The holidays bearing down on us may draw us away from our writing--for good reasons. But in truth every season and every day thows distractions our way in an unending variety of tempting forms. Who needs Santa Clause when we have the daily intrigue of Facebook? And annoying relatives have nothing on the commanding, persuasive hautning come-hither emitted by piles of laundry/dirty dishes/rug fuzz/unopened mail/unscrubbed bathtubs (such mocking! Worse, for sure, than family).
No, I don't need a season to disrupt me. I do just fine distrupting myself.
|No multi-tasking here!|
3. Write without pause. Be the writer at the keyboard first, the judge and the editor second. If this is hard, time yourself. Try to write uninterrupeted without rereading your writing, for a certain amount of time (ten minutes, five, twenty, an hour).
4. Use everything you have. Since my childhood, my mother, novelist Nancy Thayer, has said to me: "Put it in your work." Whatever is going on, stress or anger or sadness or joy or boredom or irritation, drama or exhaustion, put it in your work. Use it; write it out of you. Sometimes this may mean not talking to a friend or exercising the problem away but going first, with that charge of feeling, to your computer or pad.
5. Do one thing. Yes, that means you can't write a few lines then check your email or pick up the phone in the middle of writing or eating a cracker while you write or half-write and half-wrap Christmas presents. If this is hard, set a timer. Christian McEwen in her incredibly inspiring and profoundly beautiful book, World Enough & Time, writes: "The Internet encourages us to do everything at the top possible speed, and at the same time, to keep changing focus...Once interrupted, most of us take about twenty-five minutes to return to our original point of focus...." Save time! Do one thing!
6. Read. I honestly do not know a good writer who does not voraciously read. Reading makes you a better writer. Read well written books. Read all kinds of books. Re-read the authors whose words changed you or opened new worlds for you. Read the books that sell best and see. Reading, for a writer, is never wasted time.
Well, this could go on for a long time and neither of us have time for it! Go do something with yourself already! How about starting with telling me your number one best tip to write better right now?
Samantha Wilde is the author of THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME and I'LL TAKE WHAT SHE HAS to be relased late February (both from Bantam Books). She was raised by a novelist in a house full of books. The mother of three, a certified yoga teacher, an ordained minister, and a perpetual reader (now that she has an electronic toothbrush she can read and brush!), she blogs at Wilde Mama. Join her on Facebook where she keeps posting silly videos of herself (oh, but that is NOT a waste of time!).