A Writer’s Checklist

I’ve been a big fan of Alexandra Franzen for a while now. If you haven’t heard of Alex, then I seriously urge you to check out her funny/inspiration/snappy blog and subscribe to her newsletter

Alex’s writing style is:

  • Concise
  • Gentle
  • Relaxing
  • Filler-free
  • Hilarious
  • Helpful
  • Inspirational
  • Whimsical
  • Creative

After watching her class on checklists I quickly adopted Alex’s elegant and pragmatic practice.

I can be VERY type-A. Typically, my to-do lists are work related tasks only, but Alex has a different approach as she includes experiences as part of her daily checklist.

For example, watch the sunrise, swim in the ocean, read a really good book, or call a loved one.

Including these experiences alongside our daily tasks is a fantastic reminder that we are a) not robots and b) there is more to life than getting *shit* done.

Inspired by Alex’s new book, The Checklist Book, I’ve put together my ideal writing day checklist.

You can purchase Alex’s new book at your local bookstore, local public library, or order it online here: http://bit.ly/the-checklist-book


(    ) Word/phrase for the day: Word by word

(    ) First moment: Open eyes, breath deep, revel in the fact that today is reserved for writing.

(    ) Easy win: Writing morning pages. (Thanks, Julia!)

(    ) Easy win: Read one chapter from Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art or Do the Work.

(    ) Easy win: Write down one reason why writing/books/reading is awesome.

(    ) Easy win: Create the ideal writing space: the house is empty (or go to the library!), water bottle beside computer/notebook, candles, timer, open windows, dog bed in the corner, phone is on silent and in another room and turn off wifi.

(    ) Easy win: Open word document or turn to new page of notebook.

(    ) Easy win: Write a five minute outline for today’s writing session. Set timer for 25 minutes. Pause. Breath. Say good morning to the Muse: Hello, I am here. I am ready. (Note: writers need LOTS of easy wins!)

(    ) Task one: Start timer and write until alarm buzzes. Ignore all opinions from inner-critic.

(    ) Task two: Five minutes of free time! Roll shoulders, stand up, make a cup of tea.

(    ) Task three: Repeat tasks 1-2 five more times.

(    ) Task four: Have a light healthy lunch outside with a friend or a really good book/newspaper.

(    ) Take five: Write something fun that no-one is going to see. Ever. You have 30 minutes, go!

(    ) Take six: Read yesterday’s pages, make notes, complete a light edit if desired/needed.

(    ) moments: Be very present while making tea.

(    ) moments: Spend five minutes watching the rain. (It always rains in the late afternoon on an ideal writing day).

(    ) moments: Spend five minutes thinking about all the truly great writers whose work has inspired you.

(    ) Unexpected/bonus task: Write a review for a book you f**king love.

(    ) Unexpected/bonus task: Write a tiny thank you letter, by hand, and snail-mail it to a friend/mentor/your mum.

(    ) Final moment: Read one sentence or tiny passage from today’s work to your partner, best friend, parent, dog.

What would your ideal day look like?

If this post inspired you, please consider creating your own Writing Day Checklist, or any kind of checklist!

Have a wonderful day and happy writing. x


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