Writing Tip 3: Decide what you are going to do tomorrow, today

The hardest part of any task is sometimes the first five minutes. Starting sucks. The last thing you want to do is make that initial push harder. So, try to decide on the day's task before sitting down to start on it.

It would be trite to say "Just do it. Start already." But, getting going is much harder if you don't know what you need to do. A movie director would never come on set without knowing the scenes she or he is going to shoot. So, why do writers so often sit down to work without knowing what they are going to write? The solution? Plan at least a step ahead.

Writing Tip 3: Decide what you are going to do tomorrow, today.

How? Yesterday, when I finished revising a section, I decided to edit the next section today. This morning, as I wrapped up my two hours of edits, I made a mental note to draft two paragraphs tomorrow morning.

Does this work every time? Of course not! On January 26, I had planned to work on Chapter 3, but instead I wrote 1,000 words for the Preface. The next day, I had to write what I had planned to do the day before.

In deciding what to do next, it can help to have a plan: Tomorrow's Tip: Outlines are your friend.