I have been writing every day for a couple of weeks now. With a one year old vying for my time and attention, writing has been less of a priority. Though let me be honest, prioritizing writing has always been challenging for me. When I wrote my first published novel Ula: Born of Shadows, I wrote every single day. I also didn’t have a day job, a child, or many of domestic rituals I’ve now taken on, but ultimately it wasn’t about my time. I simply chose to do it. Just like now, some days I choose to vacuum or file paperwork – other days I skip it. If I skip it long enough, the dust/cat fur/clutter call me to action. Writing is both easier and harder to ignore. You see, no one is going to choke on a carpet hairball if I don’t write for a few days. On the other hand, my brain, heart and bones will start to vibrate with the irritating request that I sit down and write. If I ignore that request long enough, I start to feel lost, frustrated and disappointed in myself. Those feelings don’t help me to write. On the contrary, the self deprecating thoughts are another barrier to my creativity so I push it further from my mind. It’s a disturbing cycle and so easily broken by a few minutes at my computer every day. That’s it – so simple – ten minutes of writing and I can find ease. Lately it has come naturally. I have several projects going simultaneously. I’ve also just downloaded Scrivener and I’ve been slogging through YouTube videos on how to use it. So if you find your own frustrations with making writing a priority, I’m going to outline a few tips that I use to get my butt in the chair.
- Brainstorm: Sometimes the only writing that I do in a day is a long rant about what’s happening in my story and what could be happening in my story, etc. I have a separate file for every book dedicated to brainstorming, character development, outlines, synopsis, ideas. It’s crucial to the writing of my novel and it helps me get the ideas out of my head without the pressure of committing words to the novel when I feel less inspired.
- Podcasts: I love podcasts and subscribe to a huge variety them from spiritual growth to writing and editing. One of my favorite writing podcasts is Write 2B Read by Ani Alexander. She interviews authors and people in the book business who provide great tips, resources and stories of their development as authors. I’m almost always inspired to write after I listen and you can tune into podcasts while driving, cleaning, cooking, which means you’re not detracting from other to-dos.
- Long Hand: Keep a notebook handy at all times to jot down ideas or write a scene or character description. So often writing inspiration will strike when I’m riding in the car with my husband or running into town on an errand. If I have my notebook handy, I can get my writing done at that moment. I also believe that our ideas are unique when we’re in the world instead of tucked at home in front of our computer. Take advantage of your own unique perception in those moments by writing them down.