Days 7 - 9 are a bit of a blur of day job stresses, motherhood and family responsibility, Holiday madness and a few good days of work on my WIP (woohoo!) So we’re going to just chalk that up to life, which brings up the topic for today’s post.
How do you as a writer deal with stresses of life and make time to return to your passion?
For me, writing is an escape. I leave the outside world behind, the stresses, the pressures, the expectations, and for the time that I’m writing, it’s just me and the page. It’s something I do for me. The time I spend writing is sometimes the only time I feel like me, the me I remember being before becoming a mother, before becoming a wife, before becoming a middle-aged adult. Writing to me was a way to reconnect with my younger self, the self I still feel like I am in my heart. And so, I safeguard my writing time, and if you’re struggling to do the same, perhaps some of my safeguards can help you too!
1. First, you need to develop your writing habit. Most up and coming writers work a day job until they make it as a writer (this writer included). Most of us have families, other hobbies, responsibilities, whatever it may be, work with what you have. If you have thirty minutes in the morning before anyone else in the house wakes up, take that time to write. If it is that last hour of your day when the house is finally quiet, use your time wisely. It’s a commitment. It’s not always going to be fun. You’re going to be tired sometimes, most times, but if you get up, day after day and do what you need to do, day after day, the habit will take over and soon it will become second nature.
2. Set up your writing space. This is always so much fun! Make it all about you and the things you love and the goals you want to set for yourself.
3. Keep a writer’s notebook nearby. This isn’t the writer's notebook for your current WIP, this is more of a journaling notebook or a book to just jot down random thoughts where you can just be silly and not worry about the particulars we all get bogged down with.
4. Put the phone in a drawer, turn the television off, close the door, turn the internet off, and just write. Get rid of your distractions. It’s all too easy today to find something to distraction you from writing, so by removing those distractions from the equation and you have now other option but to write!!!
5. Get rid of the excuses! There’s a million reasons not to write, and I’m sure you use maybe a dozen of them on a daily basis (myself included) Self-sabotaging!!! No one is going to write the story you’re working on, and no one can. So you have no choice but to write it!
6. Create a schedule for your writing. This goes back to #1, building your writing habit. You know what your schedule is, for the most part, from week to week. Set aside time every day, work it into your schedule just like a doctor’s appointment or a girl’s night out. Your writing time is just as important (or at least it should be!)
7. Set a writing goal. Writing a novel can be a taunting task. Let’s say you’re writing in a genre where your target finally word count is around 80,000. That’s a lot of words, when you look at the whole. 80,000 words broken down over 3 months or 90 days is roughly 890 words per day. That’s completely doable!!! This post will most likely end up between 700 and 750 words. So follow these steps and make time to write 890 words per day. Remember – they don’t have to be great words, they don’t even really have to be good words. They just have to be words. you can edit bad words, and make them great in the second and third draft. You can’t edit a blank page.