Do you also dream of your own book? Do you want to be a writer? Or do you still daddle around on the PC and watch TV? Well? Caught?
Even if you have enough ideas and have mastered your craft, there’s most likely a problem. This one thing has become as rare to most as the terrapin in Central Europe: the ultimate commodity, time. Avoid the following 9 time killers and finally get back to writing. Whether you are a satisfied hobby writer or a professional writer is your dream – nothing stands in the way of being a writer!
When we sit in front of the screen, time seems to stand still. We can be entertained without having to do anything. We do not even have to think. This makes television the most popular leisure activity for many to switch off.
If we want to escape our daily lives, it’s just tempting to pick up the remote control, press the button and turn on the flick box and turn off our own brains. There we sit, first the minutes drag on and in the end we get up again hours later. But there’s no sign of recovery. Instead of actually being more relaxed, we feel woozy. Instead of a clear train of thought, only mud soup spills through our skulls. But we actually want to write. But first of all it is too late for that now and secondly we are not able to do it anymore.
So, unreflective television kills our writing in two ways: First, we spent a lot of time with the boob tube instead of using it to write. On the other hand, we are not refreshed at all, but not creative at all anymore. So definitely keep in mind: If you really want to become a writer, avoid unreflective television consumption! You prefer to watch television in an inspiring way and get ideas from television! or use other great ways to come up with topics for your story.
Writing is a lonely activity, at least most of the time. But we are social beings. Where would we be without our family and friends? How sad our lives would be if we didn’t share the fun and sorrows with others? What would happen if we didn’t support each other in this often cold world??
Being consciously alone
All this we have to regularly push aside a bit when writing, in order to get into the writing calm we so urgently need. Of course it is important to share. But if we are always surrounded by others, we simply don’t get to write.
To be able to say no
We have to learn to say no. This can also sometimes mean upsetting people. But if we always and everywhere want to be there, we do not find the necessary rest, without which it does not work with the writing.
If you do everything, you do nothing right. We need the focus we need if we want to be successful.
The concert pianist
Can you imagine a pianist who sits down at the piano for an hour every now and then and then plays a Beethoven piano concerto?? A tennis player who occasionally gambles on weekends with old school friends, and suddenly finds himself in the finals of Wimbledon? No? Why should it be like that with writing?? Do you think you can write a successful novel completely without practice?
You have to focus on writing. And for this you need regular time for writing, preferably daily. So learn to give up things that are not your top priority to finally have time for the essentials again.
The tendency to perfectionism can, at the right moment, take us all the way to the top and drive us to extraordinary achievements. But if we live it at the wrong moment, it simply steals our time.
Fine-tune your own language
You can work on a sentence for quite a long time until it is perfect. And maybe it never really will. The whole thing can also be extended to larger elements, to paragraphs or chapters, or even observed in individual words. But this is not always helpful.
Writing flow against writer’s block
If you’re in the flow of writing, you’re only blocking yourself if you expect everything to be perfect. Suffer from writer’s block, even more so. When revising, when you revisit your writing as your own reader, it can be important to weigh every single word. However, when it comes to writing, it is often more helpful to just write. The drive for perfection usually gets you nowhere and only costs you time.
We are always connected. We share every moment of our lives immediately, with the help of short comments, photos, videos or smileys. It beeps, rings and vibrates incessantly, and if we don’t answer right away, the sender of the message is offended.
Well, maybe this description is slightly exaggerated. But we live in a world where many people expect us to be available all the time. However, answering our phones every time we post a message pulls us out of what we’re doing at the moment. This is not only a problem if we are writing at that moment. Our whole life and thinking is influenced by it and our progress as a writer suffers.
Maturation takes time
Longer literary works have to mature, our head keeps working even when we’re not sitting at our desk. So if we are always available, we put ourselves in the way of our development. And in the end everything just takes longer.
The idea often comes disguised as a time saver: it’s best to start writing only when you know exactly what it’s about.
At first glance, perfect advance planning makes sense. Instead of wasting our time with texts that are not good in the end, we wait until the one idea comes along that is worth writing for. But there’s one thing we forget: the best ideas often come while we’re writing.
Writing as a process
A good text is usually not created at the first go, but only as the result of a long writing process. It doesn’t help to wait in front of the blank page for a miracle in the form of a flash of inspiration to descend upon us. Just start, even if you don’t know what it’s about yet. Otherwise you’re just wasting time unnecessarily. Learn to overcome your writer’s block.
At first it seems like a smart idea: one hour less sleep means one hour more time to write. And in some circles it’s considered chic to sleep little, because we could always do that when we’re dead – you know these sayings.
The calculation of little sleep unfortunately does not work out. In the short term, we may gain a little bit of time. But in the medium and long term, little sleep affects our mood and ultimately our productivity suffers. We become unbalanced, feel tired, and end up losing a lot more time because we can’t get anything done this way. Sleep enough and be awake and rested for your writing.
As helpful as it can often be to simply write freely, it can be a hindrance if we overdo it. Especially with longer writing projects, there are moments when we should pause to get some distance from our writing.
Questions that help us when we pause to write:
- Where do we want to go with them?
- In which direction the whole thing seems to go?
- Which tendencies do we want to reinforce, which are more likely to hinder the story?
- What structure do we want to give it?
The right moment to ask this question is certainly not before you even begin. It is much more important to get into writing first. But if you’re stuck in the middle and don’t know exactly where you’re going, looking at the structure is an important tool to keep you from getting too bogged down.
Of course we can write whenever it comes to our mind. However, if we only write then, it can easily happen that we never get to it.
Everyday life is demanding enough for most of us. The bread-and-butter job or family takes up our time. And when there’s nothing to do right now, there’s the media beckoning us to consume at every turn.
So the days and weeks go by and every thought that we could write again is at the same time overlaid by another stimulus. That way nothing will happen. We waste valuable time with trifles instead of using it for our writing path.
Self-discipline made easy
Most of us only manage to assign writing a fixed place in our everyday life by clear writing times and routines. We also need to write when we set out to do so, not just when it happens to be convenient. This way, we open up a period of time that makes us more independent from everyday life and helps us to advance our writing.
Writing as a profession – Of course, it’s not just the right use of time that makes this possible. There are many more success factors that are critical to this. Especially important here are the attitudes of writers, which can be summarized as secrets you should definitely know.
Time as a basis
Despite everything, the factor of time is the basis of writing novels or even writing books in general. Without it, all the writing know-how is of little use to you. So learn to tame the time killers that can rob us of even the last half hour. They could not be more different. External factors such as deadlines and everyday stress and internal factors such as lack of discipline and focus usually go hand in hand.
Your personal time killers
Take on the time killers that you felt particularly addressed. Best start with one and eliminate it from your daily routine. Then pick the next one. Slowly become the boss of your writing day again!
Do you know of any other major time killers that discourage writing? Share them with us in the comments!