I am a firm believer in goals, as S.M.A.R.T as you can make them. Check out my 2022 Writing Plan document and file/make a copy for yourself while you’re at it. This document should be proof enough that I root for team have a specific plan and write it down.
I believe that when you sit down to write you should kindly ask your goals to go for a walk and get some air.
When you sit down to write, you want to enter a flow. You want to be patient and stay in the moment. Future-tripping about whether you are going to meet your word count or deadline is going to hurt your writing. You will let things through that you know could be better just because you want to finish.
When you sit down to write, you need patience and presence. You need to climb into the sentence, the scene, the place and be there: hear it, see it, smell it, feel it, taste it. Then, you need to sit back, read it out loud and ask yourself–In what ways does this scene develop my story? My character? What parts of this scene does neither of those things?
Then, cut, cut, cut.
You can’t also be thinking about your word count goal or deadline. That efficiency mindset will stifle your voice. Isn’t telling stories that matter to you in your voice the reason you wake up at the crack of dawn or write during your lunch break?
Here are some things I do to keep my goals out of my writing time.
For me right now that means I have an electric blanket on my lap. I’ve meditated, said my prayers, lit a candle. Even before that, I have a designated space where I know I will work. I have visual inspiration and affirmations posted everywhere. I have lists to keep me focused and to remember good habits. For instance, I have a post-it note with a no symbol (circle/slash) through it. Email is productivity straight up. Send it walking too.
Sit for the time.
Once you sit to write, do not get up for anything that isn’t a true emergency. So, basically unless there is a fire or you might pee your pants. I use a Pomodoro timer to keep me single focused in twenty five minute chunks. If a thought pops up screaming to be addressed now, I write it on a post-it and promise to take care of it after I write.
Talk to other writers about your process. Listen to what works for them. Read craft books. Join a writing community or group. This will build your identity as a writer. The more you truly see yourself as a writer, the easier it will be to honor the time.
Have a schedule.
You can’t sit for time you have not scheduled.
It may never go perfectly. You might have five minutes of flow or fifty. Doesn’t matter. Keep showing up.
I am here with you, showing up for the time. My light sees your light. We’ve got this.
Let’s Make Time, 2022.
Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time:
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
Monday, a run through the driving rain