Creating a Writing Habit – Part 1
I am getting back on the novel writing horse after being thrown off by a long bout of illness. Anna Spargo-Ryan has an excellent blog post about creating a writing habit, and she has inspired me to do the same. As I make these plans with enthusiasm, yearning to nurture my creativity, I also sense the lurking of my old foe procrastination. You see, I haven’t started yet. I am writing this now to commit to you here, I will start today.
Anna has success by blocking out a set amount of time to write each day. So this is what I will do. At one o’clock each day (did I mention I am starting today), from Monday to Saturday, I will sit on my bottom, at the computer, for one hour and work on my novel, The Empty Cradle. I plan to do this for the whole month and have chosen one o’clock because it’s the time my two children usually nap. A regular time to write teaches your brain to be ready, I am told. If anything unforseen happens and I can’t write at this time (I am praying for a long, indulgent lunch, but snotty children are more likely), I promise to do the hour somewhere else in the day. I am hoping not to burn the midnight oil too often – Mummy needs her sleep to be un-grumpy and safe for human consumption.
I haven’t set a word count limit, although I will in the coming months. I haven’t had the opportunity or inclination to write for months and the pressure of ‘having’ to do a set word count per day could make me freeze. There are already too many
reasons distractions excuses for not writing. I want to proudly join the #amwriting hashtag on Twitter (did I just write hashtag, hashtag? Like when people call it an ATM machine? Making it an Automatic Teller Machine, Machine. Anyway, I digress). No, strike the thought about Twitter. I will be too busy doing my hour of writing every day and blogging updates to announce I #amwriting. If you want to check I am not doing so, my Twitter profile is @ShellCHolland. If I go near #amwriting feel free to call me on it.
I have some rules I will follow (starting today, did I mention that?)
- Sit down for one hour per day to write. No excuses.
- Hours cannot be accumulated or completed in advance. If I have a big session and do four hours one day, I still have to do my one hour the next day. And the next. Unless it is Sunday. Sunday’s are reserved for
relaxingspending time with family.
- Internet connection is to be turned off. The temptation of Facebook, Twitter and cute dog videos is just too great.
- Mobile phone out of reach and on silent. I believe it makes phone calls, but I am more likely to be found…well….see item 3.
I will be blogging about my progress each week to make me accountable to you, the good people of blogland. I will discuss any hurdles I’ve faced, as well as other writing tips.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.