Planning this personal time for just you and your pen is very important. Schedule a block of time daily, or at least weekly, for writing.
- Note: I suggest literally scheduling BLOCKS of time. It is very difficult to write on a deadline. For example, if I had only thirty minutes to write, I’d worry about running out of time the whole time! Solution: schedule large blocks – at least 3 hours per session, but preferably 6 to 8 hours.
Scheduling the appointed writing time is one thing, but sitting down and getting some writing done is another. Sometimes there are still obstacles keeping us from writing. Remember to turn off distractions – mobile device, email, instant messaging, electronics, everything. Allow yourself to be engulfed in your book’s world, because keeping the outside world out lets you escape more easily, and stay escaped in imagination and inspiration.
There might be other issues during our writing time. We won’t always feel in the “mood” to write. If this happens try the following to help get the juices flowing:
- Re-read scenes or chapters from the previous day’s writing. This will often inspire how the story should continue.
- Reference reading. Reading a book in a similar genre can help connect the dots and jump-start the writing mood.
- Observe your surroundings. If you are in a library or coffee shop take a moment to observe the people around you. Ask yourself questions about the strangers, and compare them with characters in your book.
- Ask tough questions about each scene you’ve written. “Is this scene necessary?” and so on.
- Outline a new chapter, a new location, or re-visit the original skeleton we talked about in previous posts.
If none of the above work for you, keep trying. Stay in your writing spot – brainstorm about your writing, ask questions and make comparisons. As long as you’re working on the book in some way you are using the scheduled time wisely.
Counter the urge to change your scheduled time. Counter the urge to procrastinate and veer off to do other activities. Especially if you think walking away will get you in the mood later. Let’s face it, the chances of returning to writing once you’ve stepped away from that precious time is slim. There is always something eager to soak you up. 😉
Your time to write is yours. It is valuable. Seize it and treasure the freedom in writing. How do you schedule your time? Any other tips and tricks you’d love to share?