Good Studio Habits for Writing: Some Mornings I’d Rather Be Playing Minecraft


Every day I’m forced with the same temptation:  play Minecraft or work on writing.  It’s hard to sit down at a computer every day and be productive.  I have a list of things I check and read before I ever start writing.  After all I should still have fun right?   More and more of my pre-writing time is spent reading, talking, and thinking about writing, however; so why can’t I occasionally blow my time recreating the houses from Architectural Digest?

The answer is “good studio habits,” or whatever the literary world calls them.  In the visual art world one has a studio so it is studio habits; I suppose “good office habits” is more appropriate for writers.  Wording aside, the basic gist here is that sometimes it’s damn hard to get up every day and make yourself do something.  Even going to a good paying job with amazing co-workers can be a big taxing and  gets repetitive.  The hard part about working for yourself is you don’t have these same amazing co-workers silently judging you into productivity.

So every morning I face this dilemma, hours of slacker video game time, or time spent being productive.  The positive part of having developed good studio habits is that now when I do give in and slack off, I find it extremely dissatisfying.  My brain has trained itself that during these hours I’m supposed to be thinking about writing, so even when I’m shouting my companion off a cliff in Skyrim and laughing, I am thinking “you know I could write a story about an adventuring bastard who finds money hungry fools and kicks them off cliffs.”  This tends to drive me out of the game and back into the writing zone where I at least make notes about my goofy story ideas.

Feel free to share stories about things you’ve done to develop good studio habits, or vent about your daily writing distractions.  I’m blessed not to have children; I understand they trump all things in the ability to distract.

8 Responses to “Good Studio Habits for Writing: Some Mornings I’d Rather Be Playing Minecraft”

  1. I have a hard time actually writing the ideas I have because I spend so much time thinking about writing. It would be a triumph to actually write something. I am working on making a schedule for myself so I do take time out of my ever so busy schedule of tv watching and interneting to write. Part of me is also resisting this because I have spent so much time in the last few years blocking off my time for things beside tv and interneting. I want to for a time be unbound to responsibilities, even if those responsibilities are of my own making.

    • You just finished grad school, so take some time off, eat some junk food, and do all of the things that kept you from doing. Keep a notebook though, put it in your purse or pocket everywhere you go. Sketch, jot down ideas, make notes, and you’ll have that to come back to when the time for good habits develop.

  2. In my view it’s one of the great, unsolved mysteries of our time. I don’t think I’m any closer to the answer. Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of Nike’s book and “Just Do It”?

    • I have a friend who is a CGI/videographer/Motion Graphics person in Hollywood. He’s worked for Pixar, Disney, Warner Brothers, and several other large movie companies. I once told him that I felt like half of being a successful creative is consistently making stuff while other people stand around and talk about it. He then confessed that half of his success was just showing up on time ready to work.

  3. I start off reading the blogs I follow. After I’ve had enough coffee–I write. Some days it’s a lot sometimes it’s not. 🙂

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