Write daily. Even if what you’re writing is a paragraph to your doctor describing an ailment, write. Write grocery lists, a letter to your great Aunt Peggy, an email to your boss or a letter to the editor of your local paper. Write as an exercise in discipline but also to create muscle memory. If you sit down every morning at 9AM and write, you will begin to feel the creative juices flow at 9AM all the time! It creates it’s own kind of discipline and reward.
Write first. If you sit down to write and look at your overflowing laundry basket and see your daughter’s uniform that she needs for today’s game and on the way to put that load of laundry on you notice the refrigerator door has handprints on the door and your son left the jam out and… You have to make writing your top priority. It has to be more important that the other “stuff” or it will be shoved to the side to deal with higher priorities. At the end of the year you’ll have lost your enthusiasm for the writing project and you’ll never know if you could have written YOUR book if you’d just let your daughter wash her own uniform the night before like she wanted.
Create a clean and simple workspace. Whether you have a dedicated office for writing or are writing at the kitchen table, if you have cluttered workspace you’ll find it hard to concentrate. Keep the workspace clean by cleaning up your mess at the end of the day. Set the timer for fifteen minutes and tidy and clean up the clutter. Your mind will be able to focus much better.
Create a daily page or word count goal. If you set a daily page goal, you’re likely to honor that commitment even if most of what you wrote was drivel. So if you set a goal of two pages a day, that’s fourteen pages a week, 61 pages a month and you get the picture.
Create a contract. Create a written contract with your family that they will not disturb you when you sit down to write for 45 minutes or whatever is an appropriate time period. In my house, it’s usually my husband that interrupts my writing. It’s difficult to balance your dream against your daughter’s inability to find her blue shirt but your asking your family to be more self-sufficient creates independent, whole children and that’s what you want in the long run.
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