Monday, 16 January 2017
Today I am excited to welcome C J Carver to my blog as part of the blog tour to celebrate the publication of her new novel, Tell me a Lie.
Writer’s Willpower. The top five time wasters and how to beat them.
You’ve made your New Year resolution. You’re going to write that book. Or finish that book. Now all you need is to develop perseverance.
Unless you can lock yourself away in a wilderness cabin for six months, your book will be written while you live your everyday life. I find interruptions are the bane of my life because writing demands a high degree of concentration. Much higher than that required for working in an office, for example. I’ve learned to protect my concentration because I know how important it is.
1. Social media has to be the biggest time waster of all time. However, it is also a fantastic support to writer’s and I couldn’t do without it. That said, when I’m writing, I’m very strict about my time on Twitter or Facebook (I have an author page so don’t get distracted by personal messages) and set a time limit, maximum forty minutes.
If I’m in the last throes of the book and really gunning it, I’ll post a message apologizing for my silence and saying I’ll be back soon. Then I can put my head down and write like a demon without feeling pressured.
2. I never answer the phone. I put my mobile on silent so I can’t hear when it rings, or when I get a text, Tweet or F/B alert, and check it when I finish writing at the end of the day. But that’s me, hardcore. I’d suggest checking things when you have a break, say every two hours.
I find it essential sometimes to leave a message saying I’m writing and that I’ll call whoever it is back. If you’re just starting out, this has the happy effect of making everyone aware how important writing is to you.
3. Emails/correspondence/detritus of life. I make a firm time to do things like paying bills, ordering flowers for Mother’s Day. Some people recommend not doing anything until your writing is finished for the day, but I prefer it the other way around or when I pause to reflect, my mind isn’t on the book but on the fact I still haven’t changed my electricity provider.
4. Partners/children/parents & everyone in between. The best place for everyone when I’m writing, is outside (albeit temporarily). However, this isn’t always possible and a request for solitude has to be given.
I implement times that are sacrosanct for my writing and find most people are pretty respectful of my need for space and quiet. I know a young mother who locks herself in the bathroom between nine and ten p.m. and woe betide anyone who bothers her.
5. Housework/shopping/mowing the lawn. Delegate to others (oooh, what a luxury!) If this isn’t possible, set specific times (for me it’s Sunday and Thursday mornings) and stick to them.
It’s all about time management, and finding what works for you. I will say, however, that I think it’s extremely important to make certain times sacrosanct for your writing or the detritus of life will keep chipping away until another year has passed and – shriek of horror! – the book still hasn’t been written.
©CJ Carver 2017
Thank you to C J Carver and her publishers for visiting my blog today. I will be reading Tell me a Lie soon and will be sharing my review on my blog.