I remember the first time I said in a public space that I am a writer. I felt my blood pressure rise; I looked around after the words escaped my lips, wondering if anyone would call me out. “You are not! You haven’t published anything.” No one said anything.
No April Fools’ joke here. I am a writer. You are a writer, too. Amidst the cacophony of words that fly into our consciousness, mostly from our own muse trying to play trickster, we may doubt this at times. Two ways I combat this come in the form of my writing space and the writing appointment I have made with myself.
Appointment with my self.
I have a set time every day, Monday through Friday mornings, as my writing time. In building my writing practice, it helps me to have this set time. Nothing gets in its way. Ha ha! (How’s that for an April Fools’ joke!) There are distractions everywhere; the tyranny of the urgent streaks into the room shouting, “But you must do this now.” I have my time set and most often I refuse to budge; writing is most important. I make plans for other things around my writing: a later time for a lunch date with a friend; appointments set in the afternoon; things like that. If it is impossible to avoid something during my writing time, I reschedule writing and reject the idea of changing the rescheduled time.
While this may sound authoritarian (and it is), I know I must be very strict about my writing time. I know I am the only one who will.
I set up my writing space to aid in my creativity. I reduce clutter, which for me amounts to distraction from my writing. When I sit down to write each morning, I am confronted by two fluorescent pink Sticky Notes reminding me of my current writing projects: a memoir and research for a novel, the latter still in the ideas stage. These remind me to get to work on my passion.
Consider your writing space or time. How could you make these things more conducive to your writing practice? Should you declutter? Should you leave yourself reminders? What will ensure that your time and space for writing encourage you?
One of the purposes of Stacking Stones Writers is to create a community of writers. Would you like someone to help you? To hold you accountable to your writing appointment? Here are some ideas to help with that:
- Find a writer in our Stacking Stones Writers community that will hold you accountable to your writing time. Be willing to do the same for them in return. It is as simple as checking in with your writer friend every week, asking if they’ve met their appointment. If not, you might brainstorm together on what is blocking the practice of writing and suggest a few possible solutions.
- Start a writing group. If you are already part of a local group, ask them for help with this. You might consider starting a writer’s group in your local area. Check with your public library. Or contact a few of your creative friends and see if they would be willing to get together at a set time each week to check in and offer encouragement. You can limit the time needed by limiting the number of participants in your group. (I can help you brainstorm ideas for your group. Just leave a comment.)
- Set an alarm in your phone. Don’t ignore it when it sounds. Go write!
- Give yourself a reward. One idea would be to treat yourself to a walk or a bouquet or a swim or a pastry on Friday if you have written every day and completed at least 300 words each day (before editing). That’s something to celebrate: 1500 words written down in a week! (I told you you’re a writer!)
Please leave a comment on what works for you; others may need your idea!
At Stacking Stones Writers, I seek to create a community of writers, a place you can go to find encouragement for your passion – writing. Please follow the Stacking Stones Writers blog to have easy access to all the tips, tools, and ideas shared here. Thank you