I have a young friend who at 16 has written two novels. Amazing.
She’s worked hard on them, writing non-stop.
Some days, I envied her because (well everyone envies a 16-year-olds’ health!) her life isn’t cluttered up with things. She could choose to write because there were few demands on her time.
Recently, though, she started a part-time job at a burger joint.
It’s her junior years, so school is getting busier and busier.
She asked me how I find time to write.
Finding Time to Write – Hitting a Moving Target
This is a question whose answer changes constantly. It think that’s important to remember, that as your life changes, you must find a new answer to this question.
When I first started writing, I had four children underfoot. To remind myself to write every day, I carried an ink pen in my jeans pocket. One day, that ink pen leaked and permanently stained the jeans. It’s a stain that reminded me on other days to write.
Now, my life is full of other problems. As a publishing company, there’s advertising, accounting, new book covers, and so many other tasks that consume my day. And in the midst of it, I need to find time to write.
Right now, it works better to schedule a block of days for projects. January/February were taken up by creating a video course about writing picture books (More about that in a future post). But March will be revising a fantasy novel. In the midst of everything else–because all the publishing tasks never stop–I work steadily on the project-of-the-month.
Someone once said: In the short run, I get less done than I expect; but in the long run, I get more done.
That’s my motto these days. Interruptions take me away from the writing. But by consistently coming back to it, I get lots done. Some friends say that I’m very prolific. I don’t think so. I just think that I’m consistent in reaching toward a goal.
OK. I’ll do accounting. But then, I’ll write for 30 minutes.
OK. I’ll proof that cover. But then, I’ll edit what I wrote for 10 minutes.
OK. I’ll create a couple ads. But then, I’ll brainstorm the next chapter for 15 minutes.
Those kids trained me to chunk a task into small sections and to concentrate on just that one segment next. When that’s done, the next segment is naturally apparent and I plan when I can do that one.
In the short run, it looks like I’m going nowhere fast.
In the long run, my writing gets done.
And so can yours.
From Rejection to Acceptance
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