I love to troll (the Internet, not the streets), and I really like sharing the things I find when I troll. This week I came across an article by Women on Writing entitled "A Writer's Fitness Plan." Now, I hate exercise, so I looked at this article with narrowed eyes and a great deal of suspicion. But to my delight, I discovered that it wasn't about exercising, it was about fitting writing time into your already busy schedule.
Now that's something I can sink my teeth into (okay, maybe I'm a bit hungry, too.) You can read the article yourself by clicking the link above, or you can read my executive summary below. Actually, you can do both or neither, if you want, but I'm assuming since you got this far that you find this topic of interest as well. Silly me.
Women on Writing maintain that it all begins with you, the writer.
1. Call yourself a writer. You can mention your day job, if you like, but make sure when people ask you what you do that you mention you're a writer. The questions that always follow like, "What have you written?" or "Are you published?" are another topic entirely.
2. Find time to write. Write for just fifteen minutes a day when you can grab some alone time. Set up a timer and an alarm, if that helps, but give yourself the full fifteen minutes. If you have difficulty with this, try either early in the morning, when no one else is up, or late at night, after everyone goes to bed.
Write regularly to build up that writing muscle. Turn your writing into a habit. You may find you're just getting started when your fifteen minutes are up (yay!), so consider reevaluating your schedule by giving yourself more time.
4. Find a Support Group. Find another writer who will help hold you accountable when you reach a plateau or become discouraged. Writer's write, and they won't accept the same excuses your husband or kids will. They expect, and demand, results (cue the cat-o-nine-tails).
5. Think Small. When life intervenes (as it usually does) take time to reevaluate your goals. It's okay to scale back on a temporary basis, but don't stop writing entirely. Sketch ideas or snatches of dialogue in your fifteen minutes and don't beat yourself up if you're unable to meet the goals you set that week due to unforeseen circumstances or major events. Reevaluate.