Jan 24, 2012

Effective Time to Write

By Leesa Ostrander

I am in the middle of re-prioritizing my time set for writing, family, profession, training for marathon and the small business I own. With all the pots boiling on my stove I thought the article on Jan. 18, 2012, on writersdigest.com (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/8-tips-for-making-the-most-of-your-writing-time) 8 Tips for Making the Most of Your Writing Time, was meant for me.
Aine Greaney suggests 8 tips to help:
1. Make a date with yourself. Set a regular date for writing, and show up on time.
2. Right brain. Right time. Figure out when you’re most energized and creative, and make the most of it.
3. Find a clean, well-lit place. You don’t need an artist studio with an ocean view, but make your writing space comfortable and inspiring.
4. Tell your family and friends. Enlist their support and cooperation in achieving your writing goals.
5. Same time, same place. Establish a routine, and stick with it.
6. Switch off all electronic communication. Enough said.
7. Set a daily word quota. This makes it easier to quantify your success.
8. Allow yourself to write badly. Give yourself a break—you can always revise later.

I hear, been told and in the back of my mind know all these tips are important and keep writing focused on writing. Some are easier for me than others.
Turning off electronics, allowing myself to write badly, and writing at the correct time are not so difficult for me. The difficult number is enlisting support and making a date specific for writing. I tend to fill the writing slot with other to-do items, and not always essential.
I decided to use this list as I do with my running training. When I train I have a log for miles run, food eaten, water and protein intake. I adjusted the log to fit words written, specific time set for writing, door closed in office and desk clear. When I log these steps it allows my brain to know, “this is training time.”
Do you agree? What would you add to making the most of your time and being the most effective?


  1. I've never been an "organized" person. Ever! I wished I was, but after about 40 years I've finally accepted who I am. I know people who can compartmentalize their lives with schedules, and I applaud them--envy them, even. Last night I was waiting for an eBay auction to come up and buy a drafting machine for my brother. I completely forgot about until 10:30, well past the time it expired. I kicked myself for being such an idiot. If I had been organized, then I would've done something as simple as set a phone alarm. Back when my children were young, they were my priority. My art took a backseat. I hadn't discovered my love of writing yet, either. That whole saying, "There is a time and a season for everything" really applies to me. I can write without the sense of guilt because I don't have too much to interfere with it. You have so much in your life. Wow! You're training for a marathon? You sound amazing!

  2. Letting myself write badly is a huge block for me. I like your idea of the training log. I need to convince myself that writing is not selfish. thank you for a great post!


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