Happy New Year!!
The clock wound down on 2014, signaling the end of another year that you haven’t finished that novel you started in 2013. This is not uncommon. At some point most writers find their work either still in their heads, in a drawer on scraps of paper or on a computer file with no time to finish. It sits there filling abandoned and alone hoping you will come back to finish it up. Yet, sadly you can’t seem to break free of your day to day responsibilities to finish the task.
Hey, I get it, you feel guilty for taking time away from your spouse and kids. You might be too tired after working all day to spend time in front of a computer screen inventing characters. And let’s not forget the other chores that take precedence.
This first Monday of the New Year take control of your writing. Find out how good you can become and don’t simply make time to write. ‘Take Time‘ to write.
I’ve found three strategies that might help:
It sounds simple enough, but this is what separates authors from writers. You have to decide. Can writing share the space on your calendar with your daughter’s basketball game or your son’s painting exhibition? That football playoff game, or your spouse’s social event? If it is, then block out an hour to write every day. Tell your family why this is important to you, it’s not just a hobby, but your passion. Let them know you are a writer. You have to write. No one’s going to take it seriously or respect it–if you don’t.
Get off the internet. No answering the phone. Place a sign on the door. Eliminate all distractions. It’s your time–an hour or however much time you’ve given yourself–to dedicate to your writing. Use that time to polish up a manuscript– free write— build up your creative muscles.
That’s right pressure. Not that acid feeling burning in your gut to get your words down on paper, because if that’s the case we wouldn’t be here. I’m talking about the kind of pressure that lights a fire under you. Pressure is the reason you have to take time to do it. Make a deadline for yourself, then tell everyone you know about it–friends, family, anyone that will keep you on track. Critique partners are good, you can help each other. Pay someone, coach or editor, its the best way I know to get you off your ass. Because no one wants to look studied for not finishing something they said they would or for Godsake wasting money.
You want to be serious, then get serious about it! You can do this, Take Time to write.