There are many reasons why writers have a difficult time to be consistent with their writing times. Many beginning writers is all-or-nothing writers. This especially occurs if writers are constantly disturbed by their family and other activities, or if they suffer from burn out.
Some writers are overwhelmed by the devastating effects of setting boundaries around their writing time. The good news is that there are many things that writers can do to over it. The trick is to try to do something about the problem before it gets out of hand.
Here are five tips that can help you become a much more consistent writer.
1. Give yourself permission to write.
Many writers feel guilty when they sit down to write. They figure that there is so much to do and so many places to go. This is especially the case if the writer is part of a family of non-writers—which covers most of us. We want to write. But our family always wants to be going and doing something other than write.
The best way to handle this situation is to give yourself permission to write, every day, even if you’re experiencing family pressures. You may do this by telling your family that you won’t be joining them for a particular social activity or outing. Then while your family is away, you can do your writing for the day. You must be serious about your writing time in order for your family to take your family seriously.
2. Don’t be an all-or-nothing writer.
Many writers write for four hours one day and then don’t write at all for the next few days or even weeks. This kind of haphazardness and inconsistency with your writing time can paralyze your productivity levels over time. Further, the lack of consistency in your writing routine can really put a damper on any kind of consistent productivity as well.
So, the best way to eliminate inconsistency is to try to write every day. Even if you only write for fifteen minutes to half an hour, it is important you develop the habit to write every day. Don’t let anything stop you. There is nothing that can stop inconsistency more readily and successfully than writing every day. You’ll be in the habit of writing and you will enjoy the process of writing.
3. Set consistent times to write, even if you don’t feel like it.
Many writers can’t write consistently. Instead, they find sporadic times to write, on sporadic projects, never really pulling things together to complete any manuscript or novel. This kind of inconsistency can cause a lot of disorganization and psychological dislocation for writers. In addition, I think it is important for writers to get into the habit of writing. And nothing can eliminate inconsistency faster than learning to take your writing seriously.
4. Continue to write regardless.
You may experience frustration with one project. But you should remember that you’re still a writer. So, if you’re stuck on one project, you may want to switch projects and do some writing on a new project or work on a re-draft of another manuscript that you left idle for a while. Sometimes changing focus can really make a difference in your writing productivity and output. It can also be a morale booster—and all writers need that from time to time.
5. Take a time out and come back fresh.
Sometimes, the best thing that writers can do if they are consistently inconsistent with their writing is to take a break because they may be experiencing burn out. If you try to work on other projects, and still nothing seems to be going right for you, maybe its time to take a short break away from writing. You can do this by taking a few hours off and doing something completely different. This will refresh your spirits and you should come back totally renewed.
In more serious cases, it may be necessary for you to take a mini-vacation from writing. This doesn’t mean that you should quit. All you want to do is to take a break. The best thing to do in this situation is to go to the cottage or somewhere where you can totally relax. Don’t fill your vacation time with activity. Instead, so some real relaxation. To help yourself recover from burn out, you need complete rest for a while. When you come back to your writing after your repose, you’ll feel refreshed and be able to start writing again.
By taking these tips, you will finally not be an all-or-nothing writer. You will also be able to take control of a small burp in your overall productivity and focus without engaging in negative self-talk and undermining your self-confidence. Sometimes, a rest away from writing can give you the much-needed perspective you need to face your writing with more equanimity and peace.
To your Success!
Irene S. Roth