Nano count: 13,386 words
Despite my plan to spend all of yesterday on Nano, I had to go out of the house twice. I’d bought something that had to be returned that day or I lost my chance to do so. Then I had to send the large project back, so a trip to the post office in the afternoon. I still had plenty of time for Nano, but the scene I was writing was tough, so I managed only 3,300 or so words – maybe a sign my character isn’t well defined. Today I have a little more time to devote to it, so I fully intend to give it my all. These next few scenes I’m seeing in my head are stronger, easier to write (I hope).
I see a lot of people struggling with Nano because they’re not finding time for it. I’m about to propose something really wild, a crazy notion that might actually work – put your personal writing first.
It was a tough lesson for me to learn. It’s one I’d learned a few years back during a coaching session with Lisa Gates, who said to put yourself at the top of your priority list. Likewise, if you bump your own writing to the top of your priority list, it no longer seems so daunting to find those fifteen minutes to an hour for your writing. Isn’t that why we all became writers – to write what we’ve been dying to write? Mind you, I love writing for clients, but inside me are stories and ideas and poetry that have to come out.
Some ways to make that happen:
Put everything after you. Start your day with your own writing. Make those first keystrokes every day yours.
Insert heavy doses of discipline. Hemingway used to sit down at the typewriter in the morning and not move until noon. Every day. It worked for him – no reason why it can’t work for you.
Find your sweet spot. Maybe your brain doesn’t start working until noon. Maybe you love writing in the evening instead of watching television. Write when it suits your own creativity, but write.
Make an appointment with yourself. Literally. Use that Outlook or Lotus Notes calendar and schedule your personal writing.
Give it the same level of importance. Don’t think that because you’re not seeing money from your personal writing (yet) that you have to put clients first. What do they say on the airlines? Secure your own mask first before assisting others. That advice applies to making you a happier writer.
What gets in your way? How can you prioritize so that your writing is first?