Making Time To Write - Tips For Lazy People (Yes, Me)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I feel like such an imposter. All the other bloggers here (and probably the readers, too) have hectic lives - they get up before the sun rises, they have children to raise, and full-time jobs to work and houses to clean.

I used to think I was busy. I'm doing school by correspondence, so I can complete a whole bunch of subjects I couldn't do at school. I'm constantly snowed under by work. I have a lot of responsibilities in my household. I run errands occasionally, speak to people on the phone, always seem to have something to do right now and can't go out with friends.

I see now that I'm an imposter. I'm a lazy teenager. I'm not busy at all compared to you folks. Forgive me, please!

Now, for your edification, I present:

Making Time To Write - Tips For Lazy People (Yes, Me)
  • Wake up an hour earlier, or stay up an hour later. If you're lazy like I am, this will be difficult. If you're extraordinarily busy, it will be pretty much impossible. But if you can do it, it's really worth dedicating an hour at the start or the end of your day to writing, and nothing else.
  • Blogging about writing is not writing. Neither is Facebook, Twitter or anything else you use as an excuse by saying you're 'networking'. Writing comes before this.
  • Stop watching TV. Really, apart from the news, it's a total waste of time. If you have favourite shows, watch them, but don't watch the shows that are on before and after, because you'll wind up sitting on the couch all evening when you could be writing.
  • If writer's block is making you procrastinate instead of writing write something different. Write an essay or a short story. Then come back to your novel. Honestly, I think a lot of writer's block is just when there's an obstacle in your story you can't figure out. If you work on something else, you'll probably have a fresh perspective when you return to your work-in-progress and you won't have just avoided writing for a week (and said it was okay to yourself, because you were so busy).
  • Do not play videogames at all. Okay, this is probably only a problem if you're fifteen. But, seriously, it accomplishes nothing.
  • Don't write when hungry. If you're anything like me, you'll be thinking about food the entire time. And plot points will crop up that centralize about food. And you'll be going, perhaps I should hav something to eat? Then you'll leave and eat something and never return to your writing. Eat before you write. Sure, you can have all the time in the world to write, but it's important to be productive during that time, and actually write something.
  • Have someone to answer to. Promise a friend or fellow writer that you'll email them a chapter a week, 10,000 words a month, etc. That way, they can email you and ask why you haven't written anything. Fear of this email will force you to write. Do the same for them. (This is important if you don't have any deadlines. If you have deadlines - like write article by this day, hand in rewrites by this day, then you should be writing anyway.) No more procrastination!
  • Share your tips for making time to write! I actually have to go write something...

*I originally posted this at the We Love YA blog.
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