HOW’S THAT WORKING FOR YOU?

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my new commitment to make writing a priority instead of an I’ll-write-if-I-have-time, never-get-around-to-it hobby. (Curious? Read PARADIGM SHIFT.)

Two weeks later, how’s that working for me?

I’m glad you asked! In addition to keeping up with the weekly newspaper articles, blog posts, etc., I am finally making steady progress on that manuscript I began a couple of years ago. YES, I am excited!

Writing before housework. The house isn’t as clean as I’d like, but I’m learning to live with that.

I’ve made a few other changes, too, in addition to putting writing before chores:

I still write blog posts and newspaper articles downstairs at the kitchen counter, but I work on my manuscript upstairs in the boys’ room. The “boys” are all grown men now and have moved out of the house – SO – their room makes a lovely office. I appreciate having an uncluttered place to work. (The mess downstairs, since I’m not cleaning as often, can be a distraction.) Plus, I can close the door on household projects that clamor for my time.

Heading upstairs with my laptop feels like going to work. Bingo!

I keep a calendar at my writing table, on which I record the specific blocks of time I work each day. At the end of the day, I total my hours and how many words I’ve written. I have a daily time-&/or-word-count goal – not that I always achieve that goal, but I make a serious effort.

It’s sort of like clocking in and out at work. Bingo!

When I work upstairs on the computer, I do NOT check email, Facebook, the weather, etc. The only windows/documents I keep open are my manuscript, a character list, a document containing scene ideas, and an online dictionary.

When I worked as a cashier at WalMart, employees were not allowed to have their phones at their registers. This was to make sure we focused on our work, instead of getting distracted by our technology.

When I head upstairs to write, I head upstairs to write. I can doodle around on Facebook during my “off” time. Upstairs, it’s time to work, not goof off. It’s sort of like putting your smart phone away before stepping behind the register. Bingo!

The experts I’ve read have all said:

  • protect your writing time;
  • have a designated place to write, preferably a room with a door that closes;
  • set daily writing goals;
  • eliminate distractions.

How is this working for me? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: the experts know what they’re talking about. My attitude about writing has been completely transformed, and my productivity has steadily increased over the past two weeks.

Oh, one more thing: the experts also say to have fun. I’ve discovered that when I make writing a priority and when I sit down at the keyboard regularly to do creative work in an environment that is relatively free of distractions, stress dissipates and writing becomes fun again. So, yeah, not only am I more productive, but I am also having more fun. Cool!

Do you want to be a writer, too? Listen to the experts.

And then, check back in here and let me know: How’s that working for you?

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