Reverb 10 | Prompt 2 | Writing


Writing. What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing -- and can you eliminate it? (Author Leo Babauta of Zen Habits)

From my perspective as a storyteller, most things I do throughout the day have the potential to contribute to my writing. The stories I write - the actual content - come from living all the parts of my life. The good. The bad. The boring. The crazy. The in-between. The times when I'm on track and the times when I'm off. The day-dreams. The to-do lists.

So what do I do that doesn't contribute to my writing?

Maybe it's when I make things more complicated than they need to be. I've definitely written about that before and it's something that easily gets in the way of getting anything substantial written. I'm actually doing this as I write this post tonight. I'm typing and deleting and typing again.

Maybe it's moving other tasks to the top of my to-do list. The writing can wait. It's a form of procrastination - my excuse is that I'm waiting for the words to come even though I know that the words will come when I actually sit down and give the project my full attention.

Maybe it's doing too many things at once and not simply settling in to write. I'll start something and I'm easily distracted by something else - another project on my table, an email, tweetdeck, a piece of paper on my desk, the piles of paper on my floor, etc. These things can definitely be eliminated as roadblocks to writing. Clean the place up! I'm also thinking about heading to a coffee shop tomorrow morning so I can take care of some writing I need to do without the distractions of my regular work-space.

Good thought-provoking prompt Leo - thank you. Sounds like I need to read your new book.


Reverb 10 is a series of prompts with the tagline “reflect on this year & manifest what’s next.” You can sign up to receive a free daily prompt via email. Wonderful jumpstarts for storytelling & documenting this past year.

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34 thoughts

  1. KatieK. says…

    Thanks Ali for the posting. It helped in so many ways: The thought provoking question re:writing, the links to Leo and Xmas and the Book. Clutter both physical and in my head freeze my forward progress with projects and writing.

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  2. Ricka says…

    Thanks! Ali, i've already started to reverb10. It is good to pursue myself getting more challenge and see what's next???

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  3. Carla Cavellucci Landi says…

    This picture is just perfect. Just perfect. Just perfect.

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  4. denise says…

    Yes. And yes. I place the same blocks between me and my writing. I remember Natalie Goldberg writing something like "just write". I aspire to do just that, but I, too, get stuck in the editing and details.

    (Adored your prompt for Dec 3. Thank you!)

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  5. Alexa O. Hamilton says…

    Ali, your post got me thinking. Sometimes what takes up the most time with my writing, is the process of finding the perfect spot to be creative. Sometimes I like to go to the coffee shop or library, but then there's the process of gathering my things, driving there, and then once your at the destination, finding a seat, finding a quiet spot ect. Sometimes it just seems best to sit down where you are, put in some ear plugs and post a "Do not disturb" sign and get writing!

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  6. debbie mcintyre says…

    this photo...there are no words. I love Anna and have ooohed and aaahed over many photos, since the day she was born. This photo is my absolute favorite. It is motivating and happy and soft and gentle. It's the perfect Anna photo. You capture emotion beautifully, and your photography and words keep me coming back. I learn so much from you, and appreciate all the effort you put into your blog. mac

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  7. Jennifer Shoer says…

    Great idea to avoid distraction and go to the coffee shop. I am thinking about spending part of the week at the library to accomplish the same thing. Thank you for alerting us to Reverb 10. I just signed up!

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