Finding time for work, family life, and daily chores is a juggling act for everyone. Writers face a unique challenge in that they have to carve time from an already packed schedule to find inspiration, nurture their creativity, write, and promote their works.
At the Mystery by the Sea June meeting members shared some of their tips for staying motivated, getting inspired, and meeting goals. Here are some highlights from the discussion:
→ Work in intervals. If you struggle with staying focused, commit yourself to a set amount of time – 5, 10, 20 minutes – and write during that time period. When time is up, run an errand or complete a chore and return to your desk for another session.
→ Use index cards to keep your novels or longer pieces organized. Use different colored index cards or highlighters to distinguish between the various plots and subplots. Keeping track of your storylines will ensure all loose ends are tied up at the end of the novel. As ideas come to you, jot notes on the index cards so your thoughts will be available when you sit down to write.
→ Get more out of the time you spend doing routine chores by thinking about your writing as you work. Ruminate on a pesky plotline while loading the dishwasher after dinner or mull over the nuances of a character as you vacuum. When your body is active, your mind can be too.
→ Let music inspire you. Songs can spark an idea or an emotion that could be the beginnings of a novel, short story, or poem.
→ Find time in your day to write. One member told the group about how she writes and eats lunch in her car at work. That time is her time to create and let the words flow. When can you steal a few minutes for your writing?
→ Remember that writing is a privilege. Capturing your thoughts, feelings, and imaginings on paper in words is a joy to be treasured. Everyone has a unique voice that tells a story.