As I sit in my Long Beach, CA hotel room on a business trip for my ‘day’ job, I’m struggling with reality. As a writer – a writer with two children, a full time job, a significant other (make that three kids) and a multitude of responsibilities – there may be obstacles in your path that don’t allow you to write on a full time, consistent basis.
At times, it can take me up to three or four days to finish a chapter because I was waiting for the opportune moment. Not to mention things that absolutely must be completed, like taking your asthmatic son to the ER because he is having an episode.
Mine is not an uncommon story and as fellow writers, I’m sure that I am preaching to the choir. A personal writing goal may go on neglected for days, weeks, even months.
So, what is there to keep us going with the great number of barriers working to prevent us from being productive as an author? I think it’s the sheer need to write in order to maintain our happiness. If I can manage at least a half hour a day to dedicate to my art, then I should be happy. It’s not much, but surely, it will get me to my goal of completing my outstanding project.
Maybe you’re wondering how, with so much going on, I can manage to write a half hour a day. Or maybe you’re wondering how I only find that much time. Whichever the case may be, I’ll share with you the things that I pledge to my craft.
The first is suffocating procrastination. When I have a thought or idea about my WIP (work in progress), I always write it down. The momentary sparks of inspiration, whether they stay in your story or not, help to keep you excited about your story. It also contributes your daily word count or time commitment.
The next is ensuring that I ‘create’ a space in my day for writing. I’m not a morning person, so that isn’t the best time of day for me. I prefer to wait until evening and start a half hour before I plan on going to bed. Some days, I write more than that, some a few less, but the important thing is to continue striving to meet your goal. Even if you don’t meet your goal, the act contributes to forming a habit. I can think of a lot worse habits to have than writing.
Finally, I treat my writing job as seriously, if not more, than my day job. One of the greatest failures of small business is the inability to remain focused on the end result. In the case of a writer, we must remember that there is a product which we must create for the customer. As hard as it may be, writers must come up with a writing plan and stick with it
Just like anything that we desire, most are accompanied by hard work, and at times some minor discomfort that we must battle. Remember that as long as you are moving forward towards your goal, one day, the end will be in sight.
Until next time, stay focused.