Monday, 7 January 2013

Prioritising Writing Time

I wanted to fit a lot of writing in this week, despite the end of my maternity leave. I'm only in work for two days, but I knew I'd have to be productive today to make the most of my truncated week.

I read a fantastic article in Writing Magazine at the weekend. Joanne Borrill shared several tips for focussing and making the most of your time. You'd wonder what new things could be said about such a topic, but apparently, quite a lot!

Something that inspired me greatly was a jam-jar illustration she'd borrowed from Nina Grunfeld. Go and read the article in Writing Magazine and see what you think! Anyway, I was so encouraged, I planned out my day by starting with the goal (to write) and then working everything else around it. Too often I leave writing till last, and it becomes my 'rollover activity' that eternally appears on tomorrow's to-do list.

I'm blaming my mother for that. She taught me to do the unpleasant things first and keep the fun and play till last.  As reluctant as I sometimes am to put fingers to keyboard, I can't count my writing as anything other than pure pleasure.

The related danger for me, when planning my writing, is that I can't stop. Writing makes me a Bad Mother. If  I try to write while the kids are around, I neglect them, and say, SSSSHHHH in a hissy-fit voice if they tiptoe past. If I try to squeeze in a half hour's writing before I pick up children from school or nursery, I keep going too long, and then end up having to jog the whole way, and am still late. So putting the writing in first is probably a wise idea. I don't find it so hard to drag myself away from the laundry or the dishwasher.

And the extra bonus? When a rejection letter landed on the doormat at nine-forty today, I hadn't time to be discouraged because I had A Plan to Write. So I told myself that a rejection is a positive thing because it shows I'm taking risks and putting my work out there....and went and wrote instead.

I polished my January story, then had a half hour to plan some characters for my novel....and even managed to pick the three year old up on time. And that was all before I got on with some housework....

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