The life of a writer is often a little more complicated than most people realize. A lot of us don’t get paid when we’re first starting out. And if we do, it’s either part-time work, extremely part-time to start, or we’re getting paid to write things that aren’t necessarily what we really want to be writing.
So when we get home from work, in the evenings and on the weekends, we’re not just lounging around. Often times, we’re writing. Or trying to, on top of everything else.
During NaNoWriMo 2015 we helped you catch up on your word count when you fell behind and taught you how to keep up with writing over the Thanksgiving holiday. You apparently loved those tips. There’s more where those came from.
It’s now the weekend again (finally). Not a holiday weekend: just your average Saturday and Sunday. (At least not here in the US. To everyone reading who’s not here, I’m sorry I keep forgetting about you.) We’re going to help you get some writing done over the next two days and still have time left over for sleep, relaxation and Netflix.
Determine exactly how much you want or need to get done
On Friday or Saturday morning, sit down and figure out exactly what and how much you need to have finished before you go to bed Sunday night. Once you know what you need to get done, the end is much easier to visualize – especially if you give yourself an incentive.
Promise yourself a small reward if you get it done. On your way home from work Friday night, stop by a bookstore and buy yourself a book. Give it to someone in your household or a friend and tell them not to give it to you unless you meet your writing goals by the end of the weekend.
Get it done first thing Saturday morning
The beauty of Saturday morning – if you don’t work or have overachieving children or early lawn-mowing neighbors – is its quietness. Even if you let yourself sleep in, there’s often a bubble of time before the rest of the world truly wakes up and starts being disruptive, distracting and needy.
What’s appealing about this method is that it establishes a sense of routine. If you know you’re going to be waking up and spending the morning writing, and you stick with it long enough, it will become a habit. You’ll begin to expect and even plan and prepare for it. You might even come to look forward to and enjoy it.
Establish your own Saturday afternoon or night writing tradition
Piggybacking off the point above, if you’re not a morning person or you have another weekly Saturday morning commitment, you can also try setting something up for yourself in the afternoon or evening. A way of training your brain to get used to the fact that after lunch or dinner on Saturday, you’re going to be spending some time writing.
Since you don’t necessarily have to worry about being at work at normal time Sunday morning, you can turn this into something a little more fun by picking a new library, coffee or tea shop or cafe or bookstore as your designated writing space every week. Turn it into an adventure.
You might even find a few fellow writers or friends who will be willing to tag along with you just for the experience. Sometimes it’s good to get out and write somewhere different.
In a nutshell, if you plan out how much you need to do, give yourself a time and place to do it in and add a little flavor into the mix, you’ll get that new book you bought for yourself.
As for how to make time to actually sit down and read it … good luck with that one. :)
Image courtesy of medpillmart.com.