How to Finish Your Best Writing Day Ever

Read Part One: How to START Your Best Writing Day Ever

How to Finish Your Best Writing Day Ever

1. Stay Three Steps Ahead of Your Inner Saboteur

We’ve talked about your inner saboteur before, but for those who don’t know, your inner saboteur is that part of you that tries to thwart your best efforts. Some people’s saboteur’s are actual, real-life human beings like unsupportive parents, but a lot of us have a saboteur that is inside of us that is always trying to make us run away from any big risks. So, as you finish your Best Writing Day Ever, you’ll find that your inner saboteur will not have it.

“Oh,” he says, “you’re actually trying to get something done? And you’re going to try to have the best time doing it? Well, not if I can help it!”

So as you begin to actually write, your saboteur will start to say:

“Let’s ignore Ollin’s suggestion that we ‘Write First.’ I mean it’s not a big deal right? We don’t need to write now anyway, we can do it after we check our e-mail. Why don’t we do that right now? Shall we? Yes, why don’t you just click on that Firefox icon and open up a web browser and see if you got a response from what’s-her-face about that watchamacallit. Yes, just click on the Firefox icon. Dooo it. Dooo it. DOOO IT!”

Your saboteur finally makes you click on the icon. Your saboteur is already on his way to ruin your Best Writing Day Ever. What a jerk, huh?

But hold on. Wait a minute. Once you clicked on that Firefox icon a page opened up. Wait. What does it say? It says:

“WRITE FIRST.”

“WHAT!?” your saboteur screams, “This can’t be. You’re supposed to get distracted by your e-mail box. Oh wait!” {He laughs} “I’ll just click on this Safari icon. HA! HA!”

You click on the Safari icon. Your homepage opens up. The homepage reads:

“WRITE FIRST.”

“WHAT!?” your saboteur screams, “NO! NO! NO! I must read the headlines on CNN.com. Must… know… crazy things… republicans are saying… so that I can… be angry at them… all day… Must… hear… the phrase ‘in this economy’ one more time… must… not… have… my best writing day ever… Click on Google Chrome!”

You click on Google Chrome. The homepage reads:

“WRITE FIRST.”

Your inner saboteur screams: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Congratulations, you have successfully put yourself 3 steps ahead of your inner saboteur!

In conclusion, I would suggest you make each of your home pages direct you to a private page on your blog that reads “WRITE FIRST” all over it. If you do not have a blog, you can use my “WRITE FIRST” page which I have now made public to all of you. (Editor’s note: sorry, this page is no longer available.) That way, should you ever try getting out of writing first by checking e-mail or the like, you will always be prevented from doing this.

Inner saboteur: 0. Writer: 1.

2. Think In Future Tense

If you are a beginning writer like me, you’re probably not getting paid. So, you will often either feel guilty or feel like you are wasting your time writing. But you should not feel guilty, nor should you feel like you are wasting your time. Why? Think of it this way: you are getting paid. Just not in the present tense. You are being paid in the future tense. You might be thinking that you should be doing something else that will pay you immediately, but this is just your inner saboteur working his mischief again. Yes, you should be doing things to earn a living at the moment {you kinda have to}, but that does not mean you have to sacrifice your writing in order to do so. Why? Because your writing is paying you. Just not now.

Listen, there are tons of things you do that do not pay you, and won’t ever pay you. Like watching TV, reading a book, or having dinner with friends. And yet, you still do them, right? But you never say: “I’m not going to do these things anymore because I don’t get paid for doing them.” No. You don’t say that. You never say that. So, why would you use that same excuse to get in the way of your writing when you do tons of things that don’t (and will never) pay you for doing them? On the other hand, writing–unlike watching TV, reading a book, or having dinner with friends–will get you paid. Just not right now. But later. Later later. Just not right now right now.

Don’t believe you’ll ever get paid? Then you better start the practice of believing in yourself today.

3. Strut

This may seem silly but it really isn’t. When athletes finish a race or a competition, they always take the time to strut. When rappers hit the right beat or demonstrate the right flow, they always take the time to stand back and enjoy the moment. Why can’t writers do the same?

When you’re done with your writing, take a moment to strut. Bask in your progress. Enjoy the sun as it sets, or the wind as it blows, and say to yourself: “Wow, I did it today. I had my Best Writing Day Ever. Go me.

4. Reward Yourself

You’ve done the hard work. You’ve made it through your Best Writing Day Ever, and you finished it with style. Now, it’s time to reward yourself with that guilt-free, inexpensive, and thoughtful gift you had planned for yourself ever since the morning. Enjoy that relaxing facial massage, watch that episode of Modern Family, make yourself a nice hot chocolate, buy yourself some pretty flowers, write a little note of congratulations to yourself. Relax. Enjoy. Be happy. You did it. You are the victor. Now enjoy the spoils.

5. Plan and Get Rest

The last thing to do before you end your Best Writing Day Ever is to prepare for the next day. Make a list of what needs to get done tomorrow so that it all goes as smoothly as possible. Get a good night’s rest so you’re not cranky the next day. Avoid caffeine or eating right before you go to bed. Avoid watching television and surfing the internet right before you go to bed. You don’t want an upset stomach or an upset mind messing up your sweet dreams.

You want to make sure you have a peaceful, restful sleep so that you are ready in the morning to have your NEXT Best Writing Day Ever!

That’s right. You are going to have another, and another, and another. As many as you can. Why? Because you deserve it. What, you feel like you need permission? I just gave it to you.

Enjoy yourself.

One more thing. If things should go wrong during your day, remember that you are the one deciding how you are approaching a certain situation. There may be days when you just feel like sulking. Ok. Then sulk. Let it out. Then move on. What I am saying is your Best Writing Day Ever does not mean you will be smiling and happy all day, every day. No, your Best Writing Day Ever means you are just trying your best to make it a good day, but it doesn’t mean you resist or pretend that something bad isn’t happening. No, I recommend not resisting what happens in your day, what I do recommend is working with what is given to you. The best, overall strategy is just to go about your day being aware. When you are aware, you are better prepared to find solutions to the problems that arise and not let the worst of your day consume your entire day.

Good luck to you.

much love,

Ollin

What helps YOU make today your Best Writing Day Ever?

Read Part One: How to START Your Best Writing Day Ever

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30 comments on “How to Finish Your Best Writing Day Ever

  1. Wow. I loved this post–especially the idea of having a brick-wall of sorts that says “WRITE FIRST”. That could be a cooool tool!

    Thanks for the inspirational and informative piece, Ollin.

    -BrownEyed

    • Ollin says:

      It is a cooool tool! Trust me it works. I’ve almost stopped writing by clicking on my browser and do! There’s that Write First page, and it guilts me into writing. That’s when guilt becomes a good thing. Now I don’t even open my web browser when I am supposed to write because I know what I’m going to see. Thanks!

  2. Strutting is absolutely key. What’s the point of overcoming victory if you’re denied a victory dance? =]

  3. I love your post and it relates to everything people are trying to accomplish, not just writing. #3 is critical – I use a phrase “I am jealous of myself” when things are going well, or I have just accomplished something. This is part of my verbal strut and truly triggers me to reflect on how I should celebrate my successes as much as those of people I admire.

    Keep going!!

    http://workingtechmom.wordpress.com

  4. Ollin says:

    Yes, determination is key, isn’t it? Sometimes all we have is determination. No rhyme no reason. Just plain ol’ determination. But it gets us through.

  5. Devon Begg says:

    Thank you for writing this and for the advice. I’m trying to do NaNoWriMo and I keep sabotaging myself with procrastination. I’ll keep checking back here for more inspiration!

    • Ollin says:

      Just stay a couple steps of that inner critic and you’ll be fine. Remember, your best defense is a best offense, conspire for your success, instead of for your failure. Thanks for dropping by!🙂

  6. Emily Jane says:

    I love the idea of staying ahead of your inner critic. I was introduced to a great writing exercise this past week called the “5 minute sprint” where you have literally 5 minutes to write as much as you can on a pre-decided question or topic. And it forces you to be one step ahead of the critic, the one that overthinks things and often takes the life and substance out of them that only comes when you’re forced to be raw and real.

    Great post!

    • Ollin says:

      Yeah, that is a great exercise. Thank you for adding that to the conversation. That’s a great idea that many readers should try as well. Like you said, it gets you past that saboteur before he’s or she’s able to stop you.

  7. himomimhome says:

    Getting paid in the future… wow… nice way to frame it! I can do that!
    Also, it never really occurred to me that it was my inner saboteur saying I should be spending my time doing something to make money in the present. I always thought that was my “responsible adult” self talking. Food for thought — and hopefully more than that… hopefully food for action!

    • Ollin says:

      Well, there are tons of writers who wrote without being paid at first. But when they finally got published, it was all money in the bank. So never start writing thinking that it is a waste of time. It isn’t. Not like other things. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for dropping by!🙂

  8. Oh Ollin. You funny, funny man. I love number one. It happens all the time. And you didn’t even talk about Facebook ….

  9. So glad you stopped by my blog last week so I could discover yours. I can see why you would be voted good mood blogger. Great work.
    Victoria

  10. Excellent advice Ollin! Well put annnnddddd…for me to write I need some extra hours in the day or less sleep. I have had the hardest time finding the zone, but then again my photography is getting in the way too.🙂 I need to choose which craft I want to chisel instead of trying both.🙂

    • Ollin says:

      Start with just a few minutes every day. Then slowly build it up. That’s the best way to begin. I’m thinking about writing up a post for people who, like you, find it hard to START writing in the first place. I’ll get back to you on that.😉

  11. […] How to Finish Your Best Writing Day Ever Posts by Category […]

  12. Just stumbled on your blog yesterday and I’m LOVING it. Aspiring writer here as well. I think I’m going to take you up on that offer to use your “write first” page as my homepage.

    My inner sabotuer loves to surf the net!

    • Ollin says:

      Cool! I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Make sure to subscribe by going to my subscribe page above. You don’t want to miss next week where I will describe more ways to keep the internet from getting in the way of your writing, and also how to find peace as a writer.

  13. […] 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 Writer's Toolkit ← How to Get Yourself Off Your […]

  14. […] How to Finish Your Best Writing Day Ever {Best. Post. Ever.} […]

  15. wow!! Amazing I will make this weekend my best writing day (or did you also mean to try make your work days into writing days?)

    Thanks a lot.

    Ollin,
    I suggest you picks 5-6 posts like these and display them in your sidebar. These (best) posts need revisits again and again, even by you🙂

    • Ollin says:

      However you use these tips is up to you, Keshav. You are welcome.

      That’s a great idea. I was thinking about doing something like that. Haha, yes I do revisit some of my old posts sometimes because even I forget all the lessons I learned.

      Thanks for the idea!

  16. […] Read Part Two: How to FINISH Your Best Writing Day Ever. […]

  17. Tammy McLeod says:

    Sometimes we have to overstate the obvious, don’t we? In order to be writers, write. Thanks Ollin. Love this look at an old problem.

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