Writing Mantra: “Writing equals butt on chair” (*)

Scott Myers
2 min readJul 18, 2018

Makes sense… but what’s the asterisk for?

I seen this writing mantra associated with Oliver Stone:

“Writing equals butt on chair.” (*)

Seems simple enough, right? At some point, you have to plant your ass in a chair and write the damn pages.

However, you will notice this — (*) — I added to this particular saying. And that asterisk signifies this:

(*) = If you actually spend the time writing.

Let’s say it’s that time of day you set aside to write. You go to your office. Your study. The kitchen. Starbucks. Wherever. And you put your butt into a chair.

Good start.

Open your screenwriting software. Your story file. Set your fingers onto the keyboard, ready to pound out some pages…

Then you decide you will check out Facebook, just for a couple of minutes. And someone posted a link to “Underwater Dogs”. Click. And you see this:

Before you know it, you have spent 73 minutes in Clickhole Hell, downloaded dozens of cute puppy photos… and not written one page!

Hence: Writing equals butt on chair… if you actually spend the time writing.

Now I could just end this post here and… you know… be an asshole, attempting to guilt you into writing when your butt is on a chair. But that’s not me. I’m a nice guy.

So I’m going to give you the single most helpful tip I have about how to make your writing time actual writing time, and not pursuing pooch pictures on the Internet.

The Pomodoro.

Read it. Use it. Do it. When you click the Go button, you write. Period. And you write until it says, “Well done.”

So remember…

Writing equals butt on chair… if you actually spend the time writing.

For more writing mantras, go here.