Thursday, November 3, 2011

Guarding Our Writing Time

Now that we’ve made our writing goals, I thought I would talk a bit today about reducing distractions and guarding our writing time.

If you’re like me, your writing time is limited. I generally get about 30 minutes a day to actually sit in front of the computer and write. With such a short amount of time and some pretty ambitious goals, I really need to make sure I’m using my writing time wisely.

Since I generally write when my two youngest children are watching Kipper (a children’s show), I look forward to that time and make sure I’m prepared for it.

For example, I make sure they have a small snack with them and a sippy cup of water, so they can watch TV and eat some apple slices or something. This always cuts down on my distractions.

I don’t answer my phone during my writing time. I keep it near me and check Caller ID in case it’s an emergency call, but I don’t pick it up otherwise.

I don’t get on Twitter, Facebook, or email during my writing time. I’ve done it one too many times where I tell myself, oh I’ll just be a second, or I’ll just quickly check something and half an hour later my writing time is gone, and I didn’t write one word.

I try to prime the pump. By this I mean that when I’m doing my morning chores, feeding breakfast to the kids, or whatever, I’m thinking about my scene, what I want to add, where the novel is going, what’s going to happen next. When I can see it in my mind, it makes it so much easier to sit down and just start writing because I’ve heard the dialogue and seen the scene in my head all morning.

So far, I’m doing really well with my writing goals and I know it’s because I’ve reduced my distractions and really tried to focus on using my computer time wisely.

What do you do to reduce your distractions?


Debra Erfert said...

I married my distractions off! lol . . .

You have a few years left before you can do that! I told my son's new uncle (by marriage) that I knew of a woman who writes less for than an hour a day yet has written several books. His jaw went slack. He, and my husband, claim they just "don't have the time" to get down and write that book they've always wanted to write. You put them to shame! Keep up the good work, Julie! You're an inspiration to us all.

Sarah Pearson said...

I am my own worst distraction. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with myself ...

Stephanie Black said...

This is something I really need to work on. I'm such an email addict that I have trouble shutting the program down, and then I keep checking it, and then since it's open, my college daughters might see me online and chat with me, and of course I want to chat with my daughters, and then there's fun blogs to read, etc. etc. My problem comes down to simple lack of self-discipline!

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I love this post and the comments. I have the same challenges with kids and everything else. I hate schedules and routines; but if I'm going to get anything done, I need a schedule and a routine. Sometimes I use a timer when I'm doing chores or writing or checking e-mail so I don't spend too much time on one thing.