability to scribe as thoughts arise or memories (this is key and can be allerted by emotion without expecting it) are triggered when I may be preoccupied by my crypto investments or reading Dirt Road Storytelling or BC360. I usually also have an Irish whiskey close by as it’s my preferred form of relaxation.
    Composing stories are quite different however from writing poetry. Stories take much more research than poetry and require a great deal of discipline when writing. Whose this, whose that, did you tie it together, did you make that point to soon?
    Poetry and prose however are deep seeded. Sometimes the words flow as a wave upon the shore, word upon word, thoughts that come together in a rhythm and spontaneous in their nature. Many times they will appear all in a rush and being a lousy typist I struggle. Other times I’ll find a line like a musician might and write it down so as to continue at a later date. Then other moments I write what I refer to as gibberish (lines with no meaning) and I may save them to see if they might fit in something I write in the future. I never look at words being throwaways as the memory is a fragile thing and forgetfulness rampant.
    As for the atmosphere, music can be both a help and a hindrance. Voices blocked out or relegated to white noise, the daylight a companion yet for an HDHD noisy at times, Night and alone with a crackling radio or thunderstorm in the distance, pretty close to perfect.
    Dennis, I realize it’s not much but maybe you can get a sense of where my words appear and how I sometimes find a jewel in the process. Putting it simply it’s all in my head from memories and experiences.

  3. Now to your question regarding writing. Writing is a very personal thing to me in that it’s constant whether in my mind as I go through the day or on paper.
    Routines are kind of a misnomer in that yes I have my chair where I write and normally my laptop (it crashed yesterday so I’ve brought a desktop over) which allows me the ability to scribe as thoughts arise or memories (this is key and can be triggered by emotion without expecting it) are triggered when I may be preoccupied by my crypto investments or reading Dirt Road Storytelling or BC360. I usually also have an Irish whiskey close by as it’s my preferred form of relaxation.
    Composing stories are quite different however from writing poetry. Stories take much more research than poetry and require a great deal of discipline when writing. Whose this, whose that, did you tie it together, did you make that point to soon?
    Poetry and prose however are deep seeded. Sometimes the words flow as a wave upon the shore, word upon word, thoughts that come together in a rhythm and spontaneous in their nature. Many times they will appear all in a rush and being a lousy typist I struggle. Other times I’ll find a line like a musician might and write it down so as to continue at a later date. Then other moments I write what I refer to as gibberish (lines with no meaning) and I may save them to see if they might fit in something I write in the future. I never look at words being throwaways as the memory is a fragile thing and forgetfulness rampant.
    As for the atmosphere, music can be both a help and a hindrance. Voices blocked out or relegated to white noise, the daylight a companion yet for an HDHD noisy at times, Night and alone with a crackling radio or thunderstorm in the distance, pretty close to perfect.
    Dennis, I realize it’s not much but maybe you can get a sense of where my words appear and how I sometimes find a jewel in the process. J

  4. I feel that I am more inspiration driven and will write six to ten stories as fast as I can type them. While I am always working on longer stories I actually spend more time looking for inspiration. I will drive down dirt roads or salt marshes looking for old buildings or deserted towns. I spend a lot of time looking at old photos or talking to our elders. So for me much more time is spent looking for the story than writing one. I can’t sit down and just write but I can be inspired and write for hours without stopping.

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