As any writer knows, other commitments, be they children, other jobs or any other of the many, many things which take up our time daily, do tend to get in the way of valuable writing time. It’s sometimes incredibly hard to carve out the creative periods you need, especially at the exact point you need them.
For me, it’s often a case of having to grab a little bit of writing time when I can – whilst waiting for one of my children to finish an activity, or as I’m cooking supper. However, when I get a proper, decent chunk of time at my writing disposal, I like to revel in the sheer pleasure of being able to do what I love! I also find that if I take a few moments to settle down before I begin hammering out a scene, I’m actually more productive, and what I write tends to need less editing. I guess it helps me to get into some sort of writing zone!
I’d like to share a few tips I’ve picked up that help me, and I hope will be of use!
1: Trying to write in a noisy, messy space with people interrupting all the time is not conducive to good writing! I like to write in a quiet room, with a nice hot cup of tea, maybe some gentle music on in the background. If that’s impossible at home, why not go to write in a library or cafe for an hour or two?
2: Show your work a little of the reverence and respect it deserves! If you’re writing by hand, make sure you have a nice notepad and pen – your writing deserves more than a grotty A4 pad left over from your school days! I tend to do a lot of my writing in notebooks and then type it up later. If you use a desktop or laptop, try to make sure everything’s tidy around you and that you have everything you need before you start work.
3: Is your seat comfy? Is your computer or laptop at the right height? How can you enjoy your writing if you know that when you finish you’ll end up with a sore neck, back or wrists? Take time to find a writing position that works for you. If that means you require a trip to Ikea so be it! It’s for the greater good – that’s what I tell my husband anyway.
4: A little treat ritual such as preparing yourself a nice coffee before you start writing will make you look forward to your writing time even more! Just make sure you don’t spill anything on a precious manuscript!
5: And finally, when you’re not writing, try to socialise, even if it’s only online chatting – being an author can be a lonely old business at times. Join as many writing groups online as you can for advice and support – hearing what other writers are up to will spur you on to write, write, write! It will also help to make you feel part of a community and not quite so ‘alone’ in what you do, so when you do knuckle down to write you’re invigorated and raring to go!