How to Start Your Best Writing Day Ever

What is that? I’m feeling like… less… alone. As if I’m now only 1 of thousands of writers writing their novel at this very moment. Strange. Oh well.

Ok. To blogging!

Time that I share with you the pièce de résistance, the golden chalice, the mucho mojo, that thing that the Germans call a certain awesomnuz. (FYI: I don’t speak German.)

It is now time to share with you The Secret. No, not the one that Oprah talks about. I’m talking about the secret to making today your Best Writing Day Ever!

Okay, maybe not ever. But you get the point. Ok. This one is too long, so it’s going to be a two parter, so here we go:

How To Start Your Best Writing Day Ever

1. Make Your Day Something To Look Forward To

I used to dread getting up in the morning. I just didn’t want to get up to meet the new day. I was like: “What do I have to look forward to?” When I finally did wake up, and did face the day, I discovered that this constant, negative outlook was always confirmed. Nothing worthwhile ever happened as I went on with my day. Either the day was just a normal, boring day, or it was a really crappy one. At the end of the day I would think:  See?  My days are always crappy! So when I went to sleep that night, I would dread going to bed because then that would mean I would have to wake up and dread facing another crappy day. {Oh, the vicious cycles!} All of this, of course, I would blame on some outside force that I was certain was purposely making my days crappy.

But then the light bulb went off. Aha! I said, what if I secretly conspire to make my day the best day ever, instead of secretly conspiring to make my day the worst day ever? THAT WAS IT!

So, first step in to starting your best writing day ever: make a conscious choice to make today the best writing day ever! Make today something to look forward to. Plant a little reward at the end of the day, just for you! So you can look forward to it. If you’re broke, don’t make it cost anything. Better yet, make it thoughtful and free. Then, you won’t ever feel guilty about spending too much.

Nothing’s for free, Ollin!”

Bullocks! Bullocks! (I don’t know what that means) but bullocks! Go learn how to give yourself a facial massage and give yourself this massage at the end of today! Consider it your first gift from me to you, for being such a hardworking writer.

2. Wake Up

There is more to waking up than just opening your eyes. Do more than just wake up. I want you to start invigorating up. How do you do that? In my opinion meditation is the best way to start your day. (Here he goes with the meditating thing again. Oh boy.) There is something about deciding to spend your first moments of the day on your breath, on being present, and on your body, instead of your thoughts, that really sets the day up perfectly. When you start off your day in meditation, you are setting a tone for the rest of the day that says you are going to try your best to stay present, focused, alert and in your body the entire time.

After meditation, you might want to write in your journal. I learned this trick from Julia Cameron. You know all those worried thoughts you get in the morning? Well, write them all down first thing in the morning! Get those thoughts out of your head, and out of the way, so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

Finally, get the blood pumping and your body energized by taking a jog (or even just a walk) around the block. You feel energized afterwards and plus you get some much-needed air and sunshine. As Richard Pryor says: “Put some sunshine on yo face!”

You need the sun to fill you up with all its energy. In the past, I used to stay inside most of the day and I didn’t realize it. I would go straight from home, to my car, to work, and then enter a classroom or an office. Basically, I would remain in the shade most of the day! But we are humans! We need the sun, people! It makes us happy, it makes our day. So make the sun a big part of starting your day.

3. Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Unexpected

Notice how I didn’t say:  How to Start Your Best Writing Day Ever–Guaranteed! I’m not putting a guarantee on all this. You will have your bad days, you will have your god-awful days. But the important thing to remember is that you are conspiring to make today your best writing day ever. So the best thing you can do is to mentally prepare yourself for all that might go wrong today by tell yourself:

“Whatever goes wrong today, I will try my best to turn the situation either in my favor, or to look at it in a more favorable light. I will try not to make this bad event take over and ruin my whole day. I will address the problem. Then, once it is addressed, I will let it go and proceed with my best writing day ever.”

I want to give you an example. (You see I tested this on me for a long time before I decided to share. I’m my own little guinea pig.) There was real gloomy day in Southern California the other day. Nobody hates gloomy days more than Californians, and as I shared with you above, the sun has a lot to do with our mood. So, there goes one thing that didn’t go as I would have liked that day. Then came a second: traffic. Then came a third: rain. Then came the final straw: the place I went to go write had nowhere to sit, and there was no way in heck I was going back into traffic.

So what did I do?

I went into the parking lot, got into the back seat of my car, made myself comfy and started to write there. I wasn’t going to allow a few, not-so-perfect events ruin my best writing day ever. After a few hours, I was getting uncomfortable, my car was getting cold so I decided to get out and see if the place I had intended to write had some free seats available. It had. So I sat myself at a table, and finished my writing day there. Oh and what do you know? It stopped raining.

The point is this: do not rely on outside events to dictate how crappy or how happy your day is going to turn out. Mentally prepare yourself for all the crap that may go wrong. In fact, if there is one thing I can guarantee is that things will go wrong as you attempt to make this your best writing day ever. But from now on, you will be working on the idea that your best defense in life is a best offense. Anticipate that crap is going to happen, and promise yourself you will try to make the best out of it, and that it won’t ruin your entire day, like a black hole that sucks in an entire galaxy.

4. Dress Up

Okay, don’t dress up like you’re going to the friggin’ prom. Or like you’re going to trial. Just a little more dressed up than usual. Don’t write in your pajamas, or in a sweatshirt. Unless this relaxed wardrobe helps you maintain your best writing day ever. If it does, then in that case, keep everything as is. Whatever works for you. But I don’t mean to say that you are going to dress uncomfortably. I would say dress in your nicest comfortable clothes. Do your hair up a little bit. Make yourself look nice, not gorgeous, but nice. That way if you write outside of your home and a cute, single guy or gal should come by and ask you what you are doing, you can toss your head back and say, smugly: “Oh, I’m just having my best writing day ever.”

Okay, you might not get their number, but the idea is that this helps you feel confident. Confidence and a higher sense of self-esteem (due to the fact that you now look good and not like a curmudgeon) will help ensure your best writing day ever.

5. Write First

So I understand waking up too early before work is just not feasible for some of you. So I encourage you to try all of this after you come home from work. (Can you tell I’m going to set this up so that you have absolutely no excuse but to write? You’re on to me.) Now, once you do all the important household shores and you do all the things that must get done, and you are about to relax and spend some hours watching TV or surfing the internet, and as you pick up that remote or click on that Safari icon–STOP! STOP! STOP! PUT IT DOWN. NOW! STEP AWAY FROM THE REMOTE. DON’T CLICK THE ICON. HOLD ON.

Okay. Before you watch TV or surf the internet, or check your e-mail, there is something you have to get to first. What is that?

YOU HAVE TO WRITE. YES, NOT AFTER. BEFORE. WRITE FIRST.

“But why? I need to watch this episode of Glee right now! I can’t miss it!”

Make watching your favorite TV show a reward after you have written for the day. You don’t have to miss it. You can watch it after you write. (Come on, you either have TiVo or Hulu so you can always watch your show later, so don’t give me any of your excuses.)

“But I always get my writing done, even if I do write after watching TV or surfing the internet. So there.”

This post is not titled your Writing Day Ever. There is a reason why there is the word “Best” before the word “Writing.”  This is not about getting you to write. It’s about making this day the best writing experience possible.

So how does Writing First help with that? It rids you of the guilt. If you write first, you can watch your show, or surf the internet completely guilt free. You don’t have to deal with thoughts that say: “Ah, I should be writing right now!” or “Oh, I got to remember to write!” or “I better stop doing this and get to writing or else I won’t ever get to it!”

Instead of worrying that you will never get to it–just get to it already! Take care of it first. Get it over with, so you can put it all aside. Then enjoy your show, or book, or movie, or energizing facial massage without a feeling of guilt and without a care in the world.

much “BEST POST EVER!!!”

Ollin

>>> Novel Update: I’m past the climax of my novel. Now it’s time for some killer falling action.

Read Part Two: How to FINISH Your Best Writing Day Ever

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20 comments on “How to Start Your Best Writing Day Ever

  1. Loved it!

    Especially two places when I had a “Yes, yes, yes” moment (other places were YES! moments ;)). One when you spoke about the sun being an important factor. How I agree! The same goes for Aussies. Sun is a huge factor and mostly gets to play with the moods of people DownUnder.😛

    Another thing about writing first because unless we write, this post won’t make any sense. Like you said, it has “best” before “writing”, so to write everyday is a given🙂

    Great post, Ollin.

    -BrownEyed

    • Ollin says:

      Yes! A Californian without sun is a miserable being, that is true. And yes, writing is a given here, although I am thinking up a post for those who find it hard to START writing. I know many of my readers feel like they are in THAT boat, and I also want to speak to them. But that I will address later. But definitely, I’ve been at a place where I couldn’t even write. So, going from that place to this one had been a huge leap. It’s been a fun ride.🙂

  2. unabridgedgirl says:

    Great tips, Ollin! Woohoo! And congrats on being in the 150! Keep going, buddy!

  3. kittymartine says:

    Very interesting blog. Glad you stumbled across mine, so I can learn from yours!

    http://katrinemartine.wordpress.com/

    Kit

  4. trojanbutterfly says:

    HI Ollin! I like your second idea – WAKE UP and by that not just waking up but also meditating. Meditation, especially in the morning really can make your day better, helps keep the worries away and helps you get focused throughout the day.

    • Ollin says:

      Yes, when I learned that waking up was more than just opening your eyes, it completely changed my outlook on life! Thanks for dropping by!🙂

  5. Great post. I always try to ‘get outside’ every day, even if it is raining. I think the fresh air is also important. I manage a team of 500 people and I also encourage them to take time during the day to walk, get fresh air, and get perspective. Sitting and thinking and working all day with no break is not healthy.

    http://workingtechmom.wordpress.com

    • Ollin says:

      Really? 500? Wow, that’s awesome. You are right, a day without a break is just not good for any of us. Thanks for dropping by!🙂

  6. WRITE FIRST — that’s a big one for me. It’s way too easy to get distracted by email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, rejections, resubmissions, and the occasional acceptance. None of that matters nearly as much as returning to our first love: WRITING.

    • Ollin says:

      Well, it’s always good to get it done first, and once it’s over we can feel a lot happier with ourselves. It’s like how people need to eat lunch, or sleep, it just makes the rest of the go so much better!

      Tune in for the second part of this post where I recommend ways in which you can prevent yourself from being distracted from the internet and other things as you begin to write.

      Thanks for stopping by!🙂

  7. “The point is this: do not rely on outside events to dictate how crappy or how happy your day is going to turn out.”

    I seriously needed to hear that. Life has been kicking me around a whole lot recently, and I’m trying to regain my balance. Thanks for the great post🙂

    • Ollin says:

      It kicks us all around unfortunately. Remember, your best defense is going to be a great offense! Conspire to make today the best ever!🙂

  8. Ollin,

    Loved this post! I kept thinking, yeah, oh, yes, so true! as I went along. Really love your positive approach to life and writing. It definitely warms my heart and makes me consider how I will approach tomorrow!

    Thanks! Can’t wait to read part 2.

  9. […] {You can read Part One, How to Start Your Best Writing Day Ever here.} […]

  10. […] once you started the habit of writing on a consistent basis, and I have also talked about how to transform your daily writing routine into the best experience possible for you, but what I keep hearing from many of my readers is that the hard part for you isn’t keeping […]

  11. […] Ways to Stay On The Writer’s Fast Track Once You’re On It,” “How to Start Your Best Writing Day Ever,” “How to Finish Your Best Writing Day Ever.”} Filed under Beginning […]

  12. […] How to Start Your Best Writing Day Ever {Trying the tips I share in this post on me first was the most fun I ever had preparing for a blog post.} […]

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