Whether they have full time jobs, whether they are retired, whether they are stay-at-home parents, finding the time to write is a problem. When writers sit at their computers at their desks at home, others do not understand that they are working. You might be right in the middle of a chase scene. Your hero or heroine is running for their lives or about to get caught doing something dangerous. Perhaps a bomb is about to explode. Your fingers are flying across the keyboard, trying to keep up with the images forming in your head. And then, you hear, “Mom, can I borrow your blue shirt?”
Imagine what that does to a writer’s concentration. Suddenly everything stops. The momentum is lost. Later, when you sit down to that same scene, it may take hours to get back in the rhythm. Sometimes you may never get it back and the scene has to be completely re-written.
- Leave your home. When I first started writing, I thought it would be wonderful to work at home. I could do the laundry and work at the same time. I could take care of the yard crew and work at the same time. Wrong! What happens is I do the laundry and take care of the yard crew and my writing doesn’t get done. When I leave home, go to a coffee shop or to a quiet office or to the local library, I can write and write. I get more done in a couple of hours than I might in a full day at home.
- Close your doors. Some people can’t leave home. Perhaps they have a small child or a sick parent or spouse. Close your doors to alert your family, friends, and others (even the dog), that you will be working. I’ve even suggested putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
- Turn off the pesky distractions on your computer. If you leave home, but continue to get email or text notifications, your writing will not get done. Turn everything off for a few hours. Believe it or not the world will survive.
- When all else fails, take care of life’s demands. Do everything you can to finish whatever is calling you away from writing, and then settle in to write. Don’t try to mix them together. Constant interruptions will only cause frustrations.