‘Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so. – Douglas Adams.’
As regular readers of my blog may already be aware, I am making a concerted effort to change writing from a hobby into a career. I have waxed lyrical about the need to squeeze every spare minute out of the day and to pour those precious juices into my writing journey. Sadly, I seem to have neglected to take my own advice recently, only last week I ended up writing just 900 words for my current project, when on a good week you can usually multiply that number by at least ten.
But I had a busy week, I told myself, as if that would justify my complete lack of effort for the past seven days. But there are 24 hours in each day and seven days in each week, surely I could have written more than a measly 900 words?
It was fortuitous perhaps, that I found myself reading the latest issue of ‘Writer’s Forum’ and stumbled across an article on time management. It suggests that all writers should keep a time log so that they are more aware of how much time is spent not actually writing anything. With a sense of trepidation, I bit the bullet and was alarmed by the results that were staring straight back at me, giving me that accusing stare reserved only for the worst kind of procrastinators.
I realized that I spent more time faffing than I did actually doing any productive writing. I had spent more time tweeting, answering emails that could have been left until later in the day, making cups of coffee and researching the meaning of obscure words through the Google search engine. Out of the four hours that I had sat staring at my computer, only half of that was actually spent on my current writing project, a measly 900 words the result.
Last week might not go down as one of the finest in my writing career, but it served to remind me that I need to concentrate more and procrastinate less. With that in mind, I will remove all distracting objects away from my writing area, shut the dogs out in the garden (regardless of the weather) and ignore the ‘pinging’ noise that my mobile phone makes each time someone replies to one of my tweets. I will use my time more effectively by having a clear idea of what it is that I want to write about in any particular session and have a pot of freshly-brewed coffee close at hand…..oh, and also an array of snacks to keep me going through the long hard slog.
I now understand that a good writer doesn’t have to work harder but smarter, learning to utilize their time to gain maximum efficiency from themselves. I may have been under par last week, but I shall be wiser for the experience and more appreciative of just how much time that it does take to become a published writer.