SUMMARY: Ed Wilson talks about how he begins writing in the morning
One of the things that used to be a problem for me was getting started writing in the morning. I would wake up early, maybe have a cup or two of coffee or tea, and dutifully sit at my desk. I would then check email, check my stocks, read through news group postings, and generally waste the morning. After lunch I would do the same thing, and eventually, sometime near supper, I would get to work and begin writing. I might sit at my desk and work furiously until one or two in the morning, collapse, and then do the same thing the next day – always promising myself that I would be better the next day, and the next day would be a similar battle.
Two things changed that. The first was that I began traveling – a lot. I traveled the world for five years. During that time, I was in a different city every single week. During this time, I wrote three books, completely on trains, planes and automobiles. What I found was that I was amazingly productive. For one thing, there is no more boring place on earth than an air plane – especially transatlantic flights at night. There is not even anything to see outside of the windows. During the nine hour flight, I could get two, or even three chapters written. I put on my headphones, listened to classical music, and typed. No interruptions, no distractions. Because I had a detailed outline, and previously created chapter templates, all I needed to do was write – and write I did.
The second benefit was that because each work session was effectively timed – the plane lands at 0830, or the train arrives at 1120, there is no chance to “finish up this sentence, paragraph, or chapter.” Therefore the next time I had a chance to write, I always had a sentence, paragraph or chapter in progress – and within seconds, I was busy writing.
Here are the two secrets that I discovered during this process:
1. Eliminate all distractions. Isolate ones self from email, the web, facebook, and other people. If it takes hanging a sign on the door that says leave me alone I am writing, then let it be so.
2. Quit writing at the end of the day with work in progress. Leave a few sentences to finish a chapter, end on a sentence that is partially written. In this way, one comes back to the desk and immediately begins writing. This provides just enough work to prime the pump, and to let the creative juices flow.
Hey, it works for me. next time you are stuck, give it a try.