Don't Break the Chain

Photo by Dave on Flickr

I know I've mentioned this before, but it's kinda difficult to balance writing with a full time job. It can be done, but it's not easy. You're tired when you get home from work. You might not feel like writing. If you could only convince yourself to sit down in the chair. To show up. Then you'd get some writing done. You'd make progress. You'd succeed.

The hardest part of writing, and the key, is showing up. If you can get yourself to show up, you guarantee productivity. Even if all you do is sit down and think about writing, you're still doing something to further your craft. Most of the time sitting down is all it takes. You put your butt in the chair and the words start flowing. Stranger things have happened.

I was looking for a new way to motivate myself when I came across Jerry Seinfeld's method. You get a wall calendar and a big marker and put an "X" through all the days you write. Don't break the chain. Keep the "X"s going for as long as you can. "Don't break the chain," Seinfeld says again. You won't want to. The chain is gorgeous.

I've started using this technique to get myself to write every day. Although I usually prefer pen and paper, you can also track your "chain" using the app WriteChain for iOS. It not only builds chains for you but also keeps track of your word count. The best part is that it's free.

Have you tried the "Don't Break the Chain" method before? How do you get yourself to write when you don't feel like it?