check last Wednesday's post
and to email me.
Ready. Set. Write!
No, no. You don't understand. First I must have coffee. And check email.
No, no. You don't understand. First I have to do laundry and run the vacuum.
No, no. You don't understand. First I have to feed the baby.
Okay, maybe I'll let you have that one :)
But the others fall into the category of excuses and procrastination. Yes, they do. Don't argue. I know because I've used all of them. And probably some you haven't come up with yet. Writers brains can get extremely creative.
We've talked about putting writing first. This post is about structuring your life, activities, and time so that writing has its time in your daily and/or weekly schedule.
We're all so busy that two of us could keep busy most days. If we had a clone, I know I have days where my clone would need a clone and still some things wouldn't get done. We live in busy times and are expected to cram every minute full.
I'm probably more guilty of over-scheduling than anyone. My philosophy is to put it on the schedule because if it isn't there, it definitely won't get done. Then I prioritize the schedule. Things at the bottom eventually get to the top.
Live-In Handyman told me the other day that I should never have more than seven items on my daily list. I tried not to laugh in his face. Really I did. Bless his heart, he doesn't have a clue.
Sorry about the little detour. Moving along . . .
What I'm talking about is this: When it's time to write, WRITE. Nothing else. Nothing. You write.
If the only time you can write is in spurts here and there, don't spend those precious minutes thinking about what you want to say next. Leave yourself notes so when you have the next spurt and open your manuscript, you're ready to write immediately.
Or maybe you write during your quiet time, late or early. The same rule applies. Writing time is writing time. It's not news time (who me?), Facebook or Twitter time, or anything else. You write.
Or maybe you schedule morning and afternoon writing times. Those hours may move all around or end up together in the middle of the day. But during those hours, you write.
I write for a block of time. During that time, if I hit a wall or need to look something up, I will take a break or look it up. On that break I set a timer for five minutes. I get my mind totally away from the problem. I may check email or visit a blog. When the timer goes off, I return to the manuscript. Most times, my subconscious has figured out what to do. If not, I write SOMETHING, even if it says 'FIX THIS' in red after what I wrote.
If you make yourself write during these times, whenever and wherever they are, for a month, the process will become automatic. It won't be easy at first, but it quickly gets easier. By the end of the month, at writing time, you will sit down and write because your mind will go straight to the manuscript. Butt in chair, mind on manuscript.
One month. And you'll have built a new writing habit that takes advantage of every minute you have.
Now ... go write :)