Most writers wake up in the morning and resolve that this is going to be a productive day. They have some idea what to write about and they can’t wait to get onto their computer. But … life gets in the way.
Advice articles give more or less the same tips:
· Turn off the internet
· Keep a schedule
· Take breaks
· Don’t look at your emails
If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. Not only that, most of the advice articles I’ve read are as dry as five-day-old bread. I have been a writer for a good 20 years and I have a different approach to writing.
For starters, I don’t turn off the internet because that’s where most of my inspiration comes from. There have been times that I want to write something, but my muse is as silent as a grave. However, 15 minutes on my favorite social media site (it can be a picture, a topic, or a comment) and I have ideas coming out of my ears. My advice, do not turn off the internet because that could kick start your inspiration. Besides, you can’t really turn off the internet, what if you have to research something?
Keeping a schedule
I don’t know about you, but keeping a schedule doesn’t work for me. Most days I get up at 8:00, shower and dress, have breakfast, and then fire up my laptop. And then I sit there, fingers poised over the keyboard. What to write about? Idea after idea gets dismissed. After a while I get up, go make the beds, and then an idea hits me. Or I’m in the middle of doing the morning dishes when I have a memory flash and think, that would be a great topic. Most topics come to me when I’m not writing, when I’m nowhere near a computer. That’s why it’s recommended to keep a small notebook and pen handy.
Well, no problem there. I take breaks when doing house chores, not to mention that I have three cats that need attention and won’t take no for an answer. Rather than putting them off or shooing them away, I pet them, I pick them up, and I play with them. If I don’t, they’ll just keep bugging me. Other than that, there are cups of tea to be made, lunch to be had, naps to be taken, shopping to be done … the list goes on and on. So yeah, feel free to take breaks. Not only does it give your mind a rest, but stepping away from the computer is good for your eyes too. From what I’ve read, one should take a five-minute break every hour, and a thirty-minute break every four hours.
Not looking at my emails is something I can’t manage. I’m curious by nature, so when I see that I have a new email I simply have to see what it is. If I don’t I keep wondering and it and this distracts me to the point that I can’t write anymore. When I do look, it’s either an ad for one thing or another, a message from a friend, or a message from my son. Answering some of those messages can wait, others require an immediate response. For instance … ‘Shall I bring anything for dinner tonight?’ or “Do you feel like takeouts?’ Now imagine if I had ignored such messages.