As writers, many of us love to create, but not on someone else’s schedule.
For me, I get random bursts of inspiration at the strangest hours. Often in the middle of the night I can pump out some really thought provoking work.
But here’s the problem: If you’re a professional writer, you’re expected to finish each writing project on a given schedule.
I have rarely met a writer that can bang out excellent content, on schedule, all the time.
So the real question is this: How do you force yourself to regularly produce high quality written work?
Before I introduce my strategy, I want to revisit a related yet important topic.
A while back, I wrote about the importance of finding your “writing zone.” The idea here is simple. Just figure out when you are most productive and do EVERYTHING to make sure you only write during that time.
Writing in the zone is the absolute most basic first step to assuring you crank quality writing.
Now to my new approach…
So we recently added a new member to our family. Our daughter is now about 6 weeks old. Her joyous arrival has forced me to rearrange my schedule and jump outside my comfort zone.
My old schedule was go to the gym around 8:00am and hook up with my trainer. Then I would hobble to work and begin writing, usually from about 9am until 11am.
At the start of the year I needed to alter the schedule. The new baby means I now take one of my other children to school every day. This conflicted with the workout schedule, forcing me to move my time at the gym to 11:30am.
The blessing here (other than the baby, of course) was that I was forced into a new situation that resulted in something amazing. The change that propelled my writing productivity to new heights is this: By putting a fixed appointment on my schedule that occurred AFTER my writing zone, I was forced to be productive.
Before I would do other things while in my zone, like read email, surf the web and take phone calls.
Now that I know I must leave the office by 11:15am, I am highly motivated to get work done while in that writing zone. This helps me hunker down and get writing very quickly.
So, if you want to really take your writing volume to a new level, get into your zone and give yourself a real deadline (like the baby waking up from a nap). Of course, it’s not necessary to actually have a new baby in the house, but sometimes the things we see as writing obstacles turn out to be blessings (in more ways than one).
How have unexpected life turns changed your writing habits for the better? Do you have any advice to help writers continue to create?