Monday, January 26, 2015

Make The Most Of Your Writing Time

We all live busy lives. We have work, kids, hobbies, the house, church activities and so forth. But then, you now decide you want to be a writer and you have just taken on another full time career. Somehow, somewhere, you have to eek out another block of time in your schedule. This is tough. But, even if you have that time carved out, you have to make the most of it. There is simply nothing worse than having that block of time slip by and then to realize you really got nothing done.

There are a few things, however, you can do to maximize your writing time. These are only a few, and I would certainly love to hear from some of you to know what you do.

BE PREPARED This one is simple. When you sit down to work, have everything you need right there. All of the research is stacked up, your coffee, tea or water ready, you snack. We're talking everything here. Remember, every time you get up, that is going to force you to lose that train of thought.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS When we talk about distractions, we are talking about all distractions. Turn the cell phone off, turn off social media, close your email. The only thing in front of you should be your manuscript. You can take this even further by making sure the family knows you are in your writing time and to not be disturbed.

HAVE A PLAN Before you write, create a to do list. Make some very clear decisions of what needs to happen during that period of time. Yes, I am sorry to say this, but it is plotting. You have to know where you are going. Just ambling through your writing will not only create some pretty weak writing, but will also create more work for you late during the revision phase.

BE COMFORTABLE Since you have eliminated all of your distractions, it doesn't matter what you look like. Wear your comfy sweats. Heck, if you want to, write naked if that makes you happy. This is not a time to worry about what other people think.

CREATE A TIME SCHEDULE Know going in where you need to be at various places in your writing. At the same time, know exactly when you are going to stop. Telling your brain you have a deadline will keep it focused. Along the same line, telling your brain you have that deadline will eliminate that uncertainty of "how much more do I have to do"/

RELAX Look, if you don't make your goal, who cares? You'll get there. We know you will have good days and bad days. Just don't panic and keep writing.

What else do you do? Let us know today!

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