Friday, November 20, 2009


    Are you having trouble finding time to write every day? I know of no writer who says he/she has plenty of opportunities to devote to their work-in-progress. After all, our lives are so busy, how can we fit an hour or more of writing into an already full day? It's a challenge anyone who dreams of publication. However, finding the time may not be the real issue. For many writers the solution is more a matter of setting the stage properly than it is budgeting the hours.

    Let me give you an example. You get up in the morning, dress and grab something to eat and dash out the door. The day job is hell. You get home feeling exhausted, both physically and mentally. You may or may not have children to care for, but whether you live alone or you have a large family, there is an overwhelming desire to…just chill out as soon as you walk through the front door. The very last thing you feel like doing is diving into a second demanding job, which is what writing seems to have become for you. This is why so many novice writers give up on their novels or short story careers. Pure, soul-draining, defeating fatigue.

    What is needed is a change of mindset. Here's one way to do it. Think of writing as your guilty pleasure. Indulge yourself by setting up your writing area with a favorite snack and beverage. (I love a glass of red wine with cheese and crackers.) Light a scented candle. Play your favorite music. Make your writing station at home as comfortable and relaxing as possible. This is your retreat from the real world, your private oasis to which you will flee at the end of a day you may have had little control over. Here, with your characters, you are the boss. You have a story to tell of your own marvelous invention, and you leave behind the madness of daily life.

    Schedule your personal writing retreats to match your high-energy times of the day, if possible. If you're a night owl and have a day job, you've got a perfect match of available time for your creative powers. If you're a morning person, rise and shine an hour earlier than usual and seize the first part of the day as your own. Have breakfast with your characters, and make it a little special—flavored coffee, an egg sandwich, or pastry. Something you enjoy that won't take long to prepare.

    If you think of your writing time as the highlight of your day, the time when you treat yourself to comfort and luxuriate in the fantasy you're creating on paper or screen, you'll feel differently about spending an hour or more at the keyboard! Happy writing--Kathryn

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