Thursday, November 30, 2017

Time to Write - the Gift You Give Yourself


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Most writers I know are part of a conflicted group. 

We’re driven to write—spending time composing poetry, writing books, researching articles. We doodle titles, character names, and plot ideas on scraps of paper. All the while feeling guilty about the time we spend pursuing our dream. I call it writer's guilt.
Everyone of us has felt the tug of war deep inside. it’s all part and parcel when you work at home. 

I’ve fought the battle for years—sometimes more successfully than others. And the craziest thing is the guilt is pretty much self imposed. My family is frequently more supportive of my writing time than I am. So this Christmas I'm gifting myself with freedom from guilt and time to write.

Time to Write

Years ago I made a conscious decision to give myself permission to make writing a priority. I gave myself the gift of time to write. Sometimes it would have been easier to avoid the blank page and not risk the failure. But I refused to cave into the fear.

Has it been worth it?

You bet it has! Not only have I gotten farther along with my goals and dreams, but it’s given me a self-confidence I didn’t expect. The more I make writing a priority, the better I get at it. Then the more success I have, which leads to the courage to push myself and reach for the stars.

Here are the steps I took to set aside time for writing:

1. Come up with a schedule and keep regular, consistent hours. Notice I said regular hours—not normal ones. For years I wrote with young children. That meant writing in the afternoons and after they were in bed. Just because you’re working odd hours doesn’t mean you can’t have a schedule.

2. Respect your dream. If your best friend, or child had a dream you’d encourage them to pursue it. Give yourself the same support that you’d give someone else. Trust me, you’re worth it!

3. Be consistent. If you’re not accepting calls from your mother-in-law because you’re working, don’t spend the afternoon on the phone with your best friend. Stay focused on your writing. This is even more critical if your time is at a premium.

4. Recruit a support team. Instead of adversaries, enlist your friends and family to help you reach your writing goals. Communicate those goals, clearly and frequently. Ask for their help to reach them. After all, what mother doesn’t want to help her baby succeed!

5. Share your victories. Let those that help you share in the joy of goals accomplished and milestones reached.

What do you do to make your writing time a priority? What interruptions do you struggle with the most? Share your thoughts and we’ll all support each other.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

10 comments:

  1. Edie - 5 very knowing, powerful steps. And I must say that #2 is your "secret sauce" of winning recipe. Thanks for this. Jay Wright, Anderson, SC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay, #2 is one that we. It’s often neglect! Blessings, E

      Delete
  2. Thanks for this post, Edie. One thing that has helped me is acknowledging that God gave me the desire to write. When I make time for writing I'm being obedient to Him. More than worldly success as a writer, I look forward to one day hearing Him say "Well done, good and faithful servant."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha, that’s an excellent addition! Thank you for sharing, Blessings, E

      Delete
  3. I began implementing some of your tips this year and they've made all the difference. I also agree with Martha -- knowing that God is not only for me but also with me when I write has been a game changer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I’m so glad to hear This advice has helped, Blessings, E

      Delete
  4. Love this post, Edie! So true. Once I became truly obedient to the call to write and made time for it my writing began to flow. Sometimes its hard to see ourselves as professional writers. Guarding my writing time, being obedient to the call and then asking God to come and write with me has made a huge difference. Thanks for all the wonderful posts here that keep us going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly, I love that, “ asking God to come and write with me.” Very powerful! Blessings, E

      Delete
  5. Edie, you're my hero. I need to get so much better at scheduling time to write. Christmas break, snow days, and summer are the easiest for me because I'm not teaching. I really need to commit to an early morning routine. When I was younger, evenings were my productive time. Now I'm brain dead after 6 PM...and can no longer sleep past 6 AM. I enjoy writing in the quiet morning hours. I need to convince myself that I can write an hour or so before I go to work. I feel like an hour isn't enough time, but I'd surely produce more in one hour a day than I do in zero hours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, I used to write late at night. Now it’s got to be early morning! Blessings, E

      Delete