Almost everybody has New Year resolutions, generally aspiring to lead a healthier life, especially after the feasting and partying of the holiday period. It’s a time for taking a more positive attitude to your day, from getting out more, maybe walking or cycling, going for a swim and sauna, or maybe even improving how you perceive people and events surrounding you.
Whatever you do, becoming more involved and striving to meet objectives is an important aspect of the New Year approach. This is particularly true for writers, who are always involved in one project or another, whether that’s through actual writing or by getting out for that walk and daydreaming your way into your next chapter, action scene, or plot twist.
It’s about being active. We’re all well aware of the old adage – bums on seats – and we know only too well that nothing productive happens without the commitment to place ourselves in that seat, whether it’s typing or writing – nothing gets done by allowing distraction rule the roost.
That’s why you need to set a schedule that will at least box you into a potentially productive timeline. If your writing day starts after your work day has finished, you’re going to have to be strong as an ox so you don’t fall to the temptation of lounging on the couch in front of the demon television. TV kills productivity, as does the internet. Turn both off and banish yourself to a place where distraction takes a backseat.
If you’re a fulltime writer, then you have no excuses when it comes to timing your writing blocks from early morning. My workday schedule, as an editor, has me on the job by 7am, putting in two-hour blocks before allowing myself a break for a snack or to simply stretch the legs and eyeballs. As a writer, possibly working to a deadline, you need to be as disciplined, pushing through problems, even dumping material that’s just not doing it for you and starting again. You need to get into a strong working habit that will see you producing on a regular basis.
If you’re in a busy household, lock yourself in your room, or place a sign on the door, making it clear you’re not to be disturbed. Wear earphones and play suitable tunes if you’re easily distracted by youngsters or lonely buddies scratching at your door. Do what it takes to ensure you’re in a positive working environment, knowing that when you finish one writing block you’ll feel a real sense of achievement and will be rearing to leap into the next one.
Be positive, be disciplined, be productive. Take your desire to complete an objective by the proverbial horn and do it. Simple as – accept no excuses from your lazy self. Be your own instigator and do it like a boss, because that's what you are, your own boss. Now, go write, and when you’ve completed that novel, send me a chapter and a synopsis to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free sample edit. Good luck!