Dear writer friend,
Last week I paid attention to the amount of time I spend thinking about getting started writing during the time I’ve committed to writing. It’s a lot. If I were to watch myself live, I would be yelling at myself, “What are you even doing?! Get to work already.” I can’t use the excuse that I need to warm up. I already get up and feed the dogs, make coffee, meditate for five minutes, walk the dogs, and read a few poems. And…yet…I caught myself checking my phone, my email, my Facebook–”real quick”. It was not real quick and also doing those kinds of things gets you out of the mood for writing and amps up anxiety. So, I made some changes once I noticed this focus vampire of a habit.
Commit to doing the work
My challenge to you this week is to commit to the work. When you sit down to write, don’t do anything else “real quick”. I mean it. If you have to, stare at the wall and watch your breath for a few breaths before you get started, but don’t check your email and don’t pick up your phone.
Don’t do anything that is not on your writing list for the day. For me that’s read a few poems while I sip my coffee, then write for at least three twenty-five minute sessions (5 minute break in between to free write about what I’m working on), then submit three pieces of work for publication.
That’s what writing looks like for me on a typical day right now. This may change and that’s okay because I have a notebook where I write down my goals for every writing session.
Tip: I open the timer app I will use for writing in a separate browser before I go to bed at night, so that I do not open a browser and see my email sitting there. Have no other tabs open. Just the timer. I use Tomato Timers.
Focused and finished? Send a brag text to your writing accountability partner(s) and allow yourself a little time to play in your email or social media. You should set a timer for your play time too. I’m sure there are some other goals on your list today!
You don’t need to decide every morning whether or not to get started writing. Commit right now.