Working at home is nice but if you don’t know how to set your priorities, it can be disastrous. Most of us experience this. So how do you discipline yourself to focus in writing? I think working for yourself takes more discipline than anything else. It’s nice you create your own hours but you can easily get distracted.
Other members in the house doesn’t understand that you work on the web and just because you are typing something on the Internet, whether this is answering comments or editing your articles, some people think you are always having fun on the Internet. But not so. It is our work. We rely so much on the Internet and social media, that’s why we are here.
…but not to have fun always. Sure, you can play games on Facebook. But if you don’t get your games in control, the games will control you. It is addicting. Been there. Done that. I know all about this.
Last night, I was reading the new book of Steve Scott entitled Writing Habit Mastery – How To Write 2,000 Words A Day And Forever Cure Writer’s Block. I got this book for FREE on Amazon. Later on it will come back to its original price. So if you want to get this book, I have provided you the Amazon Search on my Widget menu. So anytime you need to look up a book, feel free to use it. Just type: Writing Habit Mastery. And it’ll show up for $0.00. So hurry!
NOTE: If you don’t have the Kindle tablet, you can download the Kindle application on your tablet, iPhone, Smartphones, or Laptop computer.
…and back to our main topic, wouldn’t it be nice if we can write and we would never have to experience writer’s block? Do you know how successful writers do it?
Steve Scott said, “One of the key factors to effectively developing a new habit is choosing a specific, measurable goal. For example, if someone wants to develop a running habit, they will be more likely to be successful if they commit to jogging for 15 minutes each day than if they pledge to run more often.'”
It is to create a habit. Our brain breaks the habit within 30 days. If we stick to 30 days in continuous forming a new habit, pretty soon it will be a second nature to us. Nobody was born with a pen in their hand. Or a typewriter besides them. We all have to create and/or form a habit so we can get accustomed to it in a positive manner. We are creature of habits.
“I only write when I am inspired.” Many writers say this. But if your attitude is only to write whenever you’re inspired, you’re on the road to failure. Inspired or not, having a routine helps because once you force yourself to actually write something, your internal critic relaxes and lets you get down to business.*
As some of you know, we have a little baby living in our house. Since my daughter move back with us, I find it harder to find the time to write in my office because it is also a playpen for my granddaughter. My office is located in the first living room. As soon as you enter my house, there is our living room. And in the living room we have the HDTV, the couch, the piano, and a bunch of toys. I asked my daughter, “Why don’t you bring her toys in your room instead?” She said, “I don’t want to, it messes up my room!” Aaaaahhhh…so it messes up her room and forget about my room. How funny.
…and so whenever I work in my office, there goes my granddaughter screaming her head off when she doesn’t get enough attention. She’s pretty good most of the time when she gets all her needs. But it’s impossible to entertain a baby 24/7. Someone has to take turn. And the reason why I’m behind sometimes on my work is because of this. And so I am establishing a routine here for myself. This is like an appointment for me every morning, I need to get up at 6:00 and start my day.
As you know, I am actually nocturnal. That means, I become ALIVE in the evening. Like a hamster, I start spinning my wheel at night. And I’m like the little vampire at night that never wants to go to sleep until I see morning. Working at night is natural for me. But I need to change my routine. I have tried in the past but I was unsuccessful. I get back to the same routine of sleeping during the day and working at night. But then I don’t get to see my family that way anymore.
My friend Vijesh wrote about the “Nocturnal Bloggers” I thought this is great. He has a lot of insights how to cure this and how to get into the routine instead. I’m not really fond of routines but I heard successful business entrepreneurs have their everyday routine to get their priorities done. And so I might as well follow the leader. Experience is the evidence.
“Habits are powerful because they become second nature. If you develop a habit of stretching soon after you wake up, you will find yourself rolling right into that yoga pose–and enjoying it. If you develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day, soda will lose its appeal and you’ll find yourself longing for a tall cold glass of H20.” -Steve Scott
Once habits are practiced for about 30 consecutive days, it becomes ingrained in your psyche. Your brain becomes accustomed to the habit and consider it normal. So nothing is impossible. We can train ourselves to do this. Take it one-day-at-a-time.
Exercise your will power…
Don’t reinvent the wheel. You will need to establish writing habits to help you get your words on the page. What works well with Steve Scott, Stephen King, R.F. Delderfield, Jack London can work for you too. If you cannot write 2000 words a day. Start with 100 words a day. It’s like that little jogging exercise. You can’t jog for an hour, 15 miles a day. So you can start jogging for 10 minutes, 1/4 mile a day. Until you build your momentum and strength, you start to increase your exercise.
After you write 100-500 words a day, gradually increase your writing habits to 1000, 2000…and don’t worry about how this is going to be on paper. Just write whatever you have in mind. Don’t worry about the English structure. Which one should be the first paragraph and the last paragraph. You will going to polish this like a gem. At the end, you can edit and and start moving around your sentences. What works here might not work there. Things like that.
Read: 20-Minute Writing A Day
Every successful author develops a writing habits that suits his or her needs. Some writers perform best in the morning while other authors write all night and sleep all day.
Minimize Distractions and Interruptions
10 Ways to Minimize Distractions*
1. Wear noise-canceling earphones.
2. Wear earplugs.
3. Listen to instrumental music.
4. Invest in a white noise machine and play it (most come with sounds like “ocean” or “rain” as well as generic white noise).
5. Work in a space where you can close the door and block out sounds from the rest of the house.
6. Sit in a remote part of a park, restaurant or coffee shop, away from loud talkers or groups.
7. Put on your blinders and refuse to look up from your computer screen when things happen around you.
8. Remind yourself that this is your sacred time; refuse to engage with the waitress or people in your household.
9. Clear your writing desk of all unnecessary items.
10. Silence your computer and phone so you won’t hear the “ding” when you get a new email or text message.
9 Ways to Minimize Interruptions*
1. Work in a quiet place or a place where it’s easy for you to block out the actions of other people.
2. Talk to your roommates, significant other and/or children about your writing time. Make it clear that you are not to be disturbed unless there is a true emergeny.
3. Turn off your phone.
4. Work offline (so you won’t be tempted to surf the web or get derailed by research).
5. Disconnect from email.
6. Post a sign on your office door that says, “Please Do Not Disturb Until _______ Time.”
7. Tell the waitress/waiter that you are working and won’t need anything–assure them you will initiate if you need something.
8. Tell neighbors or friends who stop by that you are working to meet a deadline and can’t talk right now.
9. Commit to working until you have worked for a set block of time.
Steve recommended to write at another place besides your home. Perhaps go to Starbucks. Or a nice little cafe far away from the rowdy crowd. Or some place in a park far away from the busy people talking loud. We need peace and quiet.
Sometimes, when I can’t work in my office I just shut my bedroom door. Take my laptop with me and just start writing. But it’s hard not to have my desk. I’m a mouse person and I hate the pad on that laptop where you have to tap and scroll the web. But sometimes it’s a necessity because my granddaughter just knows exactly how to unravel my nerves. And I become very, very upset when I cannot think and lose my momentum of thoughts. So my bedroom becomes a sanctuary for writing at times.
However, in my office I am inspired when I see a lot of green plants. And so I’m trying to make a little jungle in my office. I’m not quite done decorating it. Pretty soon I will have to create maroon draperies in my little Victorian house. The windows in our living room are so tall just like in the old days. So create a certain mood in your office, this might help you get the words flowing.
So do you find this post helpful? Do you have a special place where you can be inspired to write? Do you get writer’s block at times like many of us do? If so, I would like to hear your story. I would love to hear your feedback. Feel free to comment below. And don’t forget to share this to your friends.
*Writing Habit Mastery-How To Write 2,000 Words A Day And Forever Cure Writer’s Block. S.J. Scott.