How to Make the Most of a Writing Hour

ramonagravitarRecently author/editor Ramona DeFelice Long wrote an exceptional post on how to make the most of your writing time — even if you only have one hour a day. Here are some of the key points that resonated with me:

Preparing for a Writing Hour

“What is your most creative time of day?” In a perfect world, your writing hour would fall in this time. In an imperfect world, your writing hour will fall when it falls, and you will write during that hour because that is the time available.

Here are some considerations for making the most of the Writing Hour:

1) Write at the same hour every day. Just as writing every day keeps the story in your head, writing at the same hour every day establishes a routine.

2) Write in the same place every day. If you have to (or want to) leave home to write at a library, coffee shop, on your deck, this may not work for you. If you are a traveler, see comment #3. If you work at home, or if you must have research materials or notes handy, set up a writing station—a writing desk, a corner of the dining room table, a spot in the basement. Fill it with what you need to work, what you require for comfort, and what may perk or inspire you.

3) If you write in different places and/or need to get out of your home or office, make your Writing Hour easier by being organized. Get a bag that is used only for Writing Hour supplies: journal, pens, flash drives, note cards. Have it ready to go at all times so you don’t spend any valuable minutes searching for the last copy of your draft or an important revision note.

Get your Brain in Gear for your Writing Hour

1) What may be the most difficult part of an uninterrupted Writing Hour is retreating from the world. Remember: Social media and housework will still be there when you check back into the world in an hour. Turn off and tune out. Don’t turn the TV on mute. That’s just tempting temptation.

2) Calm yourself. Take a minute to close your eyes or breathe deeply, and relax. Devoting a minute to physical preparedness is worth the sacrifice of a minute out of your hour.

3) Prepare mentally. Think about what you wrote yesterday and what you want to write today. If what you wrote yesterday stunk, and you can’t move on without editing it, accept that and revise instead of writing new words. If you are mired in a scene and have been there for several days, accept that and decide you’ll move on to a new scene. Be in your story before you sit down to write.

To read more blog posts by Ramona DeFelice Long, click here.

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