A Writer’s Maintenance Schedule

So you have decided that writing is your calling and as you sit, staring blankly at the computer screen, you feel a light tap on your shoulder from your inner-critic – what were you thinking? Aha, have no fear. It is simply a matter of infusing your muse and the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit excel in inspiration and they’ll resuscitate that muse of yours and get the creative flow happening again. Call it a form of writer’s Draino for blocked creativity – get the gunk out and the imagination kicking in again!

So to kick start your writing engines, we shall share a routine maintenance schedule for your writing life. Of course, the consumption of chocolate at times during this schedule is most highly recommended but not too much – think of the advice Mr Carp gave Otto in the children’s book A Fish Out of Water “Never more than a spot, or something may happen! You never know what.” You certainly do not want to outgrow your desk chair.

Sometimes your mind gets foggy and no images or words come. You are just a complete blank. Just remember, writer’s block is not like losing your car keys, you have NOT lost your writing ability. If you can write, you CAN write and if you can’t – well, you can’t lose something you never had. So be gentle with yourself and infuse your muse with a maintenance schedule.


Once a week: skip to the next part of whatever you are working on, no matter how stuck you feel.

Once a month: Write all day without talking to anyone (this includes cyberspace anyones too).

Every 3 months: send something out to a publisher, just to keep the ball rolling.

Every 6 months: clean your workspace – get rid of obsolete files; old drafts; rejection slips (honestly who needs them?); leaky pens; old email; those thousands of post-it-notes, on your desk, around your computer and on your clothing, reminding you of meetings already past the use by dates. Clear out the clutter and you’ll start thinking more clearly.

Once a year: take a chunk of time, whatever you can afford – 3 full days minimum – and go somewhere where your writing will not be disturbed. A place that inspires you and relaxes you – even throw in a massage or facial. Create the most amazing ambience you can and soak yourself in it!


One response to “A Writer’s Maintenance Schedule

  1. Susan Berger

    July 17, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you Dawne and Svett. That is great advice written delightfully. I am off to find a small piece of chocolate before I write another word.


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