How do you keep yourself writing?

OK, so I have a serious question for all of you writers. I don’t do well with “structure.” If I decide that I need to write every day starting at 11 a.m., I will literally never start writing at 11 a.m.. If I decide that I need to leave the house every day in order to write in a coffee shop, then chances are I won’t be able to write in coffee shops. And last week, when I committed to spending the week working on my story, to make a great push to get it to the next turning point… I literally couldn’t touch the story all week. My brain says, “Aaaahh! Crazy people* making unreasonable demands on my time for absolutely no good reason, must turn into a floppy blob on the couch!”

The positive side was that I wrote a million and a half blog posts, and I did tons of laundry, and I made tons of food. But … I didn’t write story at all. And if I ever want to reach The End, as one does, then I need to keep writing. Obviously that level of commitment was too much “structure” for me, where structure is defined as a box that I must fit within. I’m trying to learn to redefine “structure” to mean “useful tool that keeps me heading towards my goal” of writing a lot and reaching the next turning point in my story.

So help me out: What “tools” or “structures” do you use to keep yourself writing and making progress? Do you have any “tricks”? What gets your butt in the chair?


* Just for the record, the crazy people in this instance were me. Yes, even my own brain thinks I’m a crazy unreasonable person. Sigh.

2013-2019 Meeting Place – IHOP on Stevens Creek

This IHOP has closed, so I’ve altered this post to avoid confusion. For our current meeting place, see sidebar.
From October 8, 2013 to March 2019, we met at
IHOP Restaurant
5403 Stevens Creek Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 996-3393
We meet every Tuesday except the first Tuesday of the month. We begin writing at 7:00 pm, so try to arrive a little earlier so you can get settled. Hope to see you soon!
New and prospective members: We welcome all writing. Work on your latest writing project in the company of fellow writers. Members write in all different forms and genres, so come to share and learn! Please bring pen and paper or whatever you use to write. You do not need to bring completed work–just show up!
Tips for IHOP:
  1. Wear layers. The restaurant is often quite cold.
  2. Order and pay at the counter when you first arrive. It is okay to order something small, such as a drink, but please do support our host by buying something. The staff has been very accommodating and tries not to disturb us as we write. Ordering and paying when we first enter means they do not have to interrupt the group.
  3. Where we usually sit: After you enter the restaurant, walk to your right and go all the way to the back.
  4. If it is a financial burden for you to buy something every time, please contact Keiko and we will figure out a solution.