The Writer’s Paradox
Let’s face it. As writers, we have the best of intentions to sit down consistently and pump out pages of quality material, but most often we put it off, letting weeks pass without writing much. It seems like such a paradox since, being writers, we’re supposed to write. So, why is it that we struggle to accomplish what we love the most?
There can be a number of culprits– writer’s block, simple procrastination, feeling too tired after completing the day’s tasks, having a busy schedule– but it normally boils down to the fact of not making it a priority and habit. Excuses shove writing into a corner, labeling it an activity only be engaged in when the perfect circumstances arise. Honestly, though, fair weather writers won’t improve much, and those manuscripts will stay lost in the depths of that folder in your computer.
The best cure I’ve found for this is simple. Commit to writing for a short amount of time every day. It’s amazing how much time you’ll find in your schedule when writing becomes a priority. Create space where happily plinking on your keyboard is the goal and where the six million other things on your to-do list can wait. If you truly want to be a writer, you have to write. Mind-blowing concept, I know, but sometimes we need to be reminded of that. Anything worthy requires commitment, and writing is no different.
To ensure I actually complete this daily goal, I’ve made the time requirement realistic. Twenty minutes works well as a minimum because I can fit it in on my busiest days, while being long enough to let me get into a flow. However, use whatever works for you. I would like to mention this is a minimum time– don’t treat it as the only time you’ll need. Writing requires dedication, so when you can carve out a few hours, absolutely take that. This amount is just in place to provide space in your routine.
Another step I’ve taken to keep myself on track is placing some restrictions on device usage until I’ve finished my twenty minutes. If you need to construct those personal limits, such as not letting yourself check any social media until you’ve written, then do it. Keep in mind it doesn’t matter how many words you actually pound out in those precious minutes, just that you use that time to dedicate to your writing.
There are many ways to carve out time to write, but making writing a daily priority is the most important step. After that, the specific approaches will be much easier to discover. How much further would you get in that novel you’re laboring over if you devoted time to it each day, not just in the spare moments you occasionally got to snatch?