Planning your writing day: the practical

Decide on your tracking method I’ve already talked about the pros and cons of word count, which you can take or leave.  But if you decide the cons outweigh the pros, here are some other systems of tracking you might try: Hours worked, of course, is a good one.  I essentially tracked this by noting when I started and stopped working, but you can also make rows of boxes to cross out or lines, or whathaveyou.  The problem with this method is that staring at your computer screen for hours doesn’t really count as hours worked—unless you are actively solving problems, but even then you need to write down your solutions and plans—so it occasionally leads you into spending the time at your desk, but not very wisely. If you’re on outliner, you might track your progress by deciding how many bullet points you want to write in a day, or which scenes, and then cross things off your outline

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The system behind productivity: an overview

It is with an exasperated sigh that I begrudgingly site Cal Newport, and his concept of “deep work,” as the basis for my systematic productivity. [I read his book early on in my process of discovery, and I was as taken with its underlying concepts as I was repelled by its tone.  He is at best a product of his environment—a high pressure, promotion-based, publish or perish, tenure-oriented, win-the-capitalist-game-by-hacking-your-life-until-you-can-squeeze-blood-from-a-carrot kind of guy.  He’s also better than us because he doesn’t use Facebook and goes running in the winter.] But, whatever…he has some good ideas that I used to streamline the habits I was already building, and I’ve got to give credit where it’s due.  Most importantly, while he doesn’t use the terms attunement, engagement, and endorsement, the book still provides no-nonsense tips for turning the Aristotelean tripartite balance into reality. Attunement On episode 65 of Write Now, Sarah Werner talks about the artistic version of the writer that we can

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Out of the gate

Given the political and social stresses of the world around us, and how dead and depressed I felt at the end of 2016, I knew I would be in massive amounts of trouble if I didn’t take a firm hand with 2017.  So, I went back over my planners from the year (I keep one for to-do lists and one for long-term goals), rooted out all of my best days and weeks, and looked for commonalities between them.  Then I made a set of systems based on my “best day habits” and launched them on January 1st. It’s been going pretty well, so far.  As long as I don’t procrastinate what I know works for me, I get stuff done, feel healthy, and make strides toward year end goals.  So I thought I would share some of the habits that are helping me out, in case you’re looking for ideas. Here’s what works for me… A.M. Meditation: I’ve always worked

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