A Good Writing Day Versus a Bad Writing Day

Many yellow smiley face balls with one red frowny face ballTo quote good old John Denver, some days are diamonds, some days are stone. This is as true for writers as for anybody else and maybe a little more true for writers like me who have limited time to satisfy their literary Jones. If you’ve only got five hours a week to write and one of them goes badly, that’s a big percentage down the tubes.

So I started thinking about what makes a good writing day versus a bad one.

A Good Writing Day

  • Have little or no alcohol the evening and no caffeine after three p.m. (your milage may vary).
  • Get about eight hours of sleep with expected middle-aged-man breaks (just wait, you’ll see).
  • Get up early enough to clean up, dress, eat, get kid to school without major stress (minor stress comes with the territory).
  • Proceed from the carpool lane straight to the local coffee shop.
  • Obtain a coffee, size depending on jolt needed.
  • Ensconce self at table with laptop plugged to avoid machine outage, coffee at hand to avoid brain outage.
  • Plug earphones into laptop and ears, using correct end of earphones for each.
  • Turn on white noise to mute coffee shop bustle.
  • Fire up software, set up planned writing for the day.
  • Write. Do not look up except to drink coffee or greet personal friend who dares approach. Do not surf internet or even connect to coffee shop WiFi.
  • At the end of an hour, access WiFi, back everything up to cloud.
  • Smile in satisfaction at work done.
  • Shut down, pack up.
  • Remind self that day job is pleasant, supports family, writing, etc.
  • Go to work feeling happy.

A Bad Writing Day

  • Have more than four ounces of wine or six ounces of beer or a big martini or anything else in that line in the evening, or have caffeine after three p.m., or both. Also, eat too much at dinner and dessert.
  • Stay up late doing something silly like watching TV or writing a blog post.
  • Have a rotten night’s sleep, with more middle-aged breaks than usual and wife waking you up to say things like “roll onto your side, your snoring sounds like a bison giving birth,” or “what on earth did you eat to cause that?”
  • Get out of bed too late to get everything done. Become crabby as a result.
  • Fuss at family, listen to them fuss back.
  • Bodily heave kid into back seat. Pay no attention to kid’s being upside down.
  • Get to carpool lane when the crowd does. Wait. Wait more. Deposit kid.
  • Go home to finish getting ready. Do not eat. Endure well-deserved hard looks from wife.
  • Make it to coffee shop late. Order muffin and biggest possible coffee.
  • All tables with plug-in access taken. Set up laptop on battery, start worrying about losing work.
  • Set up earphones, play metal to match lousy mood.
  • Take big bite of muffin. Knock crumbs off keyboard.
  • Look at writing to do. Look some more. Feel stuck.
  • Perform free-writing exercise to lubricate writing gears.
  • Eat more muffin. Knock crumbs. Drink coffee.
  • Look at writing.
  • Watch people come in and out of shop.
  • Start writing.
  • Keep glancing at watch to avoid being late to work.
  • Muffin.
  • Coffee.
  • People-watching.
  • Write more. Hate it all but keep going, thinking, “Hell, it’s never going to see the light of day, anyway.”
  • Quit ten minutes early.
  • Back up files, pack up.
  • Heave heavy sigh. Reflect that years left on day job are more than many people serve in prison for serious crimes.
  • Go to work grumpy.

Well, that was illuminating. I hadn’t thought much about the causes and effects before. Most of my writing days are good ones, thank Heaven, but now maybe I can pare down the percentage of bad ones even further.

Any thoughts of your own on how to make a good writing day? Please be so kind as to leave them in the comments for the rest of humanity to enjoy. See you next time.

2 Replies to “A Good Writing Day Versus a Bad Writing Day”

  1. It made my morning to read this…I laughed so hard! To ensure a good writing day just reread this entry every morning!

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