Thirty minutes a day or a page a day? Every productive writer has a different way of measuring their output. It is important. Most humans need a schedule, some sort of metric or deadline by which to ensure movement toward a goal. Without it, failure is as sure as can be.

For almost three and a half years, my measure has been thirty minutes a day. This has served me well. The outcome has been quite a few poems, several drafts of my book, and a few decent short stories, as well as a dozen notebooks. Not bad I suppose, but I want more. I sense a rut.

So… I have changed the metric to a page a day. I’ll still keep my notebooks*, these are where I do my thinking, but I want to produce a page of creative work each day. I have a hunch that with this metric I’ll do more of the work that is my highest priority. I think that over the last year or so I’ve spent too much time in my notebook, navel-gazing, and not enough time out in the wild, testing my ideas on the blank page. BTW…I also think that with this measure I’ll write more than thirty minutes a day.

I am on the cusp of another adjustment to my process. It is not the first, and it will not be the last. I’ll know the impact of the decision by Christmas.


*When Edison died there was found among his possessions thousands and thousands of notebooks. He made everyone who worked for him keep notebooks. If they didn’t, he fired them.