Rules for Writing #1: Success

Quick update. Today, we travelled by bus from Santander to Socorro, up the Canyon of Chicamocha. It’s a steep canyon, and the bus drive is probably four or five hours door to door.

Lunch was a Colombian meal at 3:00 pm. I had it sin proteina. It was rice, chickpea stew, a beetroot salad, and yuca with tomato sauce. Lemonade to wash it down. The kids ordered Colombian Chinese rice. It was rather large.

Most of the day was on the bus, so I had not done much moving. I did a quick run first thing this morning in Bucaramanga, then a longer run when we got in at 5 o’clock. Both were slow and steady. First, up the hill there and back for 2 km, then since it was raining, an hour and a half around the balcony of the Casaredonda. This got me my 20,000 steps and my stretching. No social media, podcast, or news was essay. No coffee, too. I wrote this post, and revised it, after writing 1,500 words for a chapter on Rules.

In short, today, I hit all my rules, despite traveling for 6 hours.

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Writer’s Diary #41: Rules, for a Month’s Writing

Here I am, once again, with my rules. Rules for writing. Temporary ones, mind. They never last more than a month. But, that’s good enough. Good enough to get some momentum. I know the book’s structure. I know the argument. With a little effort, I could make headway. My sabbatical is coming to an end, so why not finish on a high? So I’ve turned to rules.

I wrote them.

I have had some success with rules in the past.

To start my first book, I had a writing challenge with a colleague. To finish it, I did a writing challenge with other colleagues. Both worked. I have tried this other times, and it has not worked. No matter.

This time, the rules are my own. Just me, this time. The rules I will adopt for the next month, starting now.

The rules? The rules are not just about writing this time. Writing is part of it, but writing is an embodied activity. It is a thing we do in the world. Therefore, the rules are for writing and to be in a good place for writing.

  • Run for 20 minutes a day, perhaps longer, and cool down and stretch for ten minutes.
  • Take 20,000 steps.
  • Eat whole food, plant-based.
  • No caffeine after the first coffee.
  • No news, social media, or podcasts.
  • Write (or revise from notes) 1,500 new, good words into the manuscript.
  • Write a post about the day, with a photograph.
  • Stop.