Starting EarlyWords Every Day

For me, every day, the hardest part about finishing my EarlyWords is starting my EarlyWords.

Writing EarlyWords is not fun for me. To be more specific, starting my EarlyWords is not fun. Once I get into the groove I’m usually having a blast. The words are flowing; I’m interested in what is coming out; and I am feeling good about the process. But it can take anywhere from fifty to five hundred words to get to that point. I need a strategy to get started. That’s what the comics strips are for.

I have a lot of morning rituals, things I do every day when I get up. The last of them is my EarlyWords, three pages of stream-of-conciousness writing I do just before getting into my work for the day. But I don’t just sit down and start typing. It’s not that easy.

The first thing I do is maximize my browser window and close all tabs. That removes almost all the distractions from my screen. Until I get in the groove, it is very easy for any distraction to pull me away from EarlyWords or prevent me from even starting. When faced with an unpleasant task, like starting my EarlyWords, I will look for those distractions to escape. Making them less visible makes it easier to avoid them.

The second thing I do is open twenty-four new tabs. I have a whole bookmark folder for them. Twenty three are comic strips. Most are daily or close enough that it’s worth checking them every day. The twenty-fourth is the EarlyWords homepage.

It’s easy to start reading comic strips. They are enjoyable. And it only takes a few seconds to read one. It is an easy task to start on.

It also gets me into a rhythm. Read comic, close tab, repeat. I go through the tabs one by one, and by the time I am at the tab, I am no longer starting something new. I’m in a groove. It’s not a writing groove; it’s a tab-closing groove, but that’s enough to get me started. After all, I have to write to close this last tab.

But I am no longer getting started. I’ve gone through twenty three tabs and only have one more to go. That makes it a lot easier to start writing.

— Damien from EarlyWords