“You have such a positive attitude, how do you give yourself a jump-start to get writing?” The other day I was asked this question, and I decided would be a great blogging subject. How do we push ourselves into our offices to write? Heaven forbid there are enough distractions and other things you could be doing – besides sitting in your quiet office, all alone, with your thoughts and a white screen staring back at you. Exactly how do we give ourselves the strength to say it’s time to write?
I truly believe us writers are special people. Yep we truly are! I think the hardest things for us are our other responsibilities. We have family, friends, housework, the JOB, yard, cooking, shopping, and of course church (in my case) and the hubby. The list goes on and on. In between all those responsibilities and distractions we must ‘make’ the time to write.
I don’t know if you’re like me – BUT – the other ‘stuff’ must be done in order for me to concentrate on what I really want to do, write. It’s not a hobby or what I do for fun. Let’s face it, we love to write – but it is work.
So I need the house clean, the dishes done, the bills paid, and even my office must be clean before I can sit in front of my computer. Now that’s a bit easier these days since my kids are out of the nest. J But I started writing when my kids were three and five+ so there you have it, I understand it both ways.
I don’t recommend three cups of coffee so you feel awake – that will just give you the jitters and make you feel unsettled. A nice glass of ice water (or flavored – no calorie water) is what I recommend. Get it right away so you don’t have an excuse to ‘leave’ your office and get side-tracked. Yep, I know all the tricks … or mistakes. You might even fix yourself a plate of celery sticks, carrot sticks, or even pea pods so you don’t get the chocolate cravings.
If you tell yourself you ‘should’ be writing, yet you’re sitting on the couch trying to muster up the energy and drive to go write – ask yourself one thing – “What is my deadline date?” What? You don’t have a deadline date? That is not good! You MUST have goals and deadline dates or you’ll never accomplish what you want in life. That doesn’t just apply to writing, but in this case it does.
You need to sit down and look at your work in progress and answer these questions:
· What genre are you writing?
· World count for this work?
· How many chapters will you have?
· Now- how long does it take you to write a chapter?
· Add a month in for unexpected distractions/responsibilities.
· What is your writing schedule?
· Finally – what is the deadline date to finish your book?
You do this one thing and I guarantee you’ll get more books written than you’ve ever done before. I always correlate it to this. If you were planning to go on a trip to Montana, you know you’d get maps and plot it out, you’d look at places to stop along the way to enjoy, there are hotels, costs to estimate, car to get in shape for the trip, etc. If you just jumped in your car you might end up in Alaska! Well, planning to write your next book is pretty much the same thing.
Don’t treat your writing like a ‘hobby.’ I hate it when people say, “that is such a nice hobby.” I stop them and say, “This isn’t a hobby - it’s too much work for that. Writing is my passion and I do it because it’s something I love and it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Don’t accept negativity – it will start making you feel negative – and you’ll start treating your writing like a hobby. Once you start doing that, you won’t have the drive and excitement to go to your office and write.
Think about your story while making breakfast, working at the office, going for your daily walks (or like me up Sander’s Hill twice a day during my breaks – it’s a humdinger). Work out ideas, plots, and twists before you even get to your office. By the time your ‘scheduled’ writing time approaches – you will be raring to go and you’ll be itching to sit down and start typing.
Get your background music going and you are READY! One thing I always do, to get myself back into my story, is to read the last two pages. This helps me get into the characters; where are they, who are they talking to, and what is their current situation? That way I can continue without missing a beat from where I left off. Next thing you know – two hours have passed and you’re shocked how many pages you just finished. When you push away from the computer you’ll have a feeling of satisfaction and pride. You are suddenly anxious and excited to write again tomorrow! You can do this . . . day after day. Oh – and book after book! J
You can find Rita Karnopp at: http://ritakarnopp.com