3 Things You Should Do in the Bathroom to Increase Creative Productivity

For all of those who who looking for dirty talk, this is not the blog for you. Plus, I’m pretty sure that you already know what to do in the bathroom. For everyone else, please keep reading!

If you are like me, you have certain ‘rituals’ you go through in the morning to get yourself going and get yourself ready to start writing. Sometimes, life, kids, pets, family, gardeners, etc, make doing that really very hard.

photo-4What I usually do in the morning is check on my daughter and then head into the kitchen where I start brewing my coffee. While that is going on, I will either listen to a podcast on self publishing, or writing to get myself into the framework of where I am going to be. If I don’t do that, I will usually listen to film scores while I make my coffee (and maybe breakfast) and let my mind run through whatever world I am going to tackle that day. I don’t listen to music with lyrics because sometimes, if I hear a word or a any series of words, my mind could take that line and drastically end up somewhere much different for the majority of the day.

The question then comes to this… If you get derailed or have what some people call ‘writer’s block’, what do you do?

That’s when I head into the other office. The small office. The one where no one can will (or at least should) never come in and bother you.



So here are three things that I do when in the bathroom.

#1 – This is when you first get up. You do your morning business. I work from home so I usually don’t need to get all dressed up. toothSome people say that if you get up and ready like your going out somewhere, you will get more done even if you stay home and also you will feel better about yourself while you do it. I believe this is true to an extent. Have there been days when I hit the keyboard before the shower? Of course! Did I get stuff done and feel good about it? Of course! But I will say, I have had some down days. For the life of me though, I can’t remember any down days though that started with me waking up and getting ready.

So what do you so then? You get up and get ready. Even if you are just washing your face, brushing your teeth and hair, putting on deodorant and for my more manly readers, your beard oil. While you do this, this is a really good time to do a couple different things. You can either listen to a motivating podcast. Do some sort of daily affirmations in the mirror. Yes I know its hard to talk with toothpaste in your mouth. You could even record yourself with a voice memo on your phone listing plot points you should hit, new ideas you have about characters or even list out things you dreamt about that you could put into what your working on. I’m a huge believer of dreams as inspiration.

#2 – It happens to all of us. Usually at least once a day. Some of us, more, much more. You will have to go take a number 2. I just noticed that this is also number 2. It’s kismet. So now you have to believe it.

toiletIf you are like me, you probably have some sort of place near the toilet where you have books or magazines or at least something to read. Now for those of you that think the bathroom is the worst place ever to keep paperback products because of the moisture in the air and the humidity, I’m gonna tell you to shut it. Not to be a meanie, but in today’s world I would much rather read a book while on the can then flipping through my kindle on my iPad.

Anyway, if you do have books there, please don’t keep that book there that your friend let you borrow that you are just not interested in. I know you have it there because you think, at least you will be able to read a couple pages a day here and there in case they ask how far you got in it. What I am challenging you to do is to get the most inspirational works that you have and keep those there. You need to take that time to give your brain a break. Give it a treat for working so hard at the computer! The last thing you want to do to it is make it work by reading something you don’t want to read while you are relieving your bowels.

For instance, I have Breakfast of Champions, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Naked Lunch in my bathroom. I can grab one of those and open it up to any page and just read a little bit and feel recharged. Also, coffee table books of your favorite artists are nice to have in there too. Anything that makes you want to create. That’s what should be in the toilet with you.

You have no idea how many of my best ideas have come from those moments on the can. And yes, you can read your iPad or iPhone on the toilet if you wish. Just stay off of social networks and games.

#3 – This one is one of my favorites. Whenever I hit a wall, or I can’t figure out what happens next, whether I’m plotting or pantsing, if I hit that wall, or writer’s block as some call it, I jump in the shower.

I just stand there under hot water and let it completely cover me. I then watch whatever scene I’m working on like its a movie. I play it out in my head and then I do it again from different angles. The story usually at that point writes itself.

Sometimes, if I don’t like something, like let’s say I think in Black Star Canyon, that Sue’s action from her apartment to her car is boring, I’ll jump in the shower and just let the water cover me. I’ll walk with Sue through her apartment and down the hallway, in the elevator, then down to the parking garage. I’ll look around and try to find things since she is so focused on just getting her keys out and getting in her car. Then, I’ll find something like a blue barrette, and let her see it. Maybe it will stir up some memories of her childhood that will help her crack the case. Maybe it will belong to one of Eric’s friends and Sue will either try to hide it and keep it for herself or it will give her an excuse to ‘run into’ her son. Now, something has happened on that boring trek that I probably would’ve missed if it weren’t for the shower.

Once that part is done. I like to let my brain go. Sometimes I’ll take my phone in the shower with me in a ziplock bag and either useshower the notepad or Voice Memos. I’ll shout out ideas. Sometimes, I come up with lyrics in the shower and use voice memos for that too. Now I know I just blew a ton of your minds telling you that you can take your smart phone in the shower without ruining it, but try not to perv out too hard. You got writing to do!

Could it be me being a pieces likes being under the water to make my brain work? Maybe. If you are a fire sign I guess you should light yourself on fire. (LAME. For anyone who wants to play that game with me, let’s throw down.)

After that, I’ll sometimes get caught up with my podcasts. Usually the ones that focus on the business of writing. I can listen to the fun, brain candy ones after business hours. But don’t spend too much time in there, you’ll get super tired if stay in a hot shower all day. You still need to get out and write!

As much as Johnny, Sean and Dave at Self Publishing Podcast, Simon at Rocking Self Publishing, and Jim and Bryan at the Sell More Books Show would like to know that I’m in my birthday suit, sudsing up my parts while I’m listening to them talk, don’t make this the place where you listen to your podcasts because you will want to write down notes usually and switching from page to page with soap all over your hands could turn into a mess, or maybe a dropped phone. Remember, the bag only keeps the water off of it.

There are other things you can do to help you in being productive during super mundane times. Just keep looking for ways to multitask.

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Next time, I will tell you about something SUPER personal that most of you would cringe at. :)

Keep it Creepy!

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