Do you love to write? Do you want to write? What are your excuses? Can’t find the time, I have kids, I have … and the list goes on.
Well today, I have Katherine Garbera, a very successful author with 75 books published, here with me today to tell us how she organises her workload and how she manages to write every day! Over to you, Katherine!
For the majority of my adult life (since I was 23) I have been writing. I’ve been published since I was 26 and have made writing my daily life. I set goals so I stay on track and accomplish the things that are important to me. Goal setting and daily writing go hand and hand for me. And I hope these tips will help to achieve your goals as well.
- Write it down. There is great power in words. We already know this, it’s why we are writers, but when we think we want something but we only keep it in our mind and never write it down, it isn’t concrete. By writing it down and looking at it every day, it helps to focus the mind and gives you the motivation to ensure you do are working toward your goal every day.
- Make your goals achievable.
It’s easy to get excited when making a list but if you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t. So pick things that you can accomplish. One of my goals is to write every day. I can easily do that and some days, if I’m honest, writing feels like a job and not fun, so putting down a goal of writing every day makes it easier for me to do.
- Small steps = success.
Once you’ve written down your goal then figure out what steps you have to take to make it happen. For example if your goal is to finish a book this year, then think what do you have to do every day to make it happen? Probably write a certain number of pages/words a day. Then you make that your daily goal and finishing the book your yearly goal.
- Put things on the list that are easy i.e. write every day.
Don’t make your list so big that the thought of looking at it makes you shiver with dread. Put on things you can easily do. One of mine is stand up for 15 minutes every hour. This is something I really should do, but don’t. For health reasons I really need to start making it happen, so by adding it to my list, I’m making it happen. But it’s easy and achievable as well with very little effort from me.
- Make it measurable.
How will you measure you steps to your target? Taking our earlier goal of finishing a book in year, then the daily goal of writing each day, you should have a check in at the end of every week and month to see if you are getting closer. It might be that your book is going faster than you thought and you might finish it early. Or you might find that you have to write more to make your goal. Whatever happens adjust accordingly.
- All you need is 5 minutes.
A lot of time it’s easy to make excuses not to write. Writing is hard and sometimes scary. So we tell ourselves that we can’t write because we don’t have a dedicated space (go to the library or coffee shop), it’s too noisy (use headphones and some soothing sounds i.e. rain forest or ocean), I don’t have a huge block of time (you only need five minutes to write a sentence). This is the inner creative child who is afraid of failing stopping you from writing. You can calm it by sitting down and saying I’m only going to write for five minutes and then stop. Usually, that will jump start the creative juices and lead to writing for much longer.
- Log your writing and find the time that works best for you.
This is sort of fun if you like graphs and spreadsheets. I don’t but I still like doing it. You try writing at different times during the day. Some of you (like people with demanding day jobs and moms) won’t have the luxury and you’ll end up writing like I did when I worked fulltime…in my car on my lunch break and then when I had two toddlers at night after they went to bed. But you will find the time that you are most productive by logging the amount of pages/words you get done in a writing session. Then you can focus your efforts to writing during that time.
- Set your timer: Write 15 minutes, break 10 minutes, Write 15 minutes.
Try the timer. It’s kind of like the only 5 minutes things but this is for when you are on a deadline and you have to get a certain number of pages done in order to turn your book in on time. You can adjust the timing to whatever works for you. This is my current set up and I really like it.
- Set achievable expectations: 500 words, 5 pages, 1 chapter.
It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to write 50 pages in one day unless you’ve done this before. So set goals that make sense to you and realize they will grow the longer you are writing every day. I think of this creative part of my mind as a muscle that gets stronger the more I use it. When I first started writing I could do one chapter a week. That was it. I had a full time job, two kids and a husband—more than that simply wouldn’t work for me. But once I started writing full time I found I could write a little bit more and now I write a chapter a day and still have time to do fun things!
- Use an affirmation that jump starts your writing session.
This only works if you believe in affirmations. But I always say “Writing is fun and easy for me.” Makes the writing session more like fun than work.
Thank you Katherine! I know what my goals are going to be!
To purchase her latest release, Eye Candy, click here: Eye Candy
To purchase her upcoming release, His Baby Agenda, click here: His Baby Agenda
Comments below very much appreciated.