The Writer’s To-Do List ©
If you’re like us, you have a to-do list. It’s filled with the mundane-but necessary-things that must be accomplished to make life run smoothly: go grocery shopping, pay the bills, do the laundry, call the plumber to unstop the toilet. Sometimes these things, and life in general, can get in a writer’s way. But just sitting down at the keyboard isn’t the only thing a writer needs to do. There’s more to writing than putting words to paper or on computer screens. Here are a few suggestions for your to-do list. Don’t just write – feed your soul and your muse too.
- Read. Read books, magazines, newspapers, the back of cereal boxes-whatever you can get. Writers must be readers.
- Visit McDonald’s at lunchtime and pretend you’re a kid again. Buy a Happy Meal, eat it slowly, play with the toy, play with your food, make kiddie noises, and watch the other kids play. Writers must be able to get into the skins of other people in order to write realistically.
- Make a journal entry. Write about your dreams, your past, your goals, your feelings. Free-write to let creativity reign. Writers have to tap into the unconscious, creative brain functions that allow characters to come alive, ideas to bubble to the surface, and creativity to flow.
- Take a walk, jog around the block, visit the gym. Writers need exercise to stay healthy.
- Spend time with people. Writers can’t be lone wolves all the time. We need the stimulation of companionship to recharge.
- Pull your lawn chair under a tree and look up at the sky. Writers need time to stare into space and dream.
- Sleep late, go to bed early, take a nap. Writers need their rest so they can be alert to the world around them.
- Remember a time when your emotions ran high and re-experience it. Feel the anger, love, hate, fear, loneliness, sadness, courage, and jealousy. They are part of life. Writers must be able to pull emotions to the surface in order to write with passion.
- Close the office door and spend time by yourself. Writers need to be alone to create.
- Write today, tomorrow, and every day. Writers aren’t writers unless they spend the time doing the one thing they, by their very nature, can’t avoid doing. Spill your passion onto the page and release the magic into your writing life.