Day One: Twelve Boxes

(estimated time: 45-60 minutes)

Welcome to day one! Today is about setting you up to succeed with this regimen. Toward that end, you’ll frame out some time for your writing over the next eleven days, and you’ll do some thinking about your current creative process and your relationship to writing. One last thing: Remember to time each session, which starts when you open up the day’s post (i.e. the thing you are reading right now).


Open up your calendar. For the next eleven days, schedule a block of time for your writing. I want you to experience what it’s like to plan to write (instead of just saying I’ll fit it in somewhere … . after I get done with all my work/ errands/emails/housework/etc.). For those eleven days, block out that time and protect it. How much time? Give yourself an hour for days 2-5, and an hour and a half for days 6-12. You may not use all that time for writing, but it’s better to have a little extra time on your hands than to cut your writing session short.


Read this short article about Seinfeld’s technique for creative productivity.


Make a sheet with twelve boxes. You can make it on the computer or draw it by hand or do cross-stitch—your call. The important thing is to create it and display it somewhere you’ll see it every day for the next eleven days.

Then make an X (or whatever mark you choose) in the first box. You’ve committed your creative act for the day. Success!


Write on the following prompts in your journal:

Describe your current process. When you want to write something, how do you get started? What happens after that? Take me through your cycle.

Tell me about your self-concept as a writer. How do you feel about writing?

What do you want to get out of this experience?

Re: writing—What are you afraid of?

Re: writing—What’s the worst thing that could happen?

What is “good writing?” What makes it good?

Last question: How much time did this writing session take?