Saturday, September 15, 2012

No time

I’ve had an alteration of my daily schedule and it’s really getting in the way of my writing.

I didn’t have enough time before and have precious less of it now. The sad part is I was on a roll. Not to say people are banging on my door to read my stuff, but the writing was working. I’m getting it. I’m finally figuring out how to do the kind of writing I want to do.

And then they took away my time.

One of my favorite WIFYR people, Claudia Mills, offered a breakout session once. She called it something like 60 Minutes A Day. The gist of it was to find a minimum of sixty minutes each day to work on your story. An hour a day makes for a good goal. It’s sometimes hard to find sixty minutes in a busy life. Conversely, it may seem too little to get anything done. But it’s ideal because it forces you into your story without taking a huge block of time. Unlike a set number of words per day, one hour has a definite stopping point. Chipping away, day after day could give you a rough draft in a few months. I’ve been a weekend warrior before, writing several hours at a time on a Saturday afternoon. Writing daily keeps the story fresh, your brain working on it as the story percolates in the subconscious.

I came away from that conference singing the 60 minutes a day mantra and managed to get it in most days. There were some days when it didn’t happen, but mostly it worked and one day at a time, my story grew. There were days when the rest of my life got in the way and I would go a week or more before remembering I need to write an hour daily.

The story doesn’t get done, “the end” doesn’t get written, the book doesn’t get published until there is some serious seat-planted-in-a-chair time. If you have to start small and build it up to 60 that’s okay. Claudia gets up early to write before heading out the door for her college teaching day job. Early isn’t my best time. I do better in the evening, after things settle down. Some days they never do and that’s okay, too. The key is to get into a routine of writing every day. When you are there, those days you can’t fit it in becomes a minor interference, not a bad habit. Dedicating sixty minutes daily may seem impossible, but if you can figure out a way to eek that much time out, you should do it.


Scott said...

I feel your pain. Time is my biggest obstacle too. I wish I had the answer for you. I've heard people suggest 15 minutes if you can't do an hour. Then at least something gets written. Sounds good, in theory, but I'm like an old car. It takes me a while to get up to speed.

Julie Daines said...

Sixty minutes is a good goal. It's amazing how plugging away little by little you can end up with a complete manuscript before you know it!

Danielle Paige said...

That's my biggest problem too! Thanks for the post ;)

Danielle Paige said...

That's my biggest problem too! Thanks for the post ;)

Danielle Paige said...

Sorry about the repeat. I think my iPods out to get me sometimes