- Check e-mail for responses to submissions sent last week.
- Read a chapter from Be a Better Writer... Yesterday!
- Check e-mail. Again.
- Go get the mail. (Pretend this is not because you're hoping for a snail-mail response).
- Read the junk mail.
- Fill out the "send me more information" card for correspondence courses. Check "Private Investigator."
- Eat a sandwich in front of your computer screen, while casually checking e-mail.
- Plan National Book Award acceptance speech.
- Load the dishwasher (now you're getting desperate).
- Look up stuff on the internet about what other writers do instead of writing.
It's amazing how much time you can spend not writing, without even trying. Make a rule that you can either write, or not do anything at all. (No TV. No long baths. No reading New Scientist. Staring out of the window is okay.) Pretty soon, you start to write, because it's more interesting than staring vacantly out of the window. (I think I got it from a Daniel Pinkwater essay in Fish Whistle, and it's a wonderful concept.)
I don't know that I'll follow it, but I like it.