Everyone seems to be writing about ‘writing time’ at the moment, whether it’s having too much or not enough. Two examples I’ve read today are Give the pen to a busy person by Jamie Raintree and ‘Too much time on my hands by Vikki (The View Outside). Jamie gets so much more done when she is busy and manages to keep up with her writing schedule even though she is adding more and more in, whereas Vikki has more free time, and although she writes every day (and in my opinion gets loads done!), she doesn’t feel like she’s getting enough done and finds it hard to get motivated.
It’s all about balance, focus and prioritising tasks
If you look at all the things you try to fit into your day and aim to obtain balance in each area of your life, you won’t have ‘all your eggs in one basket’. This way ‘writing’ has an equal place in your life as other things that you do. It’s also important to prioritise and focus on one things at a time. I sat in the library at lunch time today and knew that I only had about 30 to 40 minutes to write. I also knew that if I didn’t choose a task that would make me feel brilliant and productive at the end if it, I would feel disappointed with myself.
With this pressure I put on myself, I glanced at my list of ‘writing tasks’ (which I must get round to prioritising!) and picked the task that was going to benefit me the most, and that was to write a personal development course outline for someone. Although I had attempted to start this a few times, I hadn’t really made a proper start because I thought it was going to be a big job. My instinct was telling me to take the first step, rather than put it off again. I had the right notes with me and I was in the right frame of mind. If I’d had the whole day to do the task, I possibly would have spread it out over the whole day, but I only had limited time.
Comparing writing to other things
It’s a bit like knowing that you have all weekend to do the housework – you’ll probably procrastinate and do bits here and there and not really see the benefits at the end of it! If you make a list, prioritise and get it all done in one, two or three short bursts it won’t take you as long and it will all get done. You’ll possibly accomplish much more.
I got much more done at lunchtime than I anticipated and then wrote for another 30 minutes on the way home and I can honestly say that it was an excellent decision of mine to have started this task. The beauty of it is that I’m half way through! I should get it finished by tomorrow and I know that the person who is waiting for it will be very pleased.
Here are six pieces of advice:
- Prioritise your outstanding writing tasks
- For big tasks, break them into small steps
- Pick your most important task and do the first step
- When you are doing the task, focus on it completely
- Add variety to your day
- Plan (and take) regular breaks to give your mind and body a rest
Also, what’s in your list that you never seem to get a chance to start, that would be the most beneficial to you?
Almost forgot! Thank you to Jamie and Vikki for inspiring me to write today’s post.
- Note 256 – Balancing Writing and Family (mywritingnotebook.com)
- Note 257 – Little Writing Steps v Writing Burnout (mywritingnotebook.com)
Thanks honey 🙂
Do you know what, tomorrow im going to make a list! 😉
My biggest hurdle is editing and polishing my stories. Ive recently started getting them typed up on to the laptop, but i have nearly 2 months worth of (approx) 300 word stories. I would like to start submitting to magazines and entering competitions, but i cant until i give them rewrites, do some editing and expand them. Thats the daunting part, and the part that im constantly putting of, procrastinating about.
In my writing group they call them “out theres”, ie work that you have submitted…at the moment, i have 1…but i could have 20….30….if i pull my finger out lol
Thanks for the tips honey, and glad i inspired you 🙂
Off to look at Jamies post……
Hope you get motivated enough to make a start – just think how pleased you will be with yourself if you get a few of them done. Just look at it as little steps not as the whole task. For example, set yourself a goal of how many you are going to do in the next two weeks or work out how long each one will take. You can also try going to sleep visualising how you will feel when it’s all done. I’m sure you’ll find a way… Take care 🙂
Thanks hon 🙂
I write 7 stories (parts of or in their entirety) a week, so I’m thinking if I can set myself a goal of getting 1, just 1, edited and sent out every week, that should be my goal 🙂
I’m just fed up with setting myself goals that I never achieve lol 😉
Thanks for the support Sandra, I really just need to get myself organised lol
Great points, Sandra! I like the way you chose what would make you feel most productive. I find productivity breeds productivity, which obviously kept you motivated for the rest of the day.
Thank you so much for including me in your post!
Thanks Jamie – the good thing is that I finished that task yesterday and I can’t believe that I can actually tick it off my list! It’s been on there for ages. I’m motivated to do more now. Looking forward to more of your posts. Good luck with everything. Sandra