As you may know, I spend my days as a lawyer. Despite all the articles about how going to law school is waste of time and money;  I personally don’t think it was a complete waste. For one thing, it taught me how to get things done. 10 Tips to Get Things Done (for Writers)

Being a lawyer has taught me that discipline. So instead of blogging to you writer to writer, today I’m posting from my lawyer side.

Ten Tips to Get Things Done from a Lawyer to a Writer

  1. Just because you have completed a first draft does not mean you are done.  Edit, revise, review, scrutinize.
  2. Create a schedule with small achievable goals and stick to it.  Be sure to include fun on the schedule.  But stick to it.
  3. Don’t pull all-nighters.  And certainly do not PLAN to pull an all-nighter.  All it does is take you out the next day and mess up your entire sleep, digestive, and other systems.  It’s not worth it!
  4. Pay limited attention to the practices of your peers with the same goal as you (whether to complete a novel, find an agent or complete a blog post).  It’s useful to see what is or is not working for others, but you’ll never have the whole story.  You don’t where they started or what else they have on their plate.  Just re-read tip number two and keep it moving.
  5. When stressed, alcohol (despite its relaxation effects) is a bad choice.  This is because it will make you fall asleep, meaning you will cease to make any progress.
  6. If you find yourself reading the same line over and over again for fifteen minutes or more, stop what you’re doing and go to the gym (or for a run, or put in your yoga video).
  7. Food is a distraction.  You think you can eat and work, but you really can’t (I’m not saying that I don’t continue to try, but that’s probably because I’m looking for a distraction).
  8. Try to remember why you are working so hard.  There must be a reason- use that to drive you.  If you don’t have a reason then maybe you should be devoting you energy to something else.
  9. Do not cancel plans with friends or neglect family.  This is crucial.  What’s the point of achieving your goal if you no one to share it with?
  10. Facebook is a distraction. If you truly want to complete something, do not log onto Facebook.  Or at least force yourself to work for an hour before you do.  If that’s too difficult, start with 15 minutes and then work your way up.

What tips do you have to help writers get things done? Please share them in the comments.


Take fifteen minutes to start something that you’ve been putting off lately (a novel, a query letter, an article- anything!).  Share in the comments section below!

Monica M. Clark
Monica M. Clark

Monica is a lawyer trying to knock out her first novel. She lives in D.C. but is still a New Yorker. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter (@monicamclark).