How Can Author’s Calm Their Chaos and Still Get It All Done?
Authors most often march to the beat of our own drum that sometimes beats at midnight, and other times in the early morning hours. We thrive on deadlines, but often get more creative with the delicious lull of afternoon sun and open spaciousness of the day (which hardly ever comes). So how, in the midst of deadlines, submissions, children’s schedules and creative whims do we get our projects moved from our heart, to our heads to our hands and out the door to the press? In other words, how do authors get it all done?
I just published my second book in April of this year. I wrote it while I was running my business, mothering my son, chairing the Board of Trustees for my church, writing my blog posts, playing in 3 sports leagues and hopefully tending to my home and marriage. In other words, the book didn’t just roll out of my consciousness in “all my free time!” I had to make it work – just like every other author.
That is what separates authors from would-be authors. We do what it takes to move from “I don’t have time to write” to “I make the time to write.”
Here are a few pointers in how to keep the writing going and flowing so that the book actually gets done!
1. Be sure that you are clear on the WHY before you worry about the WHAT or the HOW! Why you want to share your particular message is the most important factor that will drive you forward when you don’t think you can possibly find one more sliver of time in your day. When you know what is driving you and condition your mind to focus there every day, you will be much more inclined to do the hard work of grinding out the hours in front of the computer to get it done. I am very mission-driven and my mission compels me to focus my attention, organize my thinking and do the hard mental work crafting my book. I love my teaching and writing. It is not “my job” but it is who I am. When you feel that passion you will make the time, and you will love it.
3. Lastly, determine HOW you will get the writing done… Follow your natural rhythms as well as your schedule needs. Are you an early riser? Is your mind fully fresh right before dawn, or well after the sun goes down? When I wrote both of my books I had two major writing periods about 4 days a week. The two periods revolved around my own biorhythms and my son’s schedule. I wrote a couple hours a day while he was at school and then at least two to three hours after he was in bed. This worked well for me since I am not a morning person, so the thought of getting up at 4 AM to write before starting my day nauseated me! Honor your rhythms and the other needs in your schedule, but create your own rhythm for your writing.
It is never true that you are not writing because you don’t have time. You can and will commit the time when your compelling “why” is strong enough and your message is clear enough. Let your passion compel you forward because the world needs more people bringing their passion to the world!
Jackie Woodside, CPC, LICSW is a psychotherapist, coach, speaker and author, specializing in the power of managing personal energy, rather than time or stress. An Amazon bestselling author of 'What If It’s Time for a Change?' and highly sought-after speaker on leadership and empowerment topics, Jackie conducts training programs for public, private and government sectors nationwide.
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