Monday 13 January 2014

Making Time to Write

My biggest writing challenge the last three years has been finding the time to write, a common complaint among writers who have real lives as well as writing lives.

I found a good way to kick start the writing year and motivate myself at Writer's Digest On-Line Tutorial shop by listening to a writing webinar, something I haven't had time for in the past few crazy months.

Making Time to Write is a 54 minute tutorial by multi-published author and writing coach Rochelle Melander and covers the following nine steps in helpful detail:

1.  Create a life vision for your future self

2.  Decide what you will say YES to in allocating your time (yes to family, no to twitter)

3. Set your specific writing goal(s)

4. Set aside writing time (and stick to it)

5. Create a safe physical space to write

6. Create a safe emotional place to write (no external distractions)

7.  Avoid starting with a blank page

8. Take short breaks to keep energy high

9. Reward yourself for daily goals met

There is, of course, much more information provided in the webinar itself, and it's worth downloading for a small fee if, like me, you struggle with carving out precious writing time from your busy day.

My favourite advice was what Rochelle Melander called "turtle time," a term phrased by another author whose name I can't remember (there was a lot of interesting information to absorb during the webinar!)

Although I prefer to set my "Turtle Time" in word count rather than minutes, this method of regular writing suits my style: it's about making the time to find a small chunk of time to write every day at the same time (e.g, before you get out of bed, or on the train commuting to work). You may write as slow as a turtle, but eventually you'll have a novel. And I've found from experience, that the more regularly you write like a turtle, days also come when you can sprint like a hare!

Making Time to Write is a worthwhile webinar to help writers like me who tend to be unfocused and (dare I say it) undisciplined.

And so, to start the year off WRITE, I'm setting the goal of writing to my future writing self four times in the next week (that's an exercise from the webinar.)

You can find the "Making TIme to Write" webinar on Writer's Digest tutorials website

You can find writing coach Rochelle Melander on twitter @WriteNowCoach or on her website 


Anne Gallagher said...

I've always been most creative first thing in the morning, before the house wakes. Once the day starts, I find too many distractions and concentration is at a minimum. I need silence and solitude to write so I try to catch it before dawn.

Unknown said...

Hi Judy. I really like this idea of Turtle time. this sounds very informative. i want to follow it up some' thank you for taking the time to share.

I'm not sure I;ve ever thanked you for following my blog. Thank you

CA Heaven said...

I will check out that tutorial. Getting time to write is hard, for sure. I've skipped TV already, so nothing to gain there. But maybe, when we get the refurbishing of the house finished ... >:)

Cold As Heaven

Lauri said...

Another thing I've found when writing longer works is to end in the middle of the action, in the middle of a scene. There is nothing worse than to come to the computer and be ready to write and all your see is "Chapter 10" and you've forgotten completely where you were planning to go and the previous scene is finished.

Rebecca A Emrich said...

Hi Judy-- sounds like an interesting thing this turtle time. I will have to try it out. Writing time is getting a bit harder these days. But the biggest thing is when to say yes. I would admit that "NO" is hard too, but we tend to say no to the wrong things.

Once again great post.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

ANNE: Early morning is my best time as well. And, if I do my day’s target early, then on those days when my writing plans go belly-up because life happens, I don’t stress as much because I’ve already met my writing target.

WENDY: Thanks for popping by, and for following me. I’ll “see” you on Twitter too.

CA: House renovations … a writing time killer, for sure! So disruptive of time and space. Hope when they’re finished you’ve got a lovely new study to write in>

LAURI: With a writer as prolific as you, I’ll take any writings tips to heart!! Clearly, you know how to make the most of your writing time! :)

REBECCA: Turtle time works for me, so it’s worth a try when real life intrudes and you struggle to find writing time. And I won’t say a word about learning to say “no” – that’s even harder than fining time to write!