Summer is a tricky season for maintaining habits. I’m not sure if it the warm weather or the incurable desire to head to the beach (even though it’s nowhere near where I currently live), but all I want to do is hunker down with the pile of books on my nightstand and read. Kevin Wilson’s a Perfect Little World is calling my name.
I must resist. Continue reading
We thought we would check in with you to see how you’re doing post Write by Midnight. Did the habits you developed in February stick with you? Have you been able to maintain a daily writing routine, or fine-tune your routine to better suit your lifestyle? If so, congratulations! We’d love to hear about your progress and what’s working for you. Continue reading
Megan Norris Jones
As an optimist, I assume the best about my writing. Of course I’m writing (almost) every day. Of course my manuscript is coming along beautifully. I’ll be finished in a couple of months.
When I completed WriteOwls’ Write by Midnight in February, the most useful tool in the whole month was the daily writing log. And it’s because I’m an optimist.
When I actually recorded my daily writing progress, I could no longer simply assume the best. If I didn’t write one day, that day had a big blank line beside it. And that objective record forced me to be realistic instead of just optimistic about my writing. Continue reading
For those of you who enjoyed our Write by Midnight writing log, we have tweaked it to be more generic so you can use it for any project you undertake. Click here to access it. We hope it will help you track your progress and stick to the habits you established last month.
Megan Norris Jones
This is the last week of Write by Midnight. My record this month hasn’t been perfect, but, despite numerous family obligations and unexpected responsibilities, I have managed to get up early most mornings and write. I really think I’ve established a habit. Hooray!
But an extra thirty minutes a day, while extremely helpful, won’t get my novel polished and published any time soon. So, as the month comes to a close, I’ve been considering ways to maximize my scarce writing time.
One method I’ve been experimenting with is “mental writing” while I’m engaged in other necessary tasks that require my body but not my mind. You know the ones I mean: washing dishes, folding clothes, walking the dog. I often end a writing session with a problem that I must solve in order to continue. Rather than use my precious writing time to stare at my computer screen and try to figure out what I need to write next, I use my mental writing time to work through the problem so that when I sit down at my computer again, I can dedicate the time to actual writing.
The time I spend outside or exercising seems to be the most effective, and there’s a long tradition of writers using long walks to work through narrative issues, but any time I can squeeze in some extra thought about my own story is helpful. As a result, even if I’m not writing for longer stretches, the time I do spend writing is more efficient.
How do you maximize your own writing time?