Have you ever set aside a whole day, or scheduled a full morning to write, only to find that somehow, the whole time gets wasted? Ouch.
To feel it waste away is excruciating. Much of my life is spent wrestling with the hours and minutes hands of the clock. When it’s time for me to go to my yoga class, it always seems like I cannot spare the time – until I get there.
Create good memories
And that is the secret. I go to my yoga class because I love it. To make the most of your writing time, you must create a series of good memories. The question is how.
Yoga is a system. We follow ancient practices. All writers develop a system to get the words onto the page, to refine them and publish them. Whatever it is, create your system. Start with a stretch, put on some music. Put on a special cloak. Follow a practice.
Work up to a big session
Week to week, my yoga sessions are just an hour long. Then I go to a retreat for several days. It’s the same with writing. Schedule small bursts of time and set yourself the challenge to get something done – some ideas, titles, research, notes. Then set aside a big chunk of time.
Don’t wait for the right headspace
Allocate writing time and write. If you do arrive at your allocated writing time and cannot create, do some of the ‘low-tide’ work. That is an idea I picked up from authors Julie and Jeff Crabtree, and it’s helpful. Writing is ‘high-tide’ work; it needs your brain to be ‘on’. Editing is a ‘low-tide’ activity – like cleaning. You can do it without using too much energy.
Set ‘personal bests’
How fast can you write a blog or a chapter of your book? If you have set aside a big chunk of time, break it into several slots. Set a goal and imagine a big mean person with a stick will hit you if you don’t get it done. (Just kidding!)
There’s nothing like a writing bee. By which, I mean getting together with fellow bloggers and book writers to create together. The gentle clatter of everyone’s keyboards, the occasional sigh or shout of Eureka turns a writing session into a companionable, enjoyable time.
Go forth, oh writers. And do not waste your precious writing time.