Do you feel you can only write in long, uninterrupted blocks of time? Or once you have finished all your other tasks, cleared your desk, or when you finally have a whole day, a whole evening or perhaps once you have time for 5 days straight? Because that is the only way for you to focus?
Keep on dreaming
Please wait as long as you need till you think you are ready, keep on waiting, hoping, counting on the right time. Block your weekend, plan these extra days off, postpone it till after the holidays…. And before you know it, you are still waiting for these uninterrupted blocks of time and they will never appear in your diary.
Or do you prefer to postpone your writing till the last moment, because you achieve more under pressure? Well, chances are that your mind will not be so clear and brilliant ideas won’t really pop up in these last stressful hours. So it is not really the most effective strategy.
What is a good strategy?
Lots of research suggests that you don’t need a great deal of time to write. On the contrary, not having written for weeks or months and then deciding to have long writing sessions, writers noticed they are much less productive than writers who write a little bit every day.
Writing every day for 15 minutes is very beneficial. Of course, you don’t have to believe me, but do me a favour and just try it in the coming week. Every day, plan 15 minutes of writing time in your schedule and see what happens.
Don’t use the excuse that your desk is a mess, that you don’t have the right materials, that you are not in the right environment. Set your timer and write for 15 minutes. Whatever and whenever!
A next step
Have you noticed that it actually works? The next step is then to figure out how much time you can reserve for writing.
Have a look at your work schedule for the coming time and plan your writing sessions, each for at least 15 minutes. Preferably a couple of hours, that’s all you need. Often more hours won’t have the same effect.
Make sure your goal is realistic. Don’t plan a couple of hours after a long day of work. If you had a really busy week, don’t write in the weekend. Instead, use that weekend to recharge and relax. Don’t be too ambitious but just give yourself these 15 minutes of writing time every day. Have a bit more time? Great, plan some more time for writing. Chances are big you will write.
Uninterrupted blocks of time don’t really exist. But 10 minutes of writing time here and there will definitely be available in between your other arrangements.
By writing every day a little bit, I promise you that you will be much more productive on the days your schedule allows you to write for longer. Why? Because you can reduce the length of time to warm up. All these short sessions of writing are your warming up.
The less you write, the harder it gets.
Make sure you write every day! Try to create a writing addiction, make it a habit. And please stop making excuses and stop cheating on yourself.
Just do it every day. Like brushing your teeth. You don’t need to be reminded of brushing your teeth, do you?
And like a visit to the dentist will be less scary, knowing you have brushed your teeth every day (that’s how it works for me), writing and getting feedback on your writing will be less scary, once you start writing every day.