We hear it all the time… if you want to do something (like exercise every day, or lose weight…or write) make a public commitment. Because you can’t help but hold yourself accountable.
Well, it works. It really does something to your brain. How do I know? In a post this week, I talked about snatching time to write and mentioned (rather foolishly, I thought) that I was going to do it this week.
Of course, I didn’t believe myself – knowing I had another mad week to contend with (I blame us all racing to the end of the Mayan calendar!).
But something strange happened. It kept niggling at me. ‘It’s Tuesday, girl. You haven’t written yet’ … ‘no, writing articles for your clients doesn’t count’… ‘It’s Wednesday. Just do it already’. So this morning, when I realised I was busily avoiding doing it, I gritted my teeth and said, right, only half an hour.
About 55 minutes later, I snapped the lid of my laptop shut and – yes, I admit it – felt pretty pleased with myself. I did it. I beat la résistance. So I’m an accountability convert. And apparently it takes two weeks to form a habit.
Watch this space…
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Posted in writing, tagged books, prioritising on November 3, 2009|
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Today, everything feels foggy. I blame avid reading! You know when you get totally absorbed in a book, and the world seems to hold its breath with you, and reality just fades away… so that even when you stop reading, you’re not really here?
Well, I’m not really here.
Just kidding. What I’d love to be able to do as a writer is to transport my reader into another world – another dimension almost. Where washing and cleaning and working and even talking to anyone (until you can bear to part with the book) are all put on hold.
The thing we writers sometimes forget is that it doesn’t have to be perfectly written. It doesn’t have to be a lyrical, literary artwork. It can just be a great story…
I’m a sucker for a good action mystery with a religious twist. Okay, back to Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.
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You know, there’s so much information out there on how to be a writer. Much of it focusses on how to be more productive, or tells us we must write every day.
But, what if that’s not the right fit for your life?
If you’re like us, you’ve got a lot of other things to fit into life and sometimes that’s just not going to work. Things come up. Other people’s needs take priority over yours. Sometimes you’re just too damn tired.
So why not stop fighting it?
We’re taking a new approach to scheduling. Scheduling in days where housework gets to take priority. You can add in bill paying, shopping, whatever else you like to the day – but know that writing will not be the priority that day. If you get some in (like I am now) that’s a bonus. Schedule a few days when writing will be the priority. For me that’s going to be mid-week this week. And schedule a day when you can do coffee, or anything else social you get invited to to. If you know in advance that the day for socialising is Friday, you can straight away give a yes or no to invitations or reschedule to that day, because in your mind you’ve already set aside that time. Without consciously scheduling a day for socialising we all tend to just go with the flow and agree to coffee and the like when it suits everyone else. Our priorities, and our time, dwindle away.
So it’s not really about focus or productivity, it’s about avoiding ‘going with the flow’, and taking charge instead. And the only way to do that is to make a schedule that’s the right fit for you, and your life. Just because our children, friends, family, whatever, are important parts of our life, doesn’t mean we’re not committed to writing. It’s just that the usual rules of writing, are not right for us.
S & L
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