The Chain Method: How I got to writing every day.

 

Writing
Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

The biggest problem for everyone who wants to be a writer is writing every day.  I don’t care who you are, the hardest thing you can do as a writer is simply sitting down to write.  I went through a fallow period where I would go months without writing anything and when I would, I wouldn’t finish what I started on.

 

I was able to break this by using what’s known as the Chain method or the Seinfeld Method.  You get yourself a dry erase board or a wall calendar with space to write on.  On a day that you write, place an “X” on the calendar. After three days you will have a chain, your job becomes not breaking the chain.

That’s it.

It sounds really simple and I think that’s why it works. It takes the pressure off of you.  As I said before, to make a serious go at being a writer, you have to write every day.  So if your in your twenties that means your going to have to write very day for the next 60+ years.  (And that’s assuming that we don’t create some kind of longevity technology between now and then.) It’s this nebulous time frame that seems too large to tackle.  The Chain Method makes writing about today.  All you have to do is write today. And once you’ve written something you’re off the hook.  You’ve accomplished something and you get your little “X” for the day.

This is a work in progress (also see: my life), and I have noticed that when I do miss a day, this method has a built in function for dealing with it.  It starts creating a chain of blank days that I’ve missed.  This chain creates a negative pressure that makes when want to write. If I go three days without writing, it feels very satisfying to kill the Evil-Blank-Chain-That’s-Trying-To-Destroy-Me just by writing for a little bit and getting my “X” for the day.  Before if I stopped writing for a few days, I would just stop writing because I failed my goal of writing for the rest of my life.

I’ve only been using this method for less than a month and I’ve already finished two short stories.  Hell, I’ve already gotten my “X” for this day and I’m just writing this post for fun.

If you want to be a writer of any kind and you find yourself fighting with the discipline then I highly suggest giving this a try.  You don’t really have anything to lose because if you fail, all that’s going to happen is that you go back to not writing, which is where you are now.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The Chain Method: How I got to writing every day.

  1. I’ll have to give this a try. I go through periods where I feel very creative and write a lot, but then there are other times where I slack off and just want to put my creative energy into other things. I agree that consistency is key to getting better.

    Jimmy

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