In my last post, I shared how a fellow writer managed to get down almost 36,000 words despite him having a family, a toddler and mushrooms growing in his basement.
And I asked “What’s my excuse?”
Truth is, I don’t have one. I just suck at setting boundaries with myself. When I’ve blocked off time to work on my writing, my process goes something like this:
- Put on comfy clothes
- Tell my husband I’m unavailable
- Sit down to my computer
- Put my hair in a pony tail
- Redo ponytail 15 times
- Pay bills
- Get some water
- Go back for a snack
- Do dishes
- Sit back down
- Clean my ear buds
- Arrange my desk toys so that everyone’s making friends
- Check my WordPress reader
- Wonder why I haven’t written anything
- Curse my lack of discipline
- Admire my clean kitchen
- Vow to try this whole writing thing again tomorrow and binge-watch my latest obsession on Netflix
For the sake of brevity, I left out all the times I go through my playlist looking for the right music. Hey, who am I to give up on a music library with over 1,000 song titles?
I know I’m not alone here.
My husband doesn’t bug me. Sure, cats aren’t always conducive to human productivity, but I can hardly blame mine (despite the evidence).
Henwen, was that really necessary?
But if I haven’t written what I want to write, if I’m not writing at all—it’s my fault.
That goes for you, too. If you’re not writing, it’s your fault. You’re not setting down the necessary boundaries with yourself to make it happen.
As you can see, I’m just as guilty.
I recently came across a TED talk that helped give me a wake-up call. It’s 5 ways to kill your dreams by entrepreneur and author Bel Pesce. If you can carve out 6 minutes and 11 seconds, watch it.
She said some things that resonated with me.
If you have dreams, it’s your responsibility to make them happen…No one achieves theirs goals alone. But if you didn’t make them happen, it’s your fault. Check out the whole video
Good news. If you’re not writing, you can change that.
I haven’t come up with any tips for carving out writing time, but author Kristen Lamb has. And she wrote a post about it: Time Management—Are We Busy or Fruitful?
Okay, sorry to break the news but time isn’t hidden in the couch cushions like loose change, Cheerios and that remote control we haven’t seen in a month. We can’t find time. We’re given time. How we spend it’s our choice. Read her post
Seriously, between my fellow writer’s 99 pages, Bel Pesce’s TED talk and Kristen Lamb’s blog post, it feels like the universe is beating me over the head to get it in gear.
I hear you, Universe. But feel free to keep it coming because you know me so well.
Now, in writing this post, I was tempted to set up some complicated tracking system and find a writer’s hack I can share. However, given my track record of sticking to a system (my pickle jar now owes me $750; I charge a high interest), I’ll save myself the embarrassment.
Because trying to come up with a miraculous writer’s miracle hack is one more way I distract myself.
I suspect that I’m not alone in that, either.
The only system I’ve found that works so far is to take the time I’d spend planning my newfound miracle hack and use it to park my butt and write.
So far, so good. I wrote this blog post.
Normally when I end a post, I like to ask for your feedback. Your thoughts. Your experience. Not this time, although you’re more than welcome to share those, too. This time, I welcome you to write 300 words and post it in the comments
If you do, congratulations. You’re now 300 words closer to dream.