Tuesday, November 23, 2010
If I could just find the time....
Do you have a famous list sitting around? Things you want to do when you have the time.
Let me ask you a question, how much extra time do you have? And has your free time increased as years go by or decreased? Me? During those crazy years of raising my babies and homeschooling, I thought once they got older, I'd have more time for my dream.
Um, yeah. But surely when they moved out and I was an empty nester, I'd have it made and have all KINDS of free time to do what I wanted to.
Uh. Nope. Didn't happen.
Now like I mentioned in yesterday's post the enemy of our souls loves to steal our time. He especially loves to take great measures to keep us from being effective Christians. If we have a ministry (mine is writing and I suspect yours is too), he will do whatever he can do to help us mismanage our time, throw seemingly important things in our path to keep us from reaching goals that God has asked us to complete.
So to write the first rule is BICHOK. Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. The only thing is when you assume this position, you will be overcome with an insatiable hunger and/or thirst. While you stand in front of the fridge shopping for whatever it is that you want (and you really don't know because you really don't want anything), you will remember the friend you needed to call, and the mail that needs to be checked, and my goodness look at those three cereal bowls sitting in the sink, tsk, tsk, that will NEVER do, and oh yeah, didn't you need to throw a load of towels in?
And if you get up and manage to make it back to your chair before your writing time is over....you will click on your email to quickly check it, just five minutes and you'll be right into writing. Someone important might have emailed in the last two hours! Not that you were expecting an important email or anything, but you never know....
Suggestions...and I am going to implement these as well...to get a good productive day of writing. Or chunk of time. (We are in the middle of renovations and winterizing so I can't dedicate an entire day to writing.)
First, when you open the document, shut down your internet. No email, no facebook, although back in the day, I found a friendly challenge with a couple friends like a much needed incentive. But issue the challenge, shut it off, and check back in your appointed time. Post your word count.
Now ahead of time you will have to try to get as many distractions out of your visual sight as you can. But be reasonable. I mean you can't tie your toddler to a pole, and if he/she won't take a nap this may be a write after they go to bed or before anyone gets up type of day for you.
If you do not have a set time for writing, get it done as early in the day as possible or it won't happen. Remember the enemy and his subtle and not so subtle tactics to keep us from our God-given tasks.
I also suggest you turn your phone to silent. Not vibrate, the buzzing sound will have the same effect as a ringing phone.
Now the first twenty minutes will be the hardest. Once you get into your world you will be okay.
Set reasonable goals. Word count, hours, pages, whatever works for you. And that will be as changing as we are. What works for one book may not work for the next. What worked for me once was going to work an hour early and sitting there with my Alpha Smart.
But now I am homebound and I have access to a delightful array of distractions (most of them with their own feeding timers that go off "Meow!" :) I have to totally ignore that I can get on the internet.
Week before last, I rode in with my husband so I could go to chorale practice. His boss is really awesome and didn't mind me being there. He told me to go sit down, so I lugged my computer into my husband's office and plugged in. His boss walked past the door, and then suddenly popped back in the door and walked up behind me. (I was nervous he was reading my rough draft, lol!) He said, "Do you need internet? I can get you hooked up if you do." (I had never been able to get on the wireless there although I knew they had it. It's in a safe place and you have to know what you are doing to get to it.) I thought about that for a second. It was so tempting because I hadn't been able to get online all day. But I said, "Tempting. But no. If I get internet, I won't get any writing done." He laughed and said he knew just what I meant. I got nearly 1500 words done in an hour! That's almost a chapter.
All I'm saying is if you are not writing regularly, I challenge you this week to try BICHOK with me. Be sure to report back and let me know how it goes.
Next week we'll go back to the nuts and bolts of writing.
Happy plotting and writing!