Ever have a writing slump that lasts for days? Or even worse, the days turn into weeks and months—and you still just can’t get the writing done? It’s easy to get side-tracked by life or difficulties. But the more you avoid writing or make excuses for not getting the writing done, the easier it gets to let your writing “break” turn into a permanent state. If you’re spending more days not writing than writing…it’s not really a break, is it?
How do you turn the tide on the excuses and commit to writing once again? Here are 3 top tips:
1) Schedule Your Writing
One of the absolute best ways to get over the excuses and just write is to schedule your writing time. If you’re an author or if you’re hoping to become one, the primary job description involves writing. But like any job, if you want the title, you have to be willing to do the job. And what do most jobs involve?
Taking the time to sit down and plan your writing time is one of the most useful ways of making certain that it happens. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll feel inspired. Just show up to the job. Write it in your calendar. Block it off on your phone. Then sit down—distraction free—to your dedicated writing time and space and don’t get up until your time is over.
Chances are, you’ll find yourself writing more than you expected.
2) Find Your Balance
Maybe the idea of a writing schedule appeals but you just can’t find the right time in which to do it. You likely have more time than you think. (Before you say no, understand that I say this as a mom of five young children who is currently homeschooling and taking care of a live-in sick parent.) Tracking your time can often be a useful exercise in seeing where you might have some margin.
Could it be that you may sit down in the evenings to watch television or do some gaming? Or perhaps your reading habits occupy your free time.
Whatever it is that is occupying the time that you have “off”—if you truly want to be able to write—you have to be willing to strike a balance between your free time and your writing time. If you watch TV for an hour a night, for example, how much of that can you dedicate to writing?
And if there’s truly no time available with your current schedule, perhaps you can make the time. Many, if not most, authors start their careers by getting up early to write before work or stay up late to write after bedtimes.
3) Consider the Why
If you’re still struggling to find writing time, or if the excuses continue to prevent you from writing—it’s time to consider the why.
Do you want a writing career? If so, then it’s going to take sacrifice. All things worth doing require it. Having a career in writing means treating the work as something that isn’t optional to your life. Being a writer means writing even when you don’t feel like it.
After all, the why in writing is more than likely why you picked up the pen in the first place. And if you consider the why, even when the writing gets hard, it gets easier to do it in spite of the excuses.