Text of the day

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The text of the day is the foundation for my working day. Creating this document is the first thing I do at the beginning of the day. In this document I usually write half a page or more - sometimes just for a quarter of an hour, it varies. During the course of the day the text of the day is kept open in a window in the background. This enables me to go back and write some more if I need to. Or even better, get text for whatever project I am working on. The text of the day works similarly to the oil tank of an engine. There is always some extra oil available to make sure the engine is properly lubricated and can run with the least possible resistance. Conversely can the tank contain extra oil if that is the need. The text of the day keeps the writing day lubricated.

But one thing is how something works another is what it contains.

The morning writing
When I begin the day by writing on the text of the day there typically is no fixed subject. The first paragraph can be about my sleep or what I want out of the day. If I was a person that could remember my dreams I would probably write about them. But I cannot therefore I do not. The writing session after the first couple of paragraphs often yields something. This then becomes the active subject for the writing in later paragraphs. It still is unstructured and loose. Sentences may be broken. A paragraph points in some direction without going far in any direction. Later paragraphs take on the subjects of the earlier paragraphs in a more systematic and focused manner. Especially if the day has been set aside exclusively for writing.

That is the everyday morning writing. The quality of the writing increases in quality and quantity if it is done every day. It has to be a part of the daily routine. The reward is not late in coming. With a little practice and persistence the text pours out like it was an oil well. At one point in time I wrote about fifty pages a week only counting the morning writing. And the texts were of a good quality too.

Fifty pages a week seems like a lot of effort. Which it is! The text only becomes relevant when it is read. If you just write and save without reading it then why bother? You would get a comparable effect if you sat and stared out of the window for ten minutes every morning. So, the morning writings must be read through. My practice is to read the morning writing of today and yesterday after I finish writing. In this way is it easy to discover the gold within. And discovered gold can be further processed.

On the other hand there are (or can be) periods where you do not think you discover any gold. In my experience this means that it is time to try something new and get new experiences. Sometimes the cause is that the point you are trying to get at is very complex. Well, in this case the more text about it the greater are the chances that you get it thoroughly covered. But when the text of today pretty much looks like the text of yesterday and the day before then it is time to experience something new. It may be enough to take a walk in the park. Read a new book. Sometimes a trip is the thing to do.

The main points of morning writing are:

1) The more often you write the better quality and greater quantity you get.

2) Going through the text reveals the gold i.e. the good ideas.

3) The morning writing can help you realize that you need fresh inspiration.

Throughout the Day
The text of the day is in a window in the background throughout the day. This enables me easily to find text and to insert into the current document. If it is a larger project there are often more several texts of the day open in the background. That is the way the gold finds its way into my texts.

Writing is not always a disciplined process. Sometimes new ideas occur that do not fit into the current document. These ideas are still worth preserving so they can be dealt with later. In this case my procedure is to append the new idea to the bottom of the text of the day. This has the advantage that I can concentrate on the current text without having to worry that I might forget the new idea. This helps me to better concentrate on the current text and the current subject.

In some cases a paragraph is so complicated that I cannot really see where it is heading or what the implications are. When this happens I move to the text of the day and begin to write draft paragraphs. They are never deleted however bad or poorly written. Rather, when the text gets stuck, I begin a new paragraph below. After a number of tries I get it right. Maybe I do not. The important thing to do is to evaluate and compare the paragraphs. The evaluation allows me to see if the subject for the paragraph is too wide and it actually should be more than one paragraph. It can also reveal if I lack the knowledge to finish the paragraph. As a final touch I never delete any of the drafts. This can help in the quality assurance process of the writing because reading back can reveal if something was left out.

The main points throughout the day are:

1) The text of the day comprises a catalogue of ideas to cut from.

2) New ideas irrelevant in the current context can be stored for later evaluation.

3) Discarded ideas and drafts saved in the text of the day can be reviewed in a quality assurance process.

Summary
The text of the day is a tool that can help make the process of writing more efficient. This efficiency comes from writing daily and as much as possible. The result is a repository of text that can be pasted into working documents.

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