Routines destroy productivity when they become fixed rituals—especially if you want to write while working at another full-time career. If you need to have the right chair, the right work space, computer, or the perfect software program, then you’ve restricted your options to write until those times that the stars and planets align and provide you with the perfect environment.
I took some unplanned time off from working on my blog over the past few weeks. It stemmed in large part from a life roll—the loss of our two dogs. Poppy passed at the end of April, age-related reasons, at 18 years old. Worf, only 7 years old, was diagnosed with cancer and had stopped eating despite all that we tried. It became clear he wasn't improving and we made the difficult choice to have him euthanized. It's been hard for me and my family. As I get my creative life back on track, I thought I'd share some tactics I've used that you might find helpful.
I practice meditation daily. Similarly, I practice writing. I have many different practices in my life. In my last post, I talked about how focusing on the next step can help you be more productive. I've also written about productivity killers faced by writers. One of the big things that makes me feel as if I'm failing at times is the thought of all of the projects and tasks that I'm not getting done. In my meditation practice, I use noting techniques that help me with mindfulness. You can use the same noting techniques in your writing practice (or any other parts of your life).
Take a look at the 650s section in a public library and you'll find a selection of time management books. Depending on the focus, you may find additional titles in other sections of the library, e.g., a book with more of a psychology focus might be in the 150s, while you might find some others in the 300s. Take a look, you may find a method that works well for you. For me, one of the key elements is focusing on the next step, that one thing I can do right now to move a project forward.
A decade after I decided I needed to "get serious" about my writing career. I already had a master's degree in writing popular fiction and had been writing since I was a teenager. I'd managed to get a couple stories published and enjoyed my first professional sale. At the time, I thought I'd start making a living from my writing within five years.
That didn't happen. I watched other writers, newer writers, achieve the sort of success that I wanted. I kept at it and sold more stories. I made my first forays into indie publishing and it didn't take off the way I wanted. Since I also have a satisfying career as a librarian, I shifted my focus to my library career. I kept a few things going with my writing, but mostly I let it rest for about three years. Now I'm rebuilding, revitalizing my writing career. In this post I'll share four strategies I've found helpful in starting over.
Few things divide writers more than the question of whether or not an outline is used in writing a novel. The spectrum of views on outlining shows that the best answer is the one that works for you. These books describe different approaches used by different authors to craft bestselling books.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) takes effect on May 25th, 2018. The regulation requires businesses to meet requirements around the control and processing of customer's personal information. Although an European Union regulation, it applies to any writer with EU customers. Here are resources to help you do that, along with my thinking on the topic and what I'm doing in my own business to understand meet the requirements.
It's possible to get started with Kindle ads on Amazon in only a few minutes without breaking the bank. In this post, I'll share a quick look at ads and recommend a book (I'm a librarian, I can't help it) if you want to go deeper.
Last week didn't go as I had planned. I took a vacation to head down to Lincoln City, Oregon, for a writing workshop on writing fantasy. I've done several of these workshops taught by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I signed up for this one (and the Anthology Workshop I went to in February) back when I was finishing my MLIS degree as a sort of celebration of graduating. Despite looking forward to the workshop, I found my stress increasing as it drew closer and I ended up getting sick and leaving the workshop early. It's made me think about vacations and the importance of rest and balance.
Creating graphs is one way to visualize your writing progress. It can provide quick insights, particularly over time as you record more information about your word counts in your spreadsheet. If you're unfamiliar with using Excel, you may want to start with the previous posts in this series, starting with the benefits of writing streaks, demystifying spreadsheets, improving the tracker, pivoting for more information, adding project details, and writing a formula to track streaks.