Back on Track

A month or so¬†after I posted about making time, which I really was doing, I stopped making time. Writing ground to a halt. Words stopped coming because I wasn’t at my chair, making¬†them up.

Work got busier and more stressful, which I didn’t think was possible. I was already working some nights and weekends (which for a 8-5 isn’t supposed to happen). And becoming mentally drained from account retention left me in a zombie-like state at night. In addition to work, I adopted a dog, which consumes extra time in the morning, evening, and before bed.

Excuses, excuses.

Only they’re not. An endless flow of life and life changes can keep you from writing (drawing, photography, or other creative endeavor, hobby, or important activity). For me, the biggest difference isn’t that there were more distractions or new ones. No, the biggest difference is how I dealt with them.

  • I started ignoring the pop-up reminders in my phone to write and even deleted the blocked time from my calendar.
  • I didn’t have my laptop out at lunch or after walking the dog.
  • I didn’t escape to the cafe to write at night because I didn’t want to leave the pooch alone any longer
  • And didn’t focus enough to write if I stayed home and watched TV, played games, or read a book.

In short, I stopped making time. Writing wasn’t my focus. I let everything else get in the way. Well, enough with excuses. I’m taking back writing time and going to make this happen.

  1. Blocked Time – to write after work 3 times a week in evenings, and 2/week on weekends. (With reminder pop ups)
  2. Weekly Goals – Nothing lofty to start with, merely 2000 words a week. When I hit this with regularity, I’ll bump it up.
  3. Accountability – Let my writer friends know my goals so I can feel accountable when I hit them or not. Posting my goals on my website might help too.
  4. Avoid Meta-writing – which means cut back on writing-related activities and actually crank out new words or revise old ones. Blogging, critiquing, researching, and other writing-related activities seem important, but I’m not looking to publish any of those.

And BIC, Butt In Chair, because words don’t write themselves.

Dave

I Don’t Have Time, I Make Time (redux)

(Originally posted on NewGuyDave LiveJournal May 28th, 2012)

Lately, the day job has left me with waxing and waning (mostly the latter) motivation and energy in the evenings. I can’t let that keep me from penning the next modest Canadian novel. If I let the day go, hoping to write, it won’t happen.

I used to tell people I didn’t wait for inspiration, quoting Peter DeVries, “I only write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9am.” Like I didn’t wait for inspiration, I shouldn’t wait for motivation. (snip)

Thus, I’m booking time in my schedule for writing (and exercise). It’s the only way to get them done. Mon/Wed/Fri nights are for the gym and friends, Tues/Thurs night and Sat/Sun AM are for writing.

How do you get your writing time in? What’s your plan? How do you follow up? Do you give yourself treats for writing?

Cheers, Dave