Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jerry Seinfeld's "Don't Break the Chain"

I downloaded this pdf file via the Writer's Store although I had to go through the motions of "purchasing" it (probably so they can collect information about me.) Technically, you can create it yourself easily in any page layout program or maybe even Word.


It's based on a productivity idea of Jerry Seinfeld's. Here's the blurb from the Writer's Store:


Years ago, when software developer Brad Isaac was performing stand-up at open mic nights, he received his best advice ever from the already-famous comedian.

Seinfeld explained his method for success: each January, he hangs a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall and, for every day he wrote new material, he had the exquisite pleasure that can only come from drawing a big red "X" over that day.

Drawing those Xs got to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he began to create a chain of red Xs.

The idea was to never break that chain.

Not only does this approach program the body and mind to sit down and write [or any other creative activity] daily – it also motivates you to continue that beautiful string of big, red Xs. If you don't write/draw, etc. one day, you don't get to draw the X.

It doesn't particularly matter what you write/draw, etc.. It can be anything, as long as you're actively and routinely pushing yourself.

The calendar pdf download is simply boxes numbered 1-365. I decided to use green check marks instead of red X's, it just feels friendlier. I might also use red X's to indicate the days I don't accomplish any work.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to do this for just the film, for a combination of the film and drawing practice, or separate ones for the film and drawing practice. When I decide, I'll post them so you can see the progress.

2 comments:

  1. wow that sounds like fun i have a wall calendar in my art studio that i always x out on at the end of a day , but that was symbolic for "yes the weekend is almost here"
    but starting this week Ill use a blue marker(my fav. color) and will "x Out" the days that i do a drawing or writing Usually when i write it leads to me drawing even if its just some sketches

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  2. Kay,

    I have the same, a general wall calendar that I was marking down the days. But I like the idea of doing it for my projects. And like you said, even if you do a few sketches every day, it will add up to something positive eventually. Keep those X's coming!

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