Monday, January 16, 2012

Resolutions - Write More

One of my Writing Resolutions this year is to "Write More".  Here is how I plan to do it.

For me, finding the time to write has been relatively easy.  I run to my study whenever I find a lull in the hectic pace of my family life or, you know, pretty much whenever everyone around me stops screaming for a few minutes.

Setting up the space has worked out fine.  Although I do share my office space, I have a dedicated writing area that is all my own (once everyone in the family clears out of the doorway).

So what has stopped me, up until now, from writing more?  Why is it that when I sit down on my computer, I don't write nonstop for the half-hour or hour allotted to me that day?

First of all, the internet is a constant lure for me.  I want to research something to put into my story or my blog and I suddenly find myself playing a few games of Bubble Town.  After a while, I forget why I even came in the study in the first place.

Then, I want to find out what's happening in the rest of my house.  What is there to snack on?  Who's in the living room and what are they watching on t.v.?  There goes another hour, willingly frittered away, on Thinsations and reruns of Chopped.

What have I learned from the examples above?

Writing is solitary.  It disconnects you from the world--which is a good thing if you want to get a story done.  You need to be alone.  But now, as I get older, I have less tolerance for being alone.  I want company.  I crave connections, whether it's with my family in front of the television or on Twitter with a few hundred strangers.

This is a change that's happened within me.  Life has sped up and I have gone along with the new breakneck pace.  I need to slow down.  I need to think.  To reflect.  To savour both the thought process of writing and the writing itself.

So these are the techniques I will be trying out when I have my regular writing time:

1) Breathe.  Empty my mind.  Meditate.  I want to spend at least five minutes doing nothing but preparing myself to write every time I want to sit down in front of the computer.

2) Time myself.  I will set a timer next to me so that I know how long I've been in front of the computer.

3) Set mini-goals.  I will not get up from my desk until I have 100, 500 or 1,000 words written.  I don't care if it takes me ten minutes or hours to reach that goal.

4) Be flexible.  This one seems to go against my previous techniques but I also need to give myself the ability to balance my family, friends and day job.  If I can't, say, write ten pages this week, I can role this part of my goal into the following week and aim for twelve pages then.

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