Leave a Summary for Yourself

A large percentage of your success as a writer depends on one variable: How long does it take you to get into a flow state? 

Every writing process begins at the bottom of the Mountain of Agony. Depending on the day, it can take minutes or hours to traverse it. The climb is grueling because you can’t gain momentum until you reload the essay’s context into your brain and decide what you need to do next. In procrastination, you check Twitter, then your texts, then email. The more uncertain you are about what to do, the harder the climb will be and the longer it‘ll take to find your flow state on the Skyway of Satisfaction. 

On the Skyway of Satisfaction, you find effortless focus. As your ideas sing in glorious harmony, your fingers dance across the keyboard.

 


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The Skyway of Satisfaction ends when you stop writing for the day. There, you’ll find a parking lot. Unfortunately, most writers get right in their cars and drive away. But the great ones capture the view. They take three minutes to pen a 100-word note at the top of their page. They write about three things: where they’re stuck, what they plan to achieve next time, and what they were thinking about when they stopped writing. They do it right at the end of their working session, when their ideas are freshest. 

The note can be simple. For example, here’s what I captured from a recent essay. 

 


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As a writer, your per-minute productivity hinges on how fast you can ascend to the Skyway of Satisfaction. As simple as it is, capturing the view from the top is a fast-pass through the Mountain of Agony and onto the Skyway of Satisfaction the next time you write.


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