Growing as a Writer: SEEfest Writer’s Lab & Accelerator

SEEfest logo

I was lucky enough to take part in several South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) programs this past year.
What is this and what does it entail? I’m glad you asked.

There are hundreds of film festivals around the globe. Many are showcases for independent films, others are venues to shop movies without distribution deals. There’s even a long running one in my backyard. But what most of these do not have is educational and development opportunities for up and coming writers. Enter SEEfest.

I applied to their Writer’s Lab back in Fall 2023.
The requirements:

  • At least one completed script (feature or tv)
  • An outline for the project you want to write (time was allowed for revisions after feedback on this)
  • A brief resume
  • 5 page sample from a completed script
  • A zoom interview

I appreciated all of this because it precludes true beginners who may just need practice, while ensuring we are moderately prepared and serious to write this script. I submitted a relatively fresh outline I had for an action/comedy tv pilot (which was an adaptation of a feature script I wrote that was wayyyy too long).

The long and short? It was amazing.
I have never been part of a writing group before. But in recent years I’ve come around to the idea that most things I write can’t get close to “done” without extensive perspective from others. And that’s what this provided. Split into American/European cohorts, we met every other week with deadlines for pages (and notes on everyone else’s writing) each time. It provided a great motivator to get your work done, reading experience on other first drafts, and invaluable feedback on our own pages.

Each of us in the American cohort completed our scripts. And for us tv folks, we even got a few revisions in as well.

This lead seamlessly into an intensive 2 week accelerator program. We met with writers, directors, lawyers and other industry vets. Gaining important knowledge and practicing for the big finale: pitching our idea to a team of producers.

Can you summarize your idea in 3 minutes? Without sounding like you’re reading it? With a good hook? That conveys the “why now”? With enough modern comps? That emphasizes repeatability (for tv)? With character motivation we can easily understand?

I’m a writer, not a salesman. But a screenwriter must be both. You have to get someone else as excited about your project as you are.
I think mine ended up timing out around 3:40. I could have (and should have) gone even longer. My script has a lot of “wait, how did they even get themselves into this situation” questions that were a fun tease for everybody who listened to my pitch (I think I gave it 10 times total).

The Writer’s Lab itself culminated in a showcase (as part of the film festival). The rules: Find a 3 page scene in your script with minimal action, 4 or fewer characters, and that accurately represents the tone of your piece. You’re then teamed with a director and you go through the process of casting, scoring, rehearsals, filming, etc. until time runs out and you go with what you have. I was paired with a great director who found the actors, producer and more as we went about making this work. If you’re interested in the final product, drop me a line.

I highly recommend the whole thing. Everyone was so supportive and the structure they crafted for the writer’s lab really worked. My biggest life lesson takeaway is that I can’t wait to get into another writer’s group. Having those deadlines and that additional perspective feels like an integral part of my writing process now. And I’m quite thankful to SEEfest and the people involved for opening my eyes.


Star Trek TNG: S2 – Elementary, Dear Data

(part of the Season Two Episode Guide)


Data is too good at solving Sherlock-esque mysteries, so Geordi makes a wish on a holodeck star and almost kills everyone.

Meanwhile Geordi was one elbow patch away from being a young college professor trying too hard.

Memory Hole:

Moriarty calling the arch was a genuine surprise. Along with the wonderfully sexist “Mister Computer” when he talks to the ship (that speaks back in a female voice, but whatever).

“Mister Computer, I would like 20lbs of cocaine. Oh, and for my prostitute companion to not have the clap.”

The Quote:

Why would you even suggest that?!

After Geordi suggests using a particle beam to destroy Moriarty and all the human flesh in the holodeck too (which includes the new doctor).

Wife’s Favorite Moment:

Moriarty’s request to keep existing.

“But seriously, if you turn off the holodeck, I’ll die. Can you maybe figure out how to save me between your risk free orgies?”

Wife’s Verdict:

“I hope I’m not just a hologram traveling on someone else’s spaceship.”

What’s this About?

The definition of life. It’s no coincidence that Data is the lead in this mystery. Himself struggling with the meaning of life and sentience. A theme we’ll encounter again later this season.

And let’s not forget that this starts the “you have to tell the computer exactly what you mean” otherwise it’ll create something that might destroy the ship trend that permeates the series.


Star Trek TNG: S2 – The Child

(part of the Season Two Episode Guide)


Immaculate conception! Facial hair! Racist doctor! Space Whoopi!

Memory Hole:

Pulaski starts in on her Data hatred right off the bat. She wears her bigotry on her sleeve. If Twitter were still around in the 24th century, she’d be trolling him pretty hard.

Probably, but still rude.

Ten Forward is a great set. They really needed a big open space for people to converge.
And since when does the Enterprise have a puppy room?!

“They need a lot of attention, but you can beam their poop into space, so there’s that.”

The Quote:


Tinkerbell never heard of affirmative consent.

Wife’s Favorite Moments:

Wes and Guinan have a heart to heart.
Troi saying goodbye to her son/alien.

“I’ll miss you. Even though you kept me up late with your incessant twinkling.”

Wife’s Verdict:

“Life began before conception!”

What’s this About?

Growing up, letting go, and making tough (unexpected choices). They spend a lot of time with Wesley’s B story about whether or not to stay on the Enterprise or go out into the world, cutting short Troi’s exploration of her unexpected child.

The writers were clearly still figuring things out, and giving Troi a baby opened up more possibilities for her character, who didn’t have much to do in season one. But don’t worry, that lesson will be forgotten shortly.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: Season 2 Episode Guide

Season Two!

A new doctor! Riker’s beard! Guinan! The introduction of the Borg!

That is definitely a moon backdrop, not something left over from Wil Wheaton’s prom.

TNG’s second season starts to pick up steam. With so many important introductions and two or three great episodes, the show really starts to hit its stride. It’s not perfect (the season ends in a clip show due to the writer’s strike), but it’s a strong lead into character arcs and storylines we’ll be following for the rest of the series.

What makes it required?
Character introductions, strong character development, intriguing science fiction concepts, etc.
Continuity (C) – All episodes marked as C are not necessarily great. Or maybe even good. But they are required to make sense of things, even if it’s for a payoff seasons later.
Silliness (S) – These episodes are ridiculous. But I’m looking forward to the “WTF just happened?” bonding time on the couch with my wife.

Season Two
Originally aired 1988-89
(all episode guides contain spoilers)

Where Silence Has Lease
Elementary, Dear Data – Watch
The Outrageous Okona
Loud as a Whisper
The Schizoid Man
Unnatural Selection
A Matter of Honor  – Watch
The Measure of a Man – Watch
The Dauphin – Watch (S)
Contagion – Watch
The Royale – Watch (S)
Time Squared – Watch
The Icarus Factor – Watch
Pen Pals  – Watch
Q Who – Watch
Samaritan Snare
Up the Long Ladder
The Emissary – Watch
Peak Performance – Watch
Shades of Gray
Final count – Watch 13, Skip 9

It’s a good plan. And you can follow along! As we watch each episode, I’ll post a brief entry with my scientific findings. Do I regret including an episode? Was it as bad/good/cheesy/erotic as I remember? What did the wife think of the whole thing? How often do they change uniform designs on this damned show anyway? Stay tuned.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – The Neutral Zone


Data saves some human relics of the 20th century while the Enterprise plays hide & seek with a Romulan ship.

Memory Hole:

Nobody gives a damn about the capsule except for Data. It ends up having three humans on board, but the rest of the crew treats it like a big inconvenience.

“Are we supposed to be the villains? Because these jumpsuits are giving off a strong ‘Bond Villain’ vibe here.”

Also, their story has nothing to do with the Romulans (the supposed A storyline). It’s like they had two half storylines and said “Fuck it. The 20th century dude can spin some wisdom at a key moment. Makes total sense.”

Sorry Romulans, this episode is now about 20th century rubes excited about their compound interest.

The Quote:

She’s a fucking necromancer.

-Fiancé about Doctor Crusher’s ability to bring the 3 capsule jockeys back to life.

Baller Bev
Seriously, they were all dead. Look how casually she treats this miracle. Bev is a baller.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Beverly’s casual miracle of bringing three people cryogenically frozen for 350 years back to life. NBD.

Fiancé’s Verdict:

The lesson from the B story: The focus of life is to improve one self, not collect wealth.

“Ok, if you don’t have a copy of the Wall Street Journal, I’ll take a USA Today. I can slum it.”

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Conspiracy


Federation bigwigs are behaving strangely, and only Picard, with the help of his Scooby gang, can unmask the evil doers.

Memory Hole:
(forgotten gems)

There’s so much:

Picard’s shiny hotel room sheets.

Standard in every 1980s Howard Johnson hotel.

Nobody ever beams down with cold/hot weather gear.

“So are these pajamas both insulating AND breathable?”

The final bad guy dies in a really really gruesome way.

I knew that all you can eat Olive Garden ravioli was a bad idea.

The Quote:

Right in the kidneys!

-The fiancé during one of the many fight sequences.

“Do you know if these grubs have eaten an organic diet? I’m trying to be paleo.”

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Admiral Roundhouse

He takes his vitamins (actual line of dialogue in this scene).

Fiancé’s Verdict:

They could have drawn out this conspiracy over even more episodes. It felt like a season finale.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Skin of Evil


A low budget Swamp Thing kills a member of the main cast and is a real jerk about it.

I’m definitely not just a seagull covered in crude oil and seaweed.

Memory Hole:

Yar bites it really early on in the episode. They use the drama of getting past those emotions to try to drive the remaining 30 minutes.

Also, how the hell did Tasha create HoloYar? Does everyone have one of these?

“I’ve created this scene from a Windows 98 desktop, to make Data feel more comfortable.”

The Quote:

Very good tin man.

The evil monster taunting Data. He even fucks with a blind man!

The creature is a schoolyard bully with bad skin.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Worf betting on Tasha in the upcoming Enterprise MMA competition.

Just don’t let Riker catch you in his “sad trombone” move.

Runner up: Troi getting a few good scenes trying to talk sense to the swamp creature.

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Yar was kind of annoying as portrayed, but her sexy playfulness will be missed.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Symbiosis


The crew gets embroiled in a property dispute between drug addled space hillbillies and aryan miami vice extras.

Space Don Johnson look pretty good for having died in Wrath of Khan.

Memory Hole:

They weren’t getting the best extras this season.

Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.

The Quote:

Drugs can make you feel good.

Yar giving Wes a 5 minute long “don’t do drugs” lecture.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Riker getting freeze tagged.

“Your nipples may tingle for a few weeks afterwards. You’re welcome.”

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Drugs are bad. Don’t do drugs kids.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Arsenal of Freedom


The Enterprise tracks some missing Federation crew down to Target Practice Planet. Crusher breaks a leg, Geordi takes control, and Picard has to sit through a presentation about a timeshare.

The episode far exceeds the standard phaser fire quotient.

Memory Hole:

The underutilization of Troi creeps in. She gives meaningful looks for like 10 minutes before she has a line. Some episodes she’s mysteriously “away at a conference”. She must have an awesome lanyard collection to go with her scarves.

Seriously you guys?

The Quote:

What’s the armament on the Lollipop?

Don’t fuck with the Candyland Crew.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

The cavern sequence with Picard and Crusher. Some of the best acting in the series so far.

Anyone have any Neosporin?

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Some good life lessons for being a good person/leader.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Heart of Glory


A klash of kultures as two klingons with K names make fun of Worf, scream to the heavens, and ask innocent questions about ship security protocols.

In a Klingon acapella group, there is only honor if you’re a baritone.

Memory Hole:

Seeing Geordi vision for the first time was fun. It didn’t actually fit into the episode at all, but it was entertaining time filler.

The Quote:

I’m dying, can you just leave me alone and not mess with my eyes?

Seriously. This is really unsettling.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moments:

Picard being distractingly interested in Geordi’s visor.

Geordi sees the world as one big scrambled porn shoot.

And Worf making new friends. And then killing them.

Fiancé’s Verdict:

The true battle is within.

Wait what?

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Coming of Age


The Enterprise gets a surprise white glove inspection while Wesley makes friends with a space bro that vapes.

“I can do 2 and a half Blues Traveler songs on my vape harmonica. Wanna hear?”

Memory Hole:

The episode should be titled “Everyone hates Remmick”. He turns the dickishness up to 11, which does not help him in his task to get to the bottom of “troubles on the Enterprise”.

Who me?

The Quote:

Acceptable or not, it is the truth.

Data lays down the law right in Remmick’s face.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Wesley going aggro.

“Fucking say that Gobots were better than Transformers one more god damned time!”

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Nice to see them as a family. And now she actually likes Picard for the first time.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Datalore


Data’s unstable twin brother has daddy issues, wants to kill everyone.

“Oh Data, you’re so murderable. I mean, adorable.”

Memory Hole:

Everyone on the ship is way too trusting. An evil version of the smartest and most powerful crew member is onboard? Let’s have Wesley follow him around to ensure he stays out of trouble.

Android foreplay.

The Quote:

The Westworld theme song just popped into my head.

When we’re in the laboratory down on the planet.

“Stop looking at my other ass Geordi.”

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

The crew asking, in front of Data, if his twin has “all the same parts”. Subtle guys.

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Why is Picard so caring about everyone but Wesley?

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Hide & Q

{Yes, we weren’t supposed to watch this one, but the fiancé saw it was a Q episode and demanded it be included.}


Q shows up to fuck with the crew, look fabulous in more costumes, and have a Shakespeare-off with Picard.

Memory Hole:

Our first real visit to Styrofoam Planet 1. It’s pretty bad.

Clouds cost extra.

The Quote:

A marshall of France? Ridiculous.

Picard is jealous of the high collar look though. Really goes with the shape of his head.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Q’s crazy punishment for losing yet another bet with Picard. This is why Picard isn’t invited to poker nights.

The power of Christ compels him?

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Fun because she likes Q. Although this one was extra silly. The Q episodes are self gratifying to the human species, pumping up our uniqueness in the absence of absolute power.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Justice


Space hippies love skimpy clothing, prancing, and the death penalty. And Wesley isn’t getting a football scholarship to Starfleet anytime soon.

A culture crippled by public displays of erections.

Memory Hole:

No really, these outfits must have scandalized my young brain. If this show existed in the days of TiVo/DVR, it would have been the most rewound and rewatched in slow motion.

It’s a well oiled society.

The Quote:

Why isn’t Data down there? He likes to fuck.

2nd place: “Oh my god” X 5 as we see what the entire planet is wearing.

“This is why you include ‘Dress Code’ in the invitation Debra.”

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Tasha is DTF, but also discovering info undercover-like.

“You really have to try the threesomes here Worf. Way better than on that slug planet.”

Fiancé’s Verdict:

Stay off the lawn meets the prime directive. Also, she finds Wesley kind of endearing.

Wes’ favorite holodeck program involves women’s gymnastics.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Where No One Has Gone Before


The Enterprise lets an asshole and an alien with dinosaur hands play around with their warpcore.

This guy is just lucky we don’t use QWERTY keyboards in this century.

Memory Hole:

Wes the fashion forward youth.

This is just the sweater version of Seinfeld’s pirate shirt, right?

The Quote:

The boy?

Everyone is super condescending to Wes, even though he’s had the right solution in roughly 100% of the episodes thus far.


I don’t know if I’d ever forgive Riker for interrupting a conversation with my dead mama.

Even Picard’s memories of his mother are classy as shit.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moments:

Tie between the 2nd galaxy they’re thrown to –

This is awesome. But let’s not launch a single probe.

And all the interactions between the Traveler and Wesley. It’s refreshing to have an adult not be a total dick to him and finally realize his potential.

Fiancé’s Verdict:

“Creative adventuring in space with friends!” She’s enjoying seeing the crew become more of a family.

Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – The Naked Now


The Enterprise crew gets hammered and behaves like what a 14 year old thinks being drunk is.

Memory Hole:

Geordi doesn’t want to give into the “wild things” that are popping into his head. I don’t remember him being a sexual creature at all, so this surprised me.

“Usually I get to the shoulders before they get creeped out.”

Also, how the hell is Riker immune for almost the entire episode? Does he have a base layer of bourbon and horniness at all times?

The Quote:

What the fuck was that noise?

I still can’t believe it. A close second is how he says “Beverly” when he enters the sick bay later.

A distant third is how, each time someone was infected, there was a harp-like sound effect.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Tasha’s outfit and putting the moves on a fully functional Data.

And Troi said a scarf wasn’t a shirt. Ha.

Fiancé’s Verdict:


Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: S1 – Encounter at Farpoint


Q, an all powerful being with the hubris of a trust fund real estate magnate, puts the crew (and humanity) on trial. They just have to solve a puzzle to prove they’re not the same murderous maniacs they were in the 21st century.

Memory Hole:

I could have sworn they get to Farpoint in the start of this episode. Nope. Q taunts them for half an hour before we even see the station.
All of these actors are still figuring out their characters, so I can forgive some of the overacting on display.

Also, still figuring out wardrobe.

The Quote:

Nice sweater.

The burlap sack look makes the panties drop.

With a close 2nd being “He just asked to fuck right now, right?” The fiancé wasn’t buying Riker’s innocent intentions when he asked Beverly “for a stroll”. Everything surrounding Riker in this episode is dripping with innuendo. From Troi’s looks of longing (with awkwardly soaring music), to an officer staring at his ass after helping him find the holodeck, it’s bonetown for number one.

Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:

Q and his transformations. A playful and creative adversary.

Fiancé’s Verdict:

“It’s Star Trek.” By which she means do-gooders in space. So it lives up to the expectations set by the original series.

Also, Picard is an awkward dick.

“Don’t let anyone know I hate children. I will be yelling at one in the next scene, so good luck with that.”


Movies & TV

Star Trek TNG: Season 1 Episode Guide

Full Disclosure: I’m a Star Trek nerd. Steeped in science fiction from birth (there was a Spock poster in the room), I’ve seen all of The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9), Enterprise, most of Voyager, and all of the movies before the reboot. My fiancé, however, had no such upbringing. Sure, she knows of Captain Picard through immersion in pop culture, but she never watched the shows*. But relationships are built on a foundation of communication, shared experiences, and smiling politely when they reveal a Huey Lewis tape was the first album they owned. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my love of The Next Generation so she can understand what molded me (for better or worse) during my formative years.

A 7 season long prog rock project.

Calling TNG’s first season spotty is generous. I was never going to convince her to plop down for 26 episodes of a show I haven’t watched since it premiered almost 30 years ago. I’m not expecting her to learn Klingon or beat Wil Wheaton at bar trivia night. I mean, this season doesn’t even have the sex appeal of Riker’s beard. So I did what many have done before me: narrowed down the episodes to what I thought was required based on my hazy recollection. Plus a little help from listening to a Star Trek Podcast (I told you I was a nerd. Stop acting surprised.).

What makes it required?
Character introductions, strong character development, intriguing science fiction concepts, etc. Some guides pare this season down to 5 episodes. I don’t think you can get to know these characters in 5 episodes. Especially in a first season that’s light on characterization and arcs.
Continuity (C) – All episodes marked as C are not necessarily great. Or maybe even good. But they are required to make sense of things, even if it’s for a payoff seasons later.
Silliness (S) – These episodes are ridiculous. But I’m looking forward to the “WTF just happened?” bonding time on the couch with my fiancé.

Season One
Originally aired 1987-88

Encounter at Farpoint – Watch
The Naked Now – Watch (S,C)
Code of Honor
The Last Outpost
Where No One Has Gone Before – Watch (C)
Lonely Among Us
Justice – Watch (S)
The Battle
Hide and Q*
The Big Goodbye
Data lore – Watch
Angel One
Too Short a Season
When the Bough Breaks
Home Soil
Coming of Age  – Watch
Heart of Glory – Watch
The Arsenal of Freedom – Watch
Symbiosis – Watch
Skin of Evil – Watch (C)
We’ll Always Have Paris
Conspiracy – Watch
The Neutral Zone – Watch
Final count – Watch 13 (Encounter at Farpoint is a 2 parter), Skip 13

It’s a good plan. And you can follow along! As we watch each episode, I’ll post a brief entry with my scientific findings. Do I regret including an episode? Was it as bad/good/cheesy/erotic as I remember? What did the fiancé think of the whole thing? How many times did Picard adjust his jumpsuit? Stay tuned.

*We already went through a similar experiment with Star Trek TOS and those 6 films. No, I didn’t make her watch The Final Frontier. I’m no monster.

Movies & TV

Star Wars & The History of 7th Installments in Film Franchises

Your movie franchise made it to the 7th installment. Congratulations! Good for you. Way to stick it to those pathetic trilogies. You gotta commit if you want staying power, amiright? But what should you expect? How have other 7th films done? You’ve come a long way, but now every other news story is about how it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype (or the original). And there’s no curve for nostalgia. To the history books!

My Arbitrary Criteria: No spinoffs.  The Alien movies are out because we’d have to include the Alien v Predator movies to get to 7. X-Men also doesn’t count, as two of the films were mostly Wolverine-only affairs. As much as I’d love to include Land Before Time (13?! films), we’re strictly live action for this list (which still includes muppets, strangely). No complete reboots (Sorry Batman). Also, English only (Sayonara Godzilla).

In chronological order:

Bond – Diamonds are Forever

Man, Bond gets all the cyber-babes.
Bond is so cool he can get a diamond and two women just by playing the claw game

9 years after the original (1962-1971)
IMDB Users – 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes – 65%

What was it?
Connery, Blofeld, a woman named Tiffany Case (Jewelry Handbag? Moxie Manpurse?), classic Bond. Also known as “Hey, isn’t that the one after George whatshisface was bond for like half a minute?” Not be confused with “The one where Sean Connery comes back, but he’s significantly older” (Never Say Never Again).

How’d it go?
Domestic Adjusted Gross: $43,819,500 – 18th in the series. Not bad considering there are 25 of these things (and the series will continue on long past we’re all dust). Adjust for ticket price and it’s actually #9 out of the bunch. Either way you cut it, it’s firmly a middle of the road bond film that people generally enjoy.

The Pink Panther – Curse of the Pink Panther

Haha, that cat is trying to murder you
Haha, that cat is trying to murder you

20 years after the original (1963-1983)
IMDB User Rating – 4.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes – 29%

What was it?
A film centered on trying to find your star would be an anomaly in any other franchise. But for The Pink Panther, this was actually the second such attempt. The previous year’s Trail of the Pink Panther pulled a similar stunt, but cut together the film with unused footage of Peter Sellers (who died in 1980). Curse’s plot revolves around another bungling detective following the trail of Inspector Clouseau. Which, knowing the star died 3 years prior, is actually a bit sad, now that I think about it. Thanks a lot Pink Panther.

How’d it go?

Domestic Adjusted Gross: $11,351,200 – 9th in the series (out of 10). Only Son of the Pink Panther did worse. The Inspector was rebooted into real-life cartoon Roberto Benigni, who couldn’t resist hamming it up so much that you can feel it IN THE POSTER.

"I'm a wild and crazy guy!"
“I’m a wild and crazy guy!”

The failure of that shrug led to the series being rebooted with Steve Martin in 2006. (more…)


365 Days of Writing

I’ve written every day for the past year, without fail. Not as an arbitrary challenge or as a conversation piece at parties, but to become a better writer. To establish a habit that is so ingrained in my being, that to not do it would feel unnatural, wrong.

Yeah, sorta like that.

The Habit

The most important part of establishing a habit is repetition. It’s not a habit if you’re not consistent. If you only do it once a week, it’s going to take a lot longer to cement itself (if it ever does). It’s got to be a routine, like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or yelling at your coffee machine to work faster.

I write first thing in the morning. I write at other times too, but this is the one I don’t miss (I even coach other people on it). I sacrifice 45-60 minutes of time I would have otherwise been sleeping to do this. So I have incentive to use my time well. I also try to make it easy on myself. When I walk into the living room in the morning, the computer is waiting for me, the tea kettle is full of water, and all I need to do is press a button and sit down to write. Preparing these small things the night before can make a big difference. Remove any small obstacles that might make you consider doing another task first. Don’t check your email. Don’t look at your snapchats. Don’t start your workday. Not yet. This comes first. (more…)