As a relatively new author, I spend a lot of my time reading and learning. In fact, I could argue that the process of learning how to write is as time-consuming as the writing itself. There is one thing that I have come to discover on my journey, and that is to make sure you put aside time. The clock is the most elusive creature in the world. If you leave it to its own devices it will steal hours without you noticing and you will get less done than you hoped. But if you focus your energy, then that focus will become your reward and you will find that you can easily write more than you had ever dreamed.
So I managed to find a great video by Jerry Jenkins talking you through his daily grind as an author. It might give you some inspiration and ideas for your own story.
1. Set aside some time
Life gets busy and it's easy to get sidetracked. Successful authors are those that are prepared to take the time to write, regardless of their 'day job'. So my first recommendation is that you take a look at your daily schedule. Think of this as a chance to do a time budget for yourself. Sometimes it helps if you take notes throughout a week about time spent in various activities, so you can look back at the end of the week and see where the quieter moments are. A busy mother? Do the kids still have an afternoon nap? There is time for a couple of hundred words. Working fulltime? Do you watch tv in the evening? How about switching it off for half an hour and see what you can write instead. Find the gaps, and make yourself accountable. Books need time to come to fruition.
2. Get comfortable but be nice to your spine
Did you know that your posture can affect your fatigue? How you sit, and where you write can affect you both long term and short term if you are not careful with your spine. It is, after all, its the backbone of your whole body. So make sure that when you get your self comfortable, that you are also supporting yourself correctly. Think about where your hands a resting and what level your screen is at - ideally it should be eye height and neutral hand positions. But also think about the noise around you. Whilst you might enjoy working in a loud and busy cafe, consider what the noise might be doing to your hearing before you do it for long stretches over the day. And don't forget to get up, stretch, and talk a stroll at regular times. Sometimes taking a walk can be not only beneficial for your body, but clear your mind and give you a fresh perspective on your writing.
3. Get into good habits
They say that learning a new habit can take up to three weeks. But the first step is finding a habit that you can manage. Breaking larger goals into smaller steps can make that end requirement and this might be something as simple as getting yourself a diary. There is a range of physical or computer diaries that are available. Let's take a look at a couple of options:
1. A book or diary. Lots and lots of options here, and you can find them on Amazon and other book-selling websites. There's a pretty option through the Collective Hub here
2. A bullet journal or happy planner. As described by The Writer's Planner these are options for jotting down ideas and concepts on the go. Check out the blog here for more information.
3. Google or Apple Calendar - set up an event or a regular prompt on your phone or computer. Just having the reminder can help you to keep on track and keep motivated.
So that is the second step - putting your plans in place and getting motivated. I hope it has been useful. And I can't wait to hear your thoughts! Drop me a line below on how you are going.