The Fats Waller Secret

By: Kenneth W. Davis

Daphne Gray-Grant has published another great issue of her e-mail newsletter, Power Writing. This time she recommends what she calls the Fats Waller Secret, named for Waller’s big hit, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.” She explains that as she finishes work each day, she writes a letter to herself to read the next morning:

In my letter to myself, I outline the specific writing tasks I need to do the next day. I might give myself instructions such as, “create a mindmap about XYZ.” Or I might write, “perhaps a metaphor about “xx” would work in here.” With experience, I also discovered that it’s sometimes best to have a spectacularly easy task to begin my writing day, so, from time to time, I would assign myself the job of producing a simple sidebar or a list of bullets. The key thing is, I write these instructions to myself after a time of being thoroughly immersed in the project. Thus, when I come back to it, the letter brings me fully up to speed without wasting any time.

Source: Manage Your Writing