Charles Bock Recommends...

“One of the hardest things about daily writing is getting back in, reconnecting with the page and your work. Far easier to fall down some Internet rabbit hole, and avoid it all. Meanwhile, your dog isn’t going to write your novel for you (if only). This recommendation can help you dive back in, almost fooling you into that deep, necessary level of engagement:

At night/before bedtime/after dinner, once you’ve finished your regular writing session, take ten minutes. By hand, write a list of phrases you want to change—character tweaks, sentence edits, how X character needs to act in scene Y—basically your day’s unfinished work. If you have to stop writing ten minutes early to take these notes, fine. If you go to dinner and think of a new idea, or see something that you think you can use, add it to the list. The next day when you sit down, first thing, enter these notes. Make your changes. This will force you to engage with the manuscript. As you get better at this, start writing shorter notes—reduce them to one or two key words. When you sit down to work, your mind starts reconstructing your ideas, and thus becomes even more engaged. Huzzah, you are in.”
—Charles Bock, author of Alice & Oliver (Random House, 2016)