There’s a time for everything under the sun
A time to laugh, a time to cry.
A time to plant, a time to sow.
A time to … Write!
Ok, so this isn’t exactly how this passage goes, but I think it very well could… for me anyway.
There are times when, as much as you love something, it’s still hard to find, or make, the time to complete it. Life gets so busy and there are so many things that need to be packed into our days.
Even as much as I love to write, I still find it hard to fit the time into my days. There are several reasons for this and as I began to go over them in my mind, I found myself putting together a short list of things to help me create the time needed and to use that time more effectively.
- Forget Perfection
Part of my problem stems from the fact that I want everything to be perfect right from the first line. I can spend hours on a few paragraphs. I’ll rewrite the same chapter a gazillion times. This can get in the way when I’m trying to pull together a first draft of a novel. I have to force myself to keep writing and avoid going back for a “quick re-read.” This can be especially difficult when I’m picking up after a day or two break or if I’ve had to stop mid-thought.
I am reminded of the solution for this at this time each year when NaNoWriMo season occurs. I really can write a full first draft in thirty days or less, but I have to create that competition mindset within me. For me, it can take more discipline to not look back over my last chapter than it does to put other obligations on hold and sit down at the keyboard itself.
- Just Do It
Just write! This can be more difficult than it sounds. I have no fancy problem-solving tool for this. It just has to be done. My only suggestion on this is; don’t wait until you have “enough” time. I often find myself making the excuse that I only have a few minutes and therefore, I don’t have the time to complete a thought. This is a trap. Write! Short and simple. If you only have time to put ten words down, put those ten words down! After all, I’ve never let that excuse stop me from reading “just one more line of my book” at the stop sign!
Just one hint though, avoid pulling out your computer while driving. Even though I’ve never actually seen this law written on a driving test, I’m sure it’s hidden there someplace. I have often used my hands-free device to send myself a message and written almost a full chapter on my way to work.
This is my last thought for today. Use what helps you. This is going to be different for every writer. Do you write best at night? Write at night. Do you need music or solitude? Are you a people person and feed off the energy around you?
Try different avenues. Maybe you even need different conditions for different types of scenes.
I, personally, find that I need quiet and solitude in order to write an intense emotional scene, but I use the energy of those around me when I’m inserting comedy.
We each have our own best ways of writing. The operative word here, is WRITE!
One last note that I’m sure my editor would insert here, if she could. Avoid sending your work in at every stage. This is a wall I hit when completing my first novel. I think she must have edited those first few chapters a hundred times. I’m sure she thought five times was more than enough!
Thanks for everything, Deb! You’re amazing and I could never do this without you!
Try her for yourself at debsedit.com