Writing every day isn’t easy, but as they say, anything worth doing usually isn’t. We all have our go-to excuses: No time, too many distractions, even fear. Remember, though, there is value in every moment you sit down and put pen to paper, or keyboard to screen. The truth is, sometimes you will have to force yourself to write.
- Write as much as you need to in one day, but don’t burn yourself out.
Get far enough ahead where you have more to tell, but don’t write until you’re completely out of ideas. This can create an irrational fear about not having anything to write the next time you begin. Stop writing when you still have more to tell so you’ll be excited about your next session.
- Stay away from deep editing during your writing.
It’s hard, I know. The last thing you want to do is let an incorrectly used semicolon linger in your story, but you can catch that during the editing process. Don’t stop the pace of your story to fix small errors that will eventually be caught. If you feel like you took a wrong turn in your story, back up and see where you went wrong, but stop to edit something minor, and you will lose your train of thought.
- Give yourself a bone. Yes, like a dog. You deserve a treat for being good and sitting down to write. Didn’t we already agree that it’s hard? Tell yourself you’ll write for two hours and then reward yourself by meeting a friend for lunch, or a drink, or going to the gym, or whatever. Dangle something fun in front of your face so you’ll WANT to meet your goal.
- Create a distraction free environment on your computer.
If I had a penny for every single time Facebook stole my attention from my novel, I’d have, like, $4.00. That’s a lot. One of the best things I’ve stumbled upon recently is OmmWriter. It’s incredible. Download the program to your computer. Through the program, choose a calming background image and music you’d like to write to. Put on your headphones, and you’ll see a blank square. Nothing else. No email, no Facebook, no Twitter. Everything is blocked out. No distractions. Only you and your words.
- Get mad at yourself.
Sounds strange, I know, but, no one else is going to write the amazing lines of text that are twiddling their thumbs in your head. If you don’t get it done, it simply won’t get done. Hold yourself accountable!
There are times when you’ll want to do anything but write. Putting new laces on your tennis shoes might grab your interest, for example. Go ahead and do it, and don’t feel bad that you’ve spent fifteen minutes playing with a piece of string. But, once you’ve procrastinated as much as humanly possible, just sit down in your writing chair. Force yourself to write something. Anything. Even twenty words are better than zero.
For more tips and how-to articles on writing and other random topics, visit https://sarahfloresblog.wordpress.com/ Sarah Flores is a freelance writer and editor, and a relationship advice columnist at http://www.SarahSideways.com. She writes articles for a number of online and print publications, and is currently writing her first young adult novel.