Many writers recommend that you complete a certain number of words each day to get to the goal of finishing your novel.
I am sure this advice works for many people, but strangely enough it doesn’t work for me. Instead, I try to carve out 2 to 3 hours each day to focus on my writing by using a timer. I plug in the number of hours and set to work.
I don’t predetermine exactly how much of the manuscript I’m going to cover, because that just seems to focus on quantity at the expense of quality.
Instead, I do my time and then stop, knowing that I have really focused on trying to make the novel better.
Do you have any writing tips you’d care to share? If so, feel free to drop a comment in the box below. And have a great week!
Filed under Craft, Fiction
I find that if I start working early in the morning my day seems to go a whole lot more easily. (And this is coming from someone who didn’t like to get out of bed!)
But I find my life as a self-publisher so exciting, that I often find that I’m getting out of bed earlier than I planned, because I have something on my mind and I want to get on with it.
Sometimes, I get started at 6 am.
Well, I don’t have a commute, so that save’s me about an hour. I make myself some tea and settle down to get some things done before the phone starts ringing. I have found that I can clear my desk and still have time for major projects like making a movie by starting early.
If you feel overwhelmed right now, why not try it?
The catch (of course) is that you have to go to bed early, to get enough sleep. Which is very important:)
My tip for this month is to take a break in the middle of the day.
Lunchtime is the perfect excuse to get away from your desk. If you work in an office, use it as an excuse to get to know your co-workers by inviting them out to lunch. If you work by yourself, use lunchtime as an excuse to do something else.
I like to bake, so I’ll often use that time to cook. When everything is in the oven, I sit down and have a quick bite. Whatever you do DON’T eat lunch at your desk. Yes, it’s very tempting to do so. But here’s one thing to consider. The brain gets tired after doing the same old thing over and over. It needs a break. Forcing yourself to take that hour break will mean that you return to your desk refreshed and ready to get on with your afternoon.
My tip for this month is to carve out some time to meditate.
“Don’t ask me to make time for one more thing!” you say.
I reply that even I, who am naturally rather lazy, have finally hit upon a perfect way to get some meditation into my crowded day. I do it immediately after getting up. There is something about being half asleep that makes your meditation practice go a whole lot easier.
“But I don’t have time!” you say.
I reply, “Set your clock for 10 minutes, and you will feel much better about starting your busy day. Find a comfortable seat so that you can sit with a straight back. Close you eyes, and breathe deeply. Focus on how you feel. Where are your aches and pains? How do you feel? Focus on breathing gently as you mentally massage those places. If you have any time left over, practice listening deeply to the sounds around you. And set your intention for the day. What do you want to accomplish? You will find that your ten minutes has passed, and now you can begin your day feeling refreshed and focused.”
Do you have a meditation practice that you’d like to share? If so, drop a comment in the comment box.
Have a wonderful week!
My tip for today is to turn off your email.
That’s right. Quit Safari, quit Firefox, quit your web-browser, and while you’re at it turn off your iPhone, and any other device that might interrupt you with beeps or chimes.
But I’m waiting for an important message, you say.
I reply, buy a good kitchen timer, and set it for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour and let yourself focus on your work. At the end of that time, get up from your seat, stretch and glance at your email. For 5 minutes.
Repeat this process. You will find that you get much more work done, and are not so frazzled.
Do you have any tips on how to organize your time in this crazily busy world we live in? Feel free to drop a comment in the box below.
Have a great week!
This piece first appeared in the June newsletter. If you would like to read more such tips, or hear about how my progress on THWARTED QUEEN is going, please sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the appropriate link to the right.