Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pre-Write Checklist

All kids to school, check. (Oh, blissful two and a half hours of aloneness.)

Writerly friends blogs stopped by, and commented on, check (if anything happened to come to mind to comment about.)

The Rejectionist hasn't posted yet, so further distractions avoided, check.

New e-mail opened and answered, check. (Ignoring the 2,000 messages that should be deleted or put into files, check!)

iPod loaded up with novel "soundtrack", check.

Word processor opened, check.

Notes by my side, check.

Deep breaths, and telling myself I know how to do this, check (thanks for the tip, Paul)

Procrastinatory blog post written, check.

Remind everyone to stop by Friday to participate in an interactive interview with Anna, check.

Let everyone know that Sarah is #10, and Solvang Sherrie is #33 at Miss Snark's First Victim's Secret Agent Contest this week. Tell everyone to stop by and give them feedback once the submissions are posted, check.

Wondering if I would be more productive if I exercised first, check.

Ignoring desire to turn on Wii, check.

Ignoring impulse to hang out at Erica's blog again, check.

Ignoring hours of housework I could be doing, check. (No problems with this!)

More deep breaths, more talking to self, check.

Nothing left to do, but WRITE.

*sounds of keys clacking away*


Your pre-write checklist? Does it look anything like mine?


  1. Ha! Until school starts again for my preschooler (next week!) my pre-writing checklist is pretty much the whole day.

    Otherwise, it's "get a cup of coffee".

  2. Ummmmm- can't remember what my pre-writing checkllist is- got lost in the holiday flare- item one- find my desk- and my outline- quote from Scralett- "tomorrow is another day!" #2- get Art- my day job- under control and then I might be able to think about writing!

  3. I like your pre-writing checklist--most days that is mine as well. I am very glad that school's back--it gives me time to breathe into my writing, instead of trying to make every moment in the evening count (as I grow too tired to work).

    I'm glad you'll have some moments for you again once preschool is back in session!

    Ah--coffee. I already had my cup for the day, so I'll make some tea and get back into my revision-in-progress.

  4. My check list is pretty similar to yours in that I have to go through a bunch of distractions before I can actually get to work. Unfortunately, I seem to be stuck in constant procrastination mode these days. :-)

  5. Julia--I had the same problem--Where are my notes? Where is my outline? What's my most current draft? And your reference to holiday flare reminds me of the Dar Williams song,February:

    "You know I think Christmas was a long red flare,
    Shot up like a warning, we gave presents without cards,
    And then the snow,
    And then the snow came, we were always out shoveling,
    And we'd drop to sleep exhausted,
    Then we'd wake up, and it's snowing."

    I hope things soon return to normal for you so you can return to writing...

  6. Anna-- Me too. But that's what revision is like for me. Drafting makes me lose myself, but revising makes me think in little pieces. So, it's easier (and maybe okay) to use little distractions to let my mind work on the pieces.

  7. My pre-write checklist is to wake up and get out of bed. I try to write for at least an hour before stopping for a breakfast break. Then the distractions start, blogs, emails,reading the news, another cup of tea. Then I get back to it. In fact, that's where I'm going now:)

  8. OK. You've inspired me to get organized. Must create pre-writing checklist. Happy writing to you!

  9. You seem much better at avoiding distractions than I am. Or at least at getting yourself to let go of them.

    I'm currently avoiding getting my butt out of here and to work. So bye!

  10. Paul--What a great way to start the day. I am not a morning person--which is why I do my blogging first. My mind just isn't focused enough in the morning. And, if I get an hour a day to write total, I'm doing well. I'm glad you get so much time to focus on your writing!

  11. Amy--I did that today to actually make sure that I got into writing--I have been having trouble getting back into it after the holidays. But it worked, and I had a nice hour or two of re-acclimation to my writing this morning. I'm hoping for a round two this afternoon!

    Good luck with your writing this week!

  12. Sarah--Have fun at work. I can't wait to read the excerpt.

  13. I like Paul's plan. I love the idea of rolling right out of bed and straight to my computer to writing no other thoughts/interruptions. And I should be able to. My husband gets up to exercise at 5:45 and I wake up then. But at 5:45 in the morning the idea of staying in bed for another hour sounds pretty fantastic. And then the time is lost. At 7, I have to get up and make lunches and breakfast and corral the little folk. So when I do sit down to start it is a lot like your list.

  14. The only times in my life that I was able to get up earlier than I had to for the morning rush were always when someone else was involved--I made plans to walk or run with a friend, or in college, when there were eight other people counting on me to get my butt into a boat to row.

    Tina--maybe one day we should plan on checking in with each other and make sure that we actually got up when we planned to write... ;)

  15. Get the kids sent off to school.
    Quick clean.
    Run. Shower.
    warm um some coffee because by this time it has gone cold.
    Write. Or I should say, right now, revise.

  16. Laura--Sounds like a nice balanced checklist.

  17. Heather, you had me laugh so hard with your list! :D
    I relate to the delight of a silent home (i.e. children at school, though I don't have children. But I'm in a habit of temporarily adopting them).
    Also, I need to ask: did you simply wonder if you would be more productive if you exercised first, or did you actually exercise? That puzzled me. :)

    My pre-writing list? In short:
    -an internal dialog in my head with my muse kicking me out of bed
    -eyes half-closed and hands ahead I walk to the chicken and make coffee.
    -Drink a sip. My mind becomes suddenly clear (worried: is that a sign of addiction?)
    -Then off the desk, making sure I have a glass of water, a huuuuge French-English dictionary on my side, THE drink (tea or coffee, it varies)
    -Reading blogs and commenting generally comes before the actual writing... :)

    Thank you for sharing.

  18. Nathalie--No, I didn't work out. I have a rule, that when the kids are out of the house, then I only do things that I can't possibly do when they are around (since it is only a few hours each week). When there isn't snow and ice on the ground, this always includes a run. When I am exercising inside each winter day, I can do it (kind-of) with kids around. So, I decided to forgo the workout in favor of writing.

    Your list made me chuckle, too. Thanks for checking in! And--I'm enjoying your blog.