Episode 011 | The Perfect Time to Write
If you’ve listened to this week’s episode already, then you know that life threw me a curveball, and I lost about three hours of time I’d set aside for creating my podcast this week. It left me less time to freak out about the quality of my audio (and less time to indulge my propensity to overedit). It also left me less time for show notes and image creation and links.
And yet here it is!
Even in its imperfect form, it still makes the two most important points I could make about the “perfect” time to write. (You knew there wasn’t one when you clicked on it.)
1 Do What You Can, Where You Are, With What You Have – Even if you make the most perfect plan to create writing times and are diligent about thinking through every commitment you have, allowing for extra time, based on years of experience, something will still throw your week out of whack. It’s life. Don’t sweat it. Find the pockets of time to try to make up for the writing time you lost, and maybe ease up on your perfectionism a tad. Those little pockets hold a lot of magic. I like to think your muse appreciates your commitment and effort in those moments and oftentimes offers a little extra inspiration.
2 Set Reasonable Deadlines for Yourself and Then Keep Them – If you can, find a block of time (an hour minimum, but shoot for something like an afternoon or even longer) and take a look at your big-picture goals. Ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish with your writing over the next one to three months. If a big block of time isn’t in the cards right now, keep that exercise in mind for the future and just focus on this week or this day. What kinds of little deadlines can you set for yourself that you can meet? Bonus points if you have deadlines in each of the three areas Gabriela Pereira describes in DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community:
Writing (e.g. Can you commit to adding even one page to the project you’re working on? Can you revise even one page of your magnum opus? Can you find an outlet or agent that might be a good fit for your work?)
Reading (e.g. Can you read one chapter of the book in your genre that you picked up? Can you find one article for research for your story?)
Community (e.g. Can you research local and online writer’s organizations to find one that might be a good fit for you? Can you reach out to one person that you think might be a good fit as a critique partner? Can you read one newsletter or attend one meeting?)
In coming weeks we’ll be talking about other tools like pomodoros, word sprints, word tracking, time tracking/analysis, etc., but if you can get these two concepts under your belt first, it will open everything up for you.
I wanted to add a little extra food for thought. I was able to pull this off today because of the two main concepts discussed above, PLUS:
I sat down and got right to it. I didn’t check my phone first, which would have derailed everything, I’m sure. And I got up a little earlier.
Experience is its own reward sometimes. Because I’ve been showing up and meeting deadlines, the work comes a little easier. I’ve picked up some tricks and skills that I didn’t have when I started The Rookie Writer Show. I probably wouldn’t have been able to pull this off back in May.
Until next time, happy writing, people!
“The Best Time to Write Is Anytime” by Leah McClellan
“How to Find the Perfect Time to Write” by Beth Skwarecki
“Why There’ll Never Be a Perfect Time to Write” by Ali Hale
Self Test: What’s Your Best Time of Day to Write? by Writer’s Relief