What are the hurdles that stop you writing? Is it shortage of time, noise, kids or like me, winter inertia?
At my Sharing Bali writers’ retreat we got great work done – words down, plotting, planning, undoing blocks – but since the retreat each writer has returned home and faced hurdles that stop them writing. The hurdles are different for everyone of course but there are solutions.
I’ve emailed the writers to say, ‘remember how we found time and the headspace to write on retreat, here are my
tips given for keeping it going at home’:
1/ Stick to a set time or times of day 7am and 7pm for instance.
2/ Set an amount of time – 45 minutes is ideal – but be realistic, when s**t happens: traffic jam, dentist appointment, visitors, you can still keep up your routine, but you reduce the time – even if you write for just 5 minutes you’re keeping the faith.
Keep a notebook in your car, always have one in your bag, sneak off to the loo when you have guests but keep to your daily routine.
3/ Develop a waiting scribble habit. So have a notebook which is just for thoughts and scribbles on your book. Whenever you take public transport or are waiting for anything you take out your book and make a mark on that page. Anything will do.
4/ Think like Carole Vorderman and do the math – even as little as a typed page per day for 100 days, adds up to approx 25,000 words. That’s almost a third of a book written.
5/ My final and most important tip of all is to remember you are human and not a machine. What do humans like? Comfort and treats.
So combine and associate writing with a treat or comfort not with procrastination and avoidance. I’ve joined a local riverside club which has comfy chairs and open fires. When I am thinking I take a brisk walk around the grounds and when scribbling I take the fireside seat. What could your writing/ comfort association be?
The hurdle-busting result: You may have achieved just five or fifteen minutes writing for the day but you’ve done some writing so you feel good about it. You’re reinforcing your writing habit. You’ll have a book in 300 days if you keep this up. Job done. Well done.
PS: If you need help or inspiration with your writing I offer coaching sessions via Skype. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.