Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I like to write and know many people who do also. Getting in a zone and letting your mind roam freely (or subconsciously) while you lay out on paper or on line whatever comes to the forefront is like the flow of a meandering river through fertile grasslands or deep, darker woods. Sometimes it comes upon a waterfall because what is splashing out is so exciting or clever or revealing that it's thrilling to let those visualizations or thinking out in the open. Sharing them with others is fulfillment, and at other times becomes self-discovery and enlightenment, even inviting change within yourself.

I was taught to write three pages a day, and I chose doing this the first thing in the morning before doing anything else. This process is called "clumping". Of course that time does not always work out for me, but when I do it - it sets the tone for more writing. It provides a way to "get in the zone" and let go of all the usual other things you do in order to focus on your writing.

I have also read that other authors write 10 pages a day and fill up notebooks . For example Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down The Bones, (a very cool and wonderful book that helps any would-be writer) refers to doing just that herself. Other authors that I have met in a Writer's club, prefer to get online and just write, or write articles or short stories to build up to writing a book. Some write in long hand and prefer it to typing and some would-be authors write information products before or while writing a book-something I am doing myself, too.

After writing your 3 pages-you can staple them together and put them in a file folder or a folder online. Organization is vital to make progress. Dan Poynter (Writing Nonfiction) suggests making piles for each chapter of the book you are writing and placing them on the floor. Each pile contains the research you have for that chapter. I have a hard time doing this because I don't function well in clutter- so I have big binders where I divide up the research I have gathered for my book. Wherever you keep your clumping pages, you can go back to them at different times and discover material that you can use at another time or in one of the chapters you are writing, or for an article for something else you want to publish.

Scheduling time to write or work on your book or article or story or information product, takes a real effort, especially if you are working or have another profession. You have to commit yourself to accomplishing what you want to write, because it is 'oh, so easy' to get distracted or have life take up an abundance of the time you have awake! There is lots of time management information on line, just go to any search engine and put those two words in. Programs and coaches help further by instructing you more specifically either through the examples of other successful practices, or, as with coaches, by focusing completely on you, the client, and what works or will work sucessfully for you. Having a coach is just an amazing process that is vitally enabling.

Keeping track of my SMART goals, and checking off my daily goals on a schedule sheet I made up on Excel- helps me to stay focused. Having an accountability partner (or more than one for different reasons) is extremely valuable also. Blocking out time periods exclusively for writing, works for others and is wonderful if your daily patterns give you the freedom to lay it out that way with little likelihood of your routine being interrupted or postponed.

Bottom line, once you launch yourself into the process, after commiting yourself to accomplishing this goal, writing daily is a key component to success and organization. While difficult for many, it is crucial to learn to do.

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