Plan · Write

How to keep life from getting in the way of your writing

With obligations growing every year and distractions becoming more and more compelling, many writers find themselves with less time to do what they do best- create. This is a shame because, quite simply, creativity is taking a big hit. The importance of quiet writing time shouldn’t be underestimated. This is something that most non-writers just don’t understand. Many believe that being self-employed means making your own schedule as convenient as possible, and while to a certain extent this is true, it also means that friends and family can make a writers life very difficult.

So how do you balance things out? Take a peek below for some tricks.

  • Make it a habit. Your writing can be severely affected by your mood, as I’m sure you are aware. This can be a real issue if it colors your work and keeps you from performing your best. To avoid this, start utilizing a routine to help put you in the writing mindset. Begin at the same time of day, maybe put on some soft music to help drown the rest of the world out, get yourself a drink and your writing materials, then get down to business.
  • Set firm hours. We all have certain times of the day that we get more done, so capture these moments within your schedule. Yes, if something really important comes up you can take the time off just as you would if you were working at a more traditional job. However, those little things you get asked to do during these hours need to be turned down. You can go out to lunch with a friend at a time that won’t hinder your work and those few items that are missing from the kitchen cabinets can wait until you get groceries next week. Remember, this is your time to work, and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for taking it.
  • Get off the internet. As wonderful as the internet is, it’s good to take a break from it. Unless you are doing something directly work related, disconnect from your wifi to keep yourself from being tempted by the plethora of distractions it has to offer. Social media has a way of sucking you in, so limit the time you spent on it and check the clock often. All the quick e-mail checks add up too, so designate certain times to satisfy your curiosity and stick to them.
  • Map out your intentions. Aimlessly writing yields mediocre results. If you are going to be productive, you need to take the necessary steps to get there. As some writers need to plan their pieces more than others, the amount of work necessary for this to be effective will vary depending on the individual. However, we can all benefit from at least a vague list of things to get done and the deadlines they must be finished by.
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