If you really want to be a writer, you
can’t let your busy life be an excuse.
I know it’s not easy juggling a day job,
young children, travel, shopping, cooking, social fun with friends and… writing.
It’s very easy to use any of the above
as an excuse to prevent you from actually writing.
So, let’s cut through the maze and look at 6
easy tips that will keep you on track to complete your writing project and make
your writing fit comfortably into your lifestyle.
1: Quarantine your writing time.
It’s very easy to say “I’ve just got no
time to write!” We all have busy lives. Unless you’re Stephen King or JK
Rowling, few of us have the luxury to devote our lives to writing.
But the simple plain truth is you have to
find that time. Every single day.
Put a timetable together that quarantines
your precious writing time from the rest of your life. Don’t become a hermit
and ignore all those who are precious and dear to you. Just have a hard look at
your daily schedule and allocate time for writing.
It could be early in the morning. Try getting
out of bed an hour earlier and use that time to write. You might do it at the end of the day. Turn
that TV off and write.
Be creative instead of a couch potato. If
you look at the time in your day, and you really want to write, then you will
find the time. So find that time, and make it a permanent date.
Quarantine your time!
Are you a writer that can’t write until
touched by the muse? Well get over it. Don’t wait for mythical inspiration that
may or may not come. Just write! Get on with it.
I guarantee the inspiration will come as
you write. Some mornings or evenings may be a slog, but you will come up with
some good material. And remember, that’s
what the editing process is for, to work through and polish your material. Don’t edit on the fly. Just write! Get it down. Editing comes later.
If you wait for your words to fall from the muse in
perfect order I have some bad news for you. It might happen sometimes, but most
of the time it won’t.
By waiting for inspiration to strike, you’re
just putting off your writing project for yet another day.
Do you realize if you wrote only 200 words
a day, you would have a 73,000 word document in 12 months? Scary isn’t it? How
many words are you wasting by not sticking to a schedule?
Don’t wait for divine
inspiration. Just get on with it.
3: Handling interruptions.
Interruptions are inevitable as life will still want to
intrude on your writing. Life does that. Once you’ve
scheduled some writing time, make sure you set some boundaries with your family
Your scheduled writing time is your time
and you should not be interrupted. Turn off your mobile phone. If you’re
writing on a computer, logout of Facebook and your email. Even better, unplug
the modem! The internet is a fantastic research tool for writers but it is the mother of all procrastinating time wasters.
We all have busy lives, and you’ve
scheduled some precious regular time to actually write. Don’t waste that time by facebook/google+/email/web browsing/txting/chatting Ok?
You’ve only got a small window of precious
time to write. You have to maximise every second of it.
4: Create an outline.
It doesn’t matter wether you are writing
fiction or non/fiction, a strong outline makes the writing process so much
You don’t have to waste your precious
scheduled writing time by wondering what to write about. Just load up your
outline and dive in to whatever takes your fancy.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast
rule. Sometimes your writing may take interesting little alleyways that branch
off from the careful 6 lane highway you’ve constructed in your outline. Go with
the flow. Some of these byways might lead to unexpected treasures.
An outline is your GPS, but sometimes its
fun to turn it off and take the backroad.
5 Harvest Ideas.
Carry a notebook with you at all times. If
you’ve got a smart phone, use a note app. Pay attention to what’s happening in
the world around you. That little snippet of conversation you overheard in a
café might be a gem for one of your characters.
Maybe an idea will strike for a new eBook?
It’s very important to harvest ideas as they come to you because YOU WILL NOT
Write it down. Always.
6: Don’t stop reading.
Writers learn from other writers. And the
best way is to learn is by reading. It will give you ideas for style, technique and
inspiration. Never stop reading. Because that’s why writers write.
If you want to have a career as a writer
then it’s very simple. You have to stop making excuses and make the time and
write. You can’t make money from writing if you don’t put the work in.
What are you waiting for? Sit down now and make your schedule. Start writing!
There’s more then 6 steps of course. What do you do to overcome writers block? What do you do for inspiration? What have I missed? Please leave a comment below.