A Lesson From Francis Coppola About When to Write

Francis Coppola, the great movie writer and director, was reportedly heard telling a group of students that he likes to write early in the morning before anyone has hurt his feelings.

Think about that for a second. There is so much truth in that one little tip that I’ve tried to abide by it since hearing it. In fact, I’m doing it right now. It’s 6 AM. My confidence is high. I’m typing with purpose, without questioning every word.

Because I know at some point today, someone will say something or I’ll do something that will hijack my brain. With a hijacked brain it’s difficult to be creative. I turn into what I call the Delete Monster, where I start trashing everything I’ve created up until that point in the day. It’s usually around 3 PM.

Post hearing about Francis Coppola, I have a rule now that I don’t delete anything after 1pm. I know my brain is fatigued by then or soon thereafter. I try to get all my writing done early.

Try it out. Write before you check social media and email. Before you turn on the radio or converse with anyone. I bet you’ll discover the words come easier and you’ll stave off the Delete Monster.