If I am to finish The Red Coat by the end of the year, I have to rewrite on average 2.6 chapters per week!
How to do that? Here's what I came up with:
- Write Every Day - It's better if I write every day seven days a week, even if it's just for 15 minutes. There's more continuity that way. I can pick up more quickly where I left off. Plus, if it's a bad session and nothing gets done I won't freak out. One bad day out of seven is okay (it's actually important to be able to fail) - but if it's the only day I've written the entire week the anxiety skyrockets! I just need to get back into the habit of writing every single day.
- Make A Schedule - It also helps to map out a weekly writing schedule and stick to it. As we say in our mastermind group, it's knowing who you are -- and then building on your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses. I used to do my best writing late at night, when it was quiet and dark. Being a mom, however, forced me to become a morning person -- plus with a demanding office job I have less energy at the end of a long day. First thing in the morning turns out to be a great time for me because my internal critic is still half asleep. Now, I get up, stumble into the kitchen, get my cup of fragrant black tea, go into my writing room, close the shades, and start. On weekdays, if I've overslept, sometimes all I get is a few minutes -- on weekends the writing session can go for hours. Either way, the important thing for me is to do it first. It's like saving money. They say the best way to save is to pay yourself first.
- Stay Off the Internet - One of the "other things" I did first instead of writing was to check my email. Big mistake! A quick minute on the internet can easily burn into an hour. I'm usually quite good at sticking to this rule but there's been so much going on in the world I've been deeply distracted by the news. What good did that do anyone? Did my anxiety over world events alleviate anyone's suffering? No, the best thing under these circumstances is to stay centered, to continue working in faith that what I'm doing will make a difference one day. Write first, then check email.