Regimented Writing

You know how it goes.  Work was crazy so I was really tired when I got home.  I’m just gonna check my e-mail and then I’ll jump all over my novel.  MonsterQuest is on and this time they might get DNA from a real live sasquatch. 

Whatever, a day gets away from you, then a week, maybe even a month.  Maybe even more.  I haven’t written a whole lot in the past two weeks.  I’m not blocked.  When I do write it goes pretty well.  It’s a good spot in the work too, not a slog.  So why am I not writing? 

Well, one day work really was crazy and I really was tired.  The truth though is that I’ve just been wasting time.  There’s no excuse for it.  It’s just truth and hey, it happens.  It doesn’t make me a bad person but bad habits seem to stick so much better than good ones and I’ve wasted the better part of a month.  What to do? 

I made myself a schedule.  This is huge.  I don’t even wear a watch and I made a schedule.  A real schedule with time slots and what happens in those time slots and here’s why it’s going to work.

1)  I wrote it down.  It’s not out there hanging in the ether.  It’s right there hanging by my desk.  With magnets.

2) It’s not demanding.  Most people think they don’t have enough time to do things but they’re usually just not using their time well.  It’s natural-the human is much more grasshopper than ant-but it’s an easy fix.  Budget your time the same way you would budget money.  Look at the time you have and what you’re really doing with it.  Taking the rugrats to karate may be worthwhile but if you’re watching The Biggest Loser on Tuesday nights you’re wasting two hours.  Write for an hour.  Work out for an hour.  You’ll be a better, fitter writer.

3) It’s specific.  My new schedule includes things I think I should be doing everyday.  If you take swing dancing class (people did that in the 90’s kids) put it on the shedule.  If writing happens at 6:00.  Then six o’ clock is ass in chair, word processor on, and whatever music, drink, funny hat, or other muse-courting activities done.  If it takes you a half hour to court your muse you might want to put that in the schedule.

4) It’s habit forming.  Or I hope it is.  Bad habits are easy to form, almost effortless, but good ones usually require a little focus and linear thought.  Like a schedule.

About Eric Bahle

Eric Bahle stopped going to his real job so he could be a full time digital author and storyteller. He loves being in the woods with his bow or on the water in his kayak. He lives in Pennsylvania with his lovely wife and a mongrel dog. He is working on his next bestselling story.

Comments

  1. Good luck, Jeff. This is one of those things in life that is simple but not easy. I have found that even a little effort will begin to snowball, and pretty soon the momentum train is pulling out of the station.

    Does my tiara count as a muse-courting device? Just asking.

  2. Eric Bahle says:

    On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 totally dull and 10 being absolute metaphysical sparklitude) how sparkly is your tiara? I don’t think a muse is going to be attracted to anything less than a 7.5.