Showing posts with label writing time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing time. Show all posts

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Four Tips to Keep Your Writing Momentum

Writers can have a difficult time maintaining momentum. Many writers seem to write in fits and spurts. They may write consistently for a month or two, and then their inspiration towards their manuscripts seems to dwindle and they don’t get to their desks for weeks or months. It seems that something always gets in the way of their writing. Before we know it, months have gone by and we have not done any writing on our WIP. 

    This is quite common for many beginning and intermediate writers. It is also common for writers who work full time and have so many other things to do every day such as family, kids, caring for parents, and other issues. There always seems to be something that bulldozes their intention to get to their desks to write.

    One of the most important things that we have to remember is that unless we get to our desks to write every day or most days, we won’t be as productive and therefore we won’t be successful in our writing careers. Not only that, but we will also be frustrated because we can’t seem to manage our writing life effectively.

    In what follows, I will offer you a few tips, that when followed will ensure that you keep your momentum on your writing project until it is complete.

Writing–of any kind–takes great commitment and self-discipline, and there may be times when you find it difficult to carve out the hours you need or to find the energy to devote to your writing. Here are some suggestions to keep you moving forward:

1.    Write every day

There is no more important piece advice that any writer can give another writer than to show up to your desk and actually do some writing every day. Think in terms of output rather than time–set your goal at one page a day instead of one hour a day. That way, you have concrete evidence of your progress.

2.    Set aside a particular time of day (or night) to write

In order to create writing momentum, writers must make it a habit. Like any other learned skill, writing requires practice. We learn by doing. If we schedule our writing time–the way we would a piano lesson or a work-out at the gym–we’re giving our writing the priority it deserves.

3.    Stretch your 24-hour day

It can be hard to always find time to write. There are always a thousand other things that need to be done. The fact is you probably won’t find the time to write unless you make time for it.  Here are a few tips:

•    Get up an hour early, set the coffee maker and get right to work.
•    Resist the urge to take a nap when you put the baby down.
•    Shut your office door and write through your lunch hour.
•    Decide that an hour of writing time is more important than an hour of television.

4.    If you can’t write, think instead

Thinking is an important part of the writing process. If you’ve established your regular daily writing time, as we suggested above, make the most of that time by preparing yourself mentally beforehand. Start thinking about your manuscript a few hours before you sit down at your computer, so that you’re ready to write when you get to your desk. Even if you can’t set aside time to write every day, you should at least make thinking about writing a daily activity. By thinking about writing even when you aren’t doing it, you’ll make writing a natural and necessary part of your life.

By taking these steps, you will be gaining momentum in your writing career.  There is no better way to ensure that you develop the self-discipline to write and get to your desk regularly. Not only will you build self-confidence, but you will also build on your skills as a writer and get a lot of writing done.

For a lot more tips on how to be a healthy writer, double click on this link: Healthy Writer.

About the Author

Irene S. Roth, MA writes for teens, tweens, and kids about self-empowerment. She is the author of over thirty books and over five hundred online articles. She also writes articles for kids, tweens and teens and her articles have appeared in Encounter, Pockets, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine, and Stories for Children Magazine and Online. She also has four hundred and sixty published book reviews both online and in print.


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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing Time

Too Little Time?

By gnuckx [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Sunset, Italy 
How much time do you spend writing per day? I know many of us are not able to settle down for five days a week as professional writers. We juggle home/family commitments, other jobs.

But take a second or two once in a while to review your precious writing time and consider how much of it is truly spent in the white heat of creation.

I spend far too long writing articles. I excuse this by saying I need thinking  time.

But if I'm honest, that should be happening while I make the beds or wash the dishes. How long does it take to jot down a few bullet points or dictate a memo when you have an idea on the move?

With an outline and a few headings, the article or blog post is as good as written.

Or Too Much?

Too much time can be as much of a drawback as too little. Many authors think that having more time to write will mean they write twice as much.

In fact, this is rarely the case. The secret is not time but focus. And my focus is demonstrably sharper when deadlines loom and time is of the essence.

Set a timer, how much can you write in ten minutes? Work with happy music and a driving beat--how fast do you write?
Do you write at your fastest every day?

And if you do, please tell me how you do it.

For an in-depth look at the importance of focus, see this article by Karen Cioffi-Ventrice on productivity strategies.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

How do You Capture Writing Time?

As I approach 60, I know that life occurs in stages and I wake up amazed some days at where I am in relation to where I thought I would be. I find when talking to others my age, they are either pursuing their dream or feeling overwhelmed and disappointed that there is never enough time to reach their goal. As a nurse and also a shop owner,  I have heard it more than once from peers..... "I will do such and such when I have more time" or " when I retire I want to take up sewing, quilting, writing, painting, volunteering," and the list goes on. Well folks, I am here to say for the record for those who want to pursue writing the time is now.

While some other skills, hobbies, or crafts may have to wait because of finances or family obligations, writing can be done with little investment and with as little time as 15 minutes a day. It is all about capturing those precious moments of time to pursue your writing dream.

 Writers just beginning need only a piece of paper and a pen. Simple enough, and of course the desire to say something to the reader. I dare say that those of us with some experience need only a pen and paper as well. The vast amount of courses, books, and software that help writers to hone their skills are invaluable but a writer needs a pen, paper, the spark of an idea, and TIME to pursue the dream.

So how do writers capture writing time?

 I find that the most important thing is to prioritize. Making a list of activities that take time in each day and writing this in on the page helps to identify snippets of time that can be directed towards writing time. Scheduling a set time for writing on the calendar makes it as important as any other item you schedule, but only you/I can decide how important to make it.

Preparing is another way to capture writing time. Always carry a small notepad and pen with you wherever you go. Writing phrases of a conversation, the colors of a sunset, the scents, sounds, or adjectives describing an emotional or important event can be jotted down. Later those few words may be all it takes to flesh out a great story or article. Technology allows many notes to be made or recorded on your cell phone deleting the need for pen and paper so being prepared can be a simple as knowing how to utilize those apps on your phone or notepad.

I find that the best way to capture writing time is to actively pursue it After I prioritize the list of tasks for my day, then prepare by having pen and paper, I am better able to pursue valuable writing time every time I have a few extra minutes during the day. I work a part time nursing job and run a quilt shop but I can still flesh out a scene during my lunch break or write a character description during a lull at the shop. I use waiting time at appointments, extra minutes in the early morning or 30 minutes before bed.

 Capturing writing time can be a challenge for those who have kids at home but so rewarding as you find time to squeeze writing in between homework, bedtime, and other family activities. Try for at least 15 minutes a day and you will gradually be able to add more time as your story or article begins to take shape.

For those who pursue writing full time,  an eight- ten hour writing day might be the norm. Others like myself must grab writing time in between another job or business. When writing is a priority, capturing writing time is as much a part of life as doing laundry or making dinner. You just do it. Prioritize, prepare, and pursue.

 How do you capture your writing time?

Terri Forehand captures writing time between nursing, quilting, running a quilt shop, and being a grandma. Author of The Cancer Prayer Book and The ABC's of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane, she writes from her home nestled in the hills of Brown County Indiana. Visit her author blog at and her author website at

Monday, April 21, 2014

Procrastination Styles - Results from Survey

Last month I asked our readers to complete the procrastination style survey .  Thanks to everyone who participated in this survey.  We had over 100 respondents!  The pie chart below breaks-out  the percentage  for each procrastination style.  

  • Many respondents indicated their procrastination style was a combination of styles.
  • The largest group of respondents were Dreamers, followed by Crisis-makers, then Perfectionists.  

  • 25% of  respondents were male; 75% female

  • The only category that appeared to have a correlation related to gender was defier.  A greater percentage of males were defiers than females.

  • 44% of the respondents were under 30
  • 39% of the respondents were over 50
  • Over-givers crossed all age groups except 20 and under.

Although different forces drive each procrastination style, structure is the one tool that helps keep any procrastinator on track.  Scheduling and tracking your writing time on your calendar can increase your productivity.  Start with manageable time expectations--something you know you can achieve.  This sets the stage to keep your personal commitments.   Slowly build your time commitment.  This structure will keep you focused.  

Try this for two or three weeks, and see if it impacts your writing.  I'd love to hear from anyone who tries this strategy or already schedules their writing time.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:  

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