4 Ways to Put Writing First

August 30, 2011

Life gets in the way—always has, always will—which doesn’t bode well for writing a novel. Here are four ways to elbow life out of the way so that you can write.

  1. Make writing easier. The perfect spot in the corner of a quiet room won’t always be available, so get used writing in various locations. Unplug the laptop and write outside, at a coffee shop, in the front seat of your car, on the bus (or subway) and even in bed. Once you lessen your dependency on a single spot, you’ll recognize writing opportunities are all around you. If you’re chained to a desktop computer, break those chains with an old-fashioned notebook and pen. Try out word processing apps for smart phones. It’s not ideal, but that’s the point. You shouldn’t rely on idealized situations to write.
  2. Laugh at life. The small stuff has a way of snowballing into big stuff, and the big stuff robs you of inspiration and concentration. The next time something goes wrong, rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being reserved for the worst case scenario. If it’s less than 5, look for the humor in the situation and laugh before you worry your way from a 2 to a 10. Can’t find the humor? Share your frustrations with a friend who’s a notorious optimist or comedienne, and adopt his/her mentality.
  3. Feed the muse. Life sucks the spark out of you, but you can put it back. Try listening to music with words that feed your genre. Take a walk outside and pay attention to nature. People watch at your local mall or coffee shop. Indulge in some mindless television or see a movie.
  4. Put writing first. You have laundry, house cleaning, phone calls, emails, surfing the net, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. Little tasks get in the way five minutes at a time. Put writing first. Make concrete goals (words or pages) that must be met before you can tackle something non-writing related.

Can you add more? Share the way you put writing first.

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2 Responses to “4 Ways to Put Writing First”


  1. Good thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that writing can be work, and doesn’t always flow naturally!

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