It’s been four months since I began this writing journey, and I’m finding there is a way to do it – to actually write.
I have no time to lose I tell myself. I’ve waited too long to get started. And so I’ve come up with a personalized plan which I’ve gleaned from Jerry Jenkins and other seasoned writers.
- Set up a writing place. After years of dreaming about it, I finally have a place of mine just to write. I’ve carved out my writing corner in our garage, which also serves a playroom for a small preschool I run. Unlike some people who can write anywhere, I need a quiet place to get clarity and inspiration.
- Schedule sacred writing times. Without this scheduled in stone in your calendar, it simply won’t happen. After trying to write at different times during the day, I’ve found that mornings just after the kids go to school, work best for me.
- Unplug the wi-fi. Most of what I’m writing at the moment doesn’t require research and so off goes the wi-fi. The beeps and the temptation to browse and get lost in social media is too great for me. (Nothing has killed my productivity and creativity than being plugged-in all day.)
- Form the habit of writing. A few years ago, I ran across the Pomodoro Technique, and I’m using it to form a daily writing habit. It helps me to focus and write once I get the timer going. Essentially, you work in 25 minute segments and take a 5-minute break. Mentally, it helps me to think that I only have to write for 25 minutes. For now, if I can get two pomodoros in daily, I’m celebrating.
- Define your goal in writing. Setting a specific writing goal with a deadline was key to helping me finish my first picture book manuscript. It’s still a work-in-progress that needs polishing, but without the initial deadline, the story would still be in my head. For now I have three writing projects: a non-fiction piece, a picture book and this blog. These give me plenty of writing opportunities. I’m almost never stuck.
- Get connected with writing friends. I found a group of encouraging and inspiring writing friends on this guild, who are all over North America and beyond. This is a valuable community, where we check in weekly and share our victories and struggles.
- Write through the pain. Without God’s grace, I could not walk through the days when the unexpected happens and writing is the last thing on my mind. I’m learning to give myself grace and take days off, and then get back to the writing. I’ve also found that sometimes it helps to write about the pain and struggle I’m experiencing.
How about you — what helps you in your writing journey?