|What is it, and how do I join?|
So what to talk about this month?
How about something I think most writers struggle with at some point?
I can come up with excuse after excuse about why I haven't written much this year yet, no really, see for yourself...
There was the BETA reading of a novel; the critiquing of manuscripts for friends; final edits on my alter-ego's anthology piece; kids birthdays; school closures thanks to snow; still adjusting to a new routine thanks to my daughter's revised nursery schedule; catching up on my 'essential' reading; quality family time at weekends; and let's not forget, not wanting to waste quality time with my daughter in the afternoons seeing as she starts school in September; maybe even burnout after the Christmas chaos, etc.
Okay, but so what?
That accounts for a lot of the time, fair cop, but what about the rest? You know, the evenings once the kids were in bed, the ten minutes or more I snatched here and there when the kids were engrossed in something. What was I doing then? It's not like I watch television and there's only been the occasional early night.
So what was I doing?
Err...if I wasn't reading a book, I was probably surfing the Internet; reading blogs, or most likely, hanging out on Facebook. Okay, I see my point, I lack discipline. (And yes, I do give myself lectures LOL) But I never intended to write 'seriously' until September anyway, that's when I can treat it like a job and go to work every day.
Yes, I know, yet another excuse.
It's not like much has changed compared to last year when I managed to get two pieces written and contracted. I've got ideas galore but they're not going to write themselves. There are still several months until September, do I really want to leave it that long until I make another submission? Have a gap of at least a year before my next book is published?
The sad things is, I know all the things I *should* be doing - I've read lots of blogs on it, d'oh! - but my problem is putting it into practice and making a habit of it.
So what can I do to help myself?
The internet is definitely my downfall, particularly in those two hours a day I get child-free. I really ought to be using that time to write, so if I cannot bring myself to hit the wi-fi 'off' button on my laptop, and it's not possible to use my office yet, what about taking myself out instead? What is to stop me from packing my laptop in the car when I dash out on the school run, then heading to one of the local libraries to write until it's time to do the Nursery run?
It's going to take a while to learn new habits, and I know drastic action would work short-term but would then begin to slip, so I'm going to concentrate on just one thing at a time. If I can get that two-hour window sorted, so that I'm writing every weekday term-time, I should be able to produce a decent amount of work. Maybe then I can tackle my social network addition...
What tips and tricks to you employ to make sure you write regularly?