Update From the Seinfeld Chain

The second week on the Seinfeld Chain was much harder that the first one. Writing every day still hasn’t become a habit for me. I have struggled with my writing all week and the culmination of that struggle was yesterday.

I had spent a completely sleepless night (as people probably noticed from the many posts and comments I had been leaving on this blog all night long). As a result, on the next day I was feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. The weather is changing, too, so I had a headache and felt completely exhausted.

So I realized that I would not be able to do any writing. When this happens, I turn to my secret weapon, a.k.a. Jonathan’s website Stupid Motivational Tricks. It is absolutely uncanny but Jonathan somehow always posts articles that I need to read at every given moment. Yesterday, he shared how difficultit was for him to stay on the Seinfeld Chain and shared the following important insight:

Since the power is in the continuity, not in the efficacy of any one day’s writing, I try to do something on the project every day, even when exhausted and spent like today. The writing got done, that is the important thing, not how I feel.

I found this really helpful. I had no energy or brain power to generate any important new ideas for my article but, still, there is always some work that can be done even when one feels exhausted.

I opened my article and decided that today I would work on polishing the writing, organizing the notes, and fleshing out some paragraphs that needed it. This was not a long writing session but at the end of it I discovered that I now had one new page of writing that somehow magically added itself to my text.

It makes me feel really good to know that I managed to get over myself and continued on the Seinfeld Chain.

13 thoughts on “Update From the Seinfeld Chain”

  1. I had to do three hours of tense divorce meditation in the morning, then drive back to Kansas 5 hours through winter weather conditions. I was sure that I would break my chain today, but after seeing your post, I decided that there was no way I was going to let the upstart Clarissa have a longer chain than I do. So here I am at 8:30 beginning to work on my book.

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  2. I need to start a chain. I teach 3-4 days a week though. It makes it hard. I know that it’s an excuse though. I just need to find a way to balance everything. What do you do on your teaching days? How do you balance everything?

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    1. It doesn’t have to be a lot. You can start very slow. My suggestion for those who want to get into the practice of writing on a daily basis is: for one week open your document every day and spend 15 minutes with it. Just 15 minutes, that’s all. But every day. Then, next week, go to 20 minutes a day. Then, to 30.

      On teaching days, it doesn’t have to be a major writing session. There are always minor things one can do with a document for an hour or 90 minutes. But it does build the text gradually and it allows one to maintain continuity.

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  3. A chain…

    I am happy that the Seinfeld chain work for you.

    I will be honest with you, however. I admire, I am jealous of, I fear, and I know I could not bear what I would call your calvinist ethics of writing habit.

    But my reservation about a writing chain explains why you have 10+ publications and I have 2 and a half!

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