9 Ways to Write More and Stay True to Your Dreams
Will You Die Before You Write Your Life?
Do you want to be a writer? The answer to that is almost certainly “yes” since some estimates put the number of Americans who dream of writing a book at a cool 200 million.
The real question, then, is what are you doing to fulfill that dream? For the vast majority of us, the answer to THAT query is “nothing”!
We all know the excuses we give ourselves, right? Too busy, too tired, too young, too old, not quite ready, writer’s block – on and on and on they go.
There may be occasions when those excuses are legitimate reasons for not writing, but for the the most part, they’re bunk.
The time is now to get off your writing butt and stop being scared about what you can or cannot accomplish. You won’t know for sure until you try, and it’s too late when you die.
To help you out, here are 8 ways to write more starting today and stay true to that author in your heart.
No Boundaries Can Stop Your Writing
Get Up Early
How much time do you need to write a hundred words? A few hundred? Once you get into the writing groove, even 10 minutes can obliterate that blank screen in front of you.
Set your alarm a whopping 12 minutes early on work days, and you will have magically found a full hour to write every week.
Stay Up Late
If your throbbing head can’t stand the thought of getting up early in the morning, you may need to re-examine your lifestyle. Or, you could just stay up even later instead. What’s another few minutes when you’ve already passed the witching hour, anyway?
Write at Lunch
What do you do for lunch? If your plans don’t include writing, then you’re missing out on a huge block of time to hone your craft. If you can swing it, eat and write at your desk. At worst, you should be able to find a quiet corner somewhere to scribble in a notebook.
Write While You Watch TV
Everybody wants you to give up TV, because it’s such a time-sucker, and that’s a great idea. You don’t have to go that far, though, because most brain-enabled people are capable of typing on a laptop while Modern Family plays on the living room tube. You may have some heavy editing to do later, but you CAN write while hanging out with the family.
Try Free Writing
Speaking of heavy editing, have you tried free writing yet? If not, you need to treat yourself to this experience soon and frequently. To free write, set up your work area, turn off distractions (if you wish), set a timer, and then write until the alarm dings. Don’t pause, don’t look up synonyms, don’t edit. If you want your session to be REALLY productive, don’t even look at the screen while you write – I like to watch a video or gaze out the window. Sure, the result will be a visual mess, but you can write hundreds of words in no time flat, and it’s an almost instant cure for writer’s block.
Write With Your Voice
For a change, or if circumstances won’t allow you to actually write, you can always dictate your thoughts into your smart phone. This method lacks some of the tactile experiences of “real” writing, but you’ll end up transcribing the work later, anyway, and it can keep you in the creative groove.
If you have a long commute to work, then you know all about soul-sapping black holes. You can turn that abyss into an oasis, though, by using mass transit or setting up a carpool. On the days you don’t drive, what better way to pass the time than pounding out some verbiage?
Write on Breaks
Don’t smoke? Don’t fret! You can use your breaks at work or at school to create! You usually won’t have much time, so this is a great opportunity to use your new-found free-writing skills.
Bring It All Together With Pomodoro
The Pomodoro Technique is a very simple method for helping you focus on a specific task for a brief period of time. It can help you laser in on whatever topic you're writing about for whatever sliver of time you might have. Traditional Pomodoro works like this:
- Pick a task to work on.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the bell tolls.
- Take a five-minute break.
You repeat the 25-on-5-off pattern for four total cycles, or two hours, and then take a longer break. If you have less time available, then reduce your Pomodoro duration accordingly.
It may sound too simple to work, but it can dramatically increase your writing productivity and help you squeeze out as many words as possible each day, no matter when you write.
If you want to learn more particulars about the method, you can read my complete guide to Pomodor for writers.
It's Your Move
Of course, there are plenty of other ways that you can squeeze in some time for writing, but I’ll leave it to you to figure those out.
No doubt you’ll come up with some good ones, because you’re creative. When you do, tell me about them in the comments below, or tell me which of these ideas you plan to try.
You’re going to be a writer, after all!
How do YOU plan to fit writing into your schedule?
About the Author
Adam Hughes is a writer and IT professional from central Indiana. Visit his website at AdamHughesWriter.com for free short stories and other writing tips, and to see what effect miles of corn fields can have on a man's fiction.