Neil Gaiman and constructive boredom

2019-07-13

Neil Gaiman uses a rule when he’s writing. When it’s time to write, he sits down with a pen and paper - he writes his first drafts by hand, with a fountain pen, because he’s a goddamn boss.

Once he’s sat down, the rule is simple. He doesn’t have to write. But if he’s not writing, he’s not allowed to do anything else.

What a great system! You can let it flow when it flows. If it feels like a day when the writing is just not coming, that’s okay, you don’t have to force it. You can just take some time and sit quietly. It’s a win-win!

It still takes discipline, of course. But it’s a wonderful bargain with the parts of your brain that would rather constantly goof off and waste time.

I tried it, just now, and it works! Here I am, writing. Neil, you are a genius.