Good morning world!
I am frequently asked how I manage to write novels while juggling a full-time, fairly busy career, kids, a husband and of course, other family and friends.
The funny thing is, I think I get more done BECAUSE I have a ton of other obligations. How is this possible? (you ask while slowly backing away from your computer screen because dear god Mary’s lost her mind)
Over the last six years of writing nearly every day, I’ve discovered that the more time I have, the more likely I am to waste it. Whereas, if I know I only have 20 minutes of dedicated writing time in any given day, I am extremely productive during that 20 minutes.
Case in point, I have taken days off of work here and there with the intention of getting a ton of writing done. After all, if I typically write 800-1000 words in the one hour I have each morning to dedicate to writing time, with an entire day, I could write 8000 words, right? WRONG. I usually end up binge watching Netflix or cleaning up my house, telling myself I will get to the writing later.
Of course, there’s other tricks to getting writing done, such as prioritizing. What’s more important? Watching the new episode of Outlander, or finishing a scene? I can record Outlander and use it as a reward when I reach my goal for the day.
Another trick: Knowing how and when you work best. I’m useless by the end of the day, so I dedicate my mornings to writing. I’ve also discovered that if I bring my laptop to work and write on my breaks, I get a ton of wordage in (this is because there’s no WiFi and I lock myself in a little room with nothing to look at but my computer, I’m so mean to myself!).
One of the great things about writing is that you can work on it anywhere while you’re doing anything even if you don’t have your computer or writing device with you. I’m always thinking about what I’m going to write next, or how to best shape a particular character. Most of the time while I’m driving (much to the chagrin of other people on the road, I’m sure).
The biggest trick for me though is this: No Excuses. Do not blame your lack of writing (or whatever your hobby or interest is), on other people. You decide when and if you want to do something and you make it happen. You are the master of your destiny and with a little dedication and effort, anything is possible.
If anyone out there has any other tips or tricks for getting things done when the prospect is overwhelming, please share!