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Bookending – My Favorite Writing Tip

bookendsHave you ever gotten stuck in the middle of a writing project? Ever had a writing project you knew you could do, but had trouble getting started?

Of course you have! It seems to be part of being a freelance writer. Every now and again we get stuck.

Let me tell you there were times when I got stuck when I was doing staff writing too.

My solution to getting stuck is bookending. Here’s how it works:

  1. I call a friend and tell them I’m going to spend x amount of time on the problem project. That time might be 5 minutes or two hours – it doesn’t matter.
  2. At the end of the time I call back and report that I’ve done what I said, or that I haven’t. Usually I’ve found a way to get it done.

In other words, I book end both the beginning and the end of the time I’m spending on the writing project.

I think this works because I’m making myself accountable to someone. It works even if I don’t reach them and only leave messages on their answering machine.

Bookending works for writing projects and lots of other things as well. I’ve been known to bookend laundry, house cleaning and even going to the store.

Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.


Image by Debby Arem at debbyarm.com found on flickr.com

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Kathryn pless December 18, 2009, 8:27 pm


    Wonderful idea! I never thought of doing this, but I’m going to start.
    .-= Kathryn pless´s last blog ..Demand Studios-My POV =-.

  • Noelle December 10, 2009, 10:45 am

    Anne, that’s a great idea. Making yourself accountable to someone really forces you to follow through. Announcing to the world what you’re doing on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook also works.

    • Anne December 10, 2009, 11:24 am

      Noelle, I announce on twitter and sometimes facebook, hadn’t thought of using social media to bookend – no reason why it wouldn’t work. Thanks

  • DianneMR December 9, 2009, 11:12 am

    Anne, that’s such a simple but successful tip, thank you! I told my daughter as she left this morning that I would read, comment on and retweet five blogs before she came home and I have! I’m going to try it with all sorts of thing now! :o)
    .-= DianneMR´s last blog ..Blessings Just Outside The Door =-.

    • Anne December 9, 2009, 1:12 pm

      bookending is one of those stupidly simple things I never would have thought of myself and often use multiple times a day.

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