aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Just me and my keyboard

Staying home to write is every writer's dream - one I plan on pursuing in earnest next year. But I've also been anxious about well I'll adapt. So I've been collecting tips from other authors.

One told me that the key is to leave home, especially at the beginning. Ideally, go to a library or cafe (someplace without WiFi) and make yourself sit for several hours at least three times a week. You'll have no choice but to write, and you'll be building some good writing habits. The person who told me that said now they only leave home once a week, but they are able to sustain the continuity because they have developed the habit of writing for longer than a few minutes (which is how one often has to write if one works full time).

Another person writes at a bookstore, but won't allow themselves to look at any of the books or magazines until they have written a certain number of pages.

One writer rented inexpensive office space and went there three days a week.

Another person sits down at their computer at a set time and won't allow themselves to get up until another set time has passed (except for bathroom breaks). Again, they felt that creating the habit was important.

One writer felt it was important to break the day into chunks of no more than a couple of hours of writing, interspersed with exercise, errands, lunch, etc. And they sometimes further break up the work by dividing it into writing, revising, website updates, etc.

Another writer said they had tried a lot of different things, including starting early in the morning, starting late at night, disabling the modem, etc. What they have recently settled on are regular work hours: 10-3, Monday-Friday. They block those hours out on their planner and act as if they are at work. And at work, they deal with e-mails within reason but are not to spend time reading blogs or surfing. They can take quick phone calls, but keep them short and tell people they have to get back to work. If they can see from the caller ID that the person is a long talker, they don't answer and call back after three.

One writer said, “Be patient with yourself. It's actually a GIANT life change, and will take many months of experimentation and failure and transition to find what works for you.”

If you write and don't have another job, do you have any tips to share?

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Tags: writing

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