In her book “Writing Down the Bones,” Natalie Goldberg shares some of her insights as a writer during the course of a day.
In this article, I will highlight some of those insights as well as some key strategies for achieving more writing time.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with working a regular job or taking care of your family while you work on your writing.
However, if you don’t carve out at least one hour a day to write and revise what you’ve written, it isn’t going to happen…
But if you do make the time, then here are some things that can help:
Labels all your drafts with their corresponding due dates.
This way, when it’s 4:30 and you still have a mile of writing to go, you can see the progress you’ve made since last night.
Make a commitment to write 500 words a day.
You’ll need to average about 1,000 words per week in order for the blog post to make its deadline.
So practicing discipline is key if you want to make this happen…
Don’t wait until the middle of the night/early morning to write…
Sometimes your best ideas come in bed at night. If you’re trying to write before that (because that’s when I like myself most),
then consider taking that time in the morning or even during lunch break (if it’s possible.
If you can, see if someone else has already written about the same topic and use it as a jumping off point.
Make sure to commit to write something (even if it’s a paragraph), and at least make good on your commitment.
Write only when you’re in the mood but not when you’re full of energy. You want to save that for the actual writing.
Try writing standing up sometimes; it helps with digestion.
The principle here is that by doing something different,
you’ll end up using different parts of your brain and it will help you remember what happened during your day better.
Make a list of questions you’d like to answer in the blog post.
Write them down and see if they can form a topic for a blog post.
Write blind… don’t read over what you’ve written after you write it.
You’ll find that you’ll end up rewriting more, but out of choice this time as opposed to obligation.
Don’t let the computer do something for you that will slow your writing down later.
For example, don’t use spellcheck as an excuse not to proofread your work later on.
Own your own words. For example,
if you write “I didn’t want to sign up for the meeting,” ask yourself why; was there something else you could say instead?
Don’t write crap… Junk happens and it should be taken out immediately.
If you try to write while doing other things (like running an errand or sitting in the car),
put down your phone and don’t look at it until you’re done with whatever else it is that’s distracting you.
For the same reason, don’t ask someone to help you with something unless they can actually help…
If you wait until the last minute to write, chances are it will be crap.
Don’t try to write something silly or trivial under the guise of “practice.” That’s crap too.
Don’t wait until the last minute to work on this, you’ll just end up procrastinating.
If you’re trying to start making time for writing regularly, do what it takes first…
Make space for it first. Get rid of all your clutter first.
Then clear out space for your bookshelf so that both of your home work sites are visible and accessible (as opposed to one or the other).
Then make time in your schedule for writing.
Don’t wait until you’ve exhausted all the things you could write about…
Write about the things that are important to you or that are on your mind at this moment.
Write about the things that are important, interesting, or surprising to you at any given moment.
Don’t wait for “the big idea” before jumping into your work.
Instead, start with something small and see what happens when you put words to it.
You don’t have to write a novel paragraph before writing a short story or poem; break it down into smaller bits first.
Once they’re in front of you, see if there’s anything new or interesting there… If there is, explore it. Obese Tuber
People like to write about things that are important to them; if something isn’t important to you, then don’t write about it.
You can even try writing about something because it’s not important (not because it is).
Try writing the next paragraph before finishing the previous one.
The point here is that by breaking things down so much you can focus on one thing at a time instead of tackling everything at once.