Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. This post is going to be short and (hopefully) sweet. Many writers and would-be authors around the world are knee-deep in NaNoWriMo.
While I chose not to take part this year, I have done it in the past. It’s not something you just decide to do. No matter if you’re a plotter or a panster, to succeed at this 50K word challenge, you have to plan and find the right balance to succeed.
NaNo aside, writers have to make time to write. Many of us hold full-time jobs. We have families. There are social events to attend. And unless you’re independently wealthy and can afford a house full of servants, there are a variety of household chores to do. Somewhere in all that, we need time to sleep. Is it any wonder we’re often lucky to have three or four hours per week at the most to write?
Even during our writing time, other things are involved. Most of us also blog. We enjoy supporting other authors by visiting and commenting on their blogs. We share things on social media. We respond to comments on our own blogs. And you know what happens to even the best-laid plans…
We want be balanced like this.
But more often feel like this
No one enjoys living on the edge. (Okay, maybe some people do.) So how do we manage? Here are a few helpful tips.
- Set aside a specific time to write. Don’t waver (except for emergencies). Stay away from social media. If staying off the internet is a problem, consider an internet blocking software.
- Don’t spend time with endless research. Do that ahead of time. It’s too easy to go down a rabbit trail.
- Turn off notices on your phone. These can distract because you’re often tempted to respond.
- Don’t read. This includes blogs and books.
- Turn off the television. This isn’t a problem for me as I’m not a TV person, but for some watching their favorite show is tempting. If you feel you “must” watch, rearrange your writing time or record the show to watch later.
- Write in sprints. Thirty minutes at a time can work wonders. If you work outside the home, use your lunch time to write.
- Turn off the internal editor. Easier said than done for some of us, but if you’re facing a deadline, it’s important to get the words written. Deal with the edits later.
- I haven’t tried this one, but use dictation software or buy a small recorder. Dictate as you drive. I have a friend who uses her iPhone to dictate words while she’s on the treadmill.
What are some tips you would add? Please share in the comments.