By Denise Miller Holmes, Director, Words for the Journey
I had an epiphany over the summer: I was tired of not finishing my projects, and I was lamenting my blogs that lay derelict along the roadside.
How could I change things? I saw two things that I could do immediately that would revive my writing and make sure I finished my projects. Here they are:
Make a Plan
As soon as I realized my problem, I made an inventory of all my writing projects and blogs. There are a lot. I also had to add writing lessons for my writers group –at least one a month.
Whew. The list looked daunting, but before I caved to feeling overwhelmed, I saw one bright dot on the horizon–I could make a schedule.
Okay, for some people that’s a no-brainer, but I had gotten out of the habit of scheduling my time, and was letting life take over. I felt like I was just putting out fires.
Books, short stories, and blogs do not write themselves. You must plan them.
In order to make yourself feel like you can breathe, make sure you make a schedule that allows you to accomplish your goals for that day. In other words, don’t over-pack your time. Give yourself realistic goals for each day.
In that vein, when you work your schedule, pay attention to what feels like too much. For instance, I found out that on several of my blogs, weekly blogging made me feel overextended, so I’ve reduced one blog to twice a month and one to once a month. The main blog I will write for weekly.
So feel free to test your plan, but once it’s right, stick to it like tar on a roof.
Write First Thing in the Morning!
I read an article over the weekend about what successful people do first thing. First of all, statistically, successful people get up early. It’s just a fact. The next thing they do is exercise. And the next thing they do is…work. They start right away tackling their projects.
Now here’s an important detail–what successful people don’t do when they first get up is check their emails or Facebook or Twitter. They delay those tasks and instead they work on their projects!
I see why this makes people successful. Those other things are time suckers that take away the time we can be writing. And yet, when I make sure I write first and delay emails/Facebook until later, I somehow get my writing done and all the emails and Facebook tasks as well.
Just Do It!
Both the above points together say one thing: make your writing a priority. If you don’t, it won’t happen. As writers, we all need to combat the mystical force of Resistance, sit our butts in our chair, and quote Captain Jean-Luc Picard when he said, “Make it so!”