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After hearing that I’d recently published a book a fellow recently asked me “what would you recommend to someone who used to write but has fallen out of practice and wants to get back into it?” I told him to write every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. The key is to make it a daily habit, otherwise writer’s block can set in. I have found it really useful to have a big wall calendar and mark off each day that you do write. The simple act of having a visible chain of X’s on the wall inspires you to keep going. Here is what mine looks like:

It’s simple and it works. I write for 2 or 3 hours each day, and there are plenty of days when I’m tired and would rather do something else but having the large visible reminder that I would be breaking a long string of work if I stopped is a good motivator. It also helps to have a big messy desk where everything you need is at hand; pencils, paper, reference tomes . . . and maybe a bottle of IPA.

(Of course this depends on what you’re working on. I recommend beer for working on non-fiction and bourbon for working on fiction. When you are editing fiction use beer because that point it becomes non-fiction for all practical purposes.)

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