making time for writing: part 5

Sage CohenProductive writing2 Comments


When you’re not in a go-get-’em writing mode, the most important thing to do is keep your creative engine warm and running. The following list of possibilities is designed to help you keep your head in the game by doing things that indirectly benefit your writing life and can quickly create a feeling of either relaxation or reward.

  1. Write a blog post: Reinforce your expertise while doing a little fun, informal writing.
  2. Visit your online community. Take a five-minute coffee break with other writers on Facebook and Twitter. Let their good news, struggles, questions, and insights percolate through you; chime in where and when you are moved to do so. Notice any seeds of new ideas, projects, or collaborations taking shape in your peripheral vision.
  3. Make order. Sort, file, and purge your in-box. Vacuum or do dishes or fold laundry. You can improve beauty and order around you while resetting whatever brain pretzel you may be locked in.
  4. Stand up and stretch. Don’t forget your fingers, neck, shoulders, and lower back. It’s far easier to keep butt-in-chair if blood is flowing to it!
  5. Do your due diligence. Enter your business expense data into QuickBooks or pay bills.
  6. Get prepared. Update your to-do list.
  7. Empty your mind. A quick, three-minute meditation can settle your stirred waters so you can see clear to the bottom of your soul’s well again.
  8. Manage your contacts. Add business cards and other contact information you’ve collected recently into your contact database, sorting and categorizing appropriately by type of audience (students, colleagues, newsletter subscribers, etc.).
  9. Share the wealth. Visit a few favorite blogs or websites and tweet about your findings.
  10. Call your mother (but don’t open the mail while you talk; she won’t like that.)
  11. Celia Tan bonus tip: Work on another unfinished piece of writing!
  12. Sage Cohen bonus tip: Check out  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the Making Time for Writing series!

2 Comments on “making time for writing: part 5”

  1. Great post! My M.O. is to be doing SOMETHING, even if it isn’t what I “should” be doing at that time. If I don’t prepare for the interview I have tomorrow, well, at least I got a blog post done instead. Didn’t do that blog post I planned? Well, at least the bathroom is clean. And so on.

    1. Great wisdom, Linda. It does seem that staying in motion is the key to it all. If things are happening in general, the task that really needs doing is far likelier to happen in the mix. Thanks for saying so!

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