What Gets You Ready to Write?

picture-prompt-donuts-featuredSome mornings I start my writing day off with a walk outside. Other days I start it off with caffeine. Today, I started it off with donuts. (Don’t judge me!) I asked the Writer’s Digest staff what they do to get ready to write. Here’s our list (in no particular order):

  • Caffeine
  • Clean up office/desk
  • Listen to music
  • Read good books
  • Read your own past writings to motivate
  • Run/Exercise
  • Turn off cell phone (& other distractions)
  • Find a quite workspace
  • Visualize your story in advance (while doing dishes or a chore)
  • Caffeine (I think you’ll agree it deserves a second mention)

So there’s our list But I want to know: What gets you ready to write? I want to know. Leave it in the comments section below or tweet me and include #ReadyToWrite @BrianKlems. On Monday I’ll select one response at random from this post and one response at random on Twitter and send them each a copy of the September 2015 issue of Writer’s Digest. It could be you! All you have to do is tell me what gets you #ReadyToWrite.

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Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.


Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

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12 thoughts on “What Gets You Ready to Write?

  1. tammishorty

    What I like to do is find a quiet place maybe outside on the porch and I begin to pray and I will ask God what do he want me to write about today. And I can end up with many words.

  2. TheFastReader

    The kinds of things that usually gets me writing is having a great source of inspiration that usually helps me to start. I read loads of books and often watch films that generally gives the committed writer inside me confidence where I will regularly find a good point with which to get paper and a pen and use the ideas I’ve picked up for writing a paragraph or two. I often gather thoughts for stories from films and books I’ve enjoyed.

  3. Gena

    Sometimes just waking up gets me ready to write, but keeping a dream journal definitely helps with that. Also, there’s just something magical about a pen and paper. Holding a notebook with a blank sheet practically begging to be filled helps all kinds of ideas flow through my hand. Of course coffee helps.

  4. SteffanieBarger

    Nature! The outdoor air, butterflies to the smell of my tomato plants. My picnic table facing the sun setting after work surrounded by my loving stray cats (after I feed them). I tell myself I have to write as much as possible before it gets dark.

  5. CatherineZ

    Knowing I have handwritten notes to write from! I love to plan, to write out ideas, the thoughts I want to convey, the knowledge I have, the feelings and actions and background of characters in a story. If I have written ideas for an article or the next chapter in a book, then I visualize myself finding these notes and sitting down at my laptop with them. I then do what I visualized: I find my notes (often a time consuming task, sad to say), sit down at the laptop, and with the comfort of some ideas to get me started, I am ready to write.

  6. PJWilliams

    Hey Brian! What gets me ready to write actually happens the night before. Sometimes I’ll write down the three most important things I want to accomplish when I sit down at my keyboard the next morning. But often as not, I just go over them in my head right before I nod off. In the morning, after a walk and breakfast, I power up the laptop and tackle those three things (or attempt to, anyway). BTW, thanks for all the thoughtful blog (and guest blog) posts. Sometimes they are what gives me food for thought for my “three most important things.”

  7. ShamelessHack

    First I argue with my wife for a half an hour.
    Then I look over the stack of my unpaid bills.
    Then I write another check to my deadbeat brother-in-law’s bail-bondsman.
    Then I walk to the wall and kick it, stubbing my toe painfully.

    Finally I go to the keyboard and start writing.

    I’ve achieved the height of my creative mental state.

  8. Early Blogger

    The thought of getting to know the characters and in effect, experiencing first hand every adventure I know my writing will put them through. Sometimes the places I take them are a surprise even to you and that thought is exciting and motivating; knowing that I’m the one in the driver’s seat and I can take it any-which way. The writing in and of itself is motivating. It’s like the power-hungry Metatron in the Sci-fi show SUPERNATURAL. You can understand the power that consumes him.

  9. dymphna st james

    Looking over past writing and manuscripts gets me motivated to write and reading a good book I’ve checked out at the library. Just yesterday evening I reread a 12,000 word manuscript I started during the 2014 NANO MOWRI i hadn’t read it since last year and whadaya know? I became motivated and psyched to write more short stories and picture books. Sitting in silence and letting my mind wander and letting my imagination soar from an interesting thought I have can jump start ideas for novels and short stories for me.


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