I didn’t get enough sleep the night before (turns out, the tea I drank after dinner wasn’t herbal; it had caffeine). It took me hours to fall asleep.
I woke up at 6:15 a.m. after not enough Z’s, drug my arse up to work on my novel a while. I wrote 1,000 ugly, awful words.
That session should’ve satisfied me for the day, but it didn’t. I did something that changed my attitude and helped my writing…
I stole writing time when there was none.
How was that possible? Everyone in my family needed me ASAP.
Mom! Where’s my…?
Hon? Will you please…?
The doorbell…the phone…our dogs…
Although it’s nice to be needed, I was hungry for more time with my book.
Quicker than a New York Minute
That afternoon, I had exactly three hours alone before everyone returned home and I had to start cooking dinner. I didn’t have any paid contract work to complete that day, but my schedule was already packed: I needed to write this post, finalize a guest post, then run errands that would take 30 – 45 minutes to accomplish.
That was my reality, but I couldn’t accomplish any of my To Do list because of my irritability. I knew my exhaustion was to blame for my lack of focus, but I WANTED TO WRITE!
I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes and cranked out 550 words of a scene buzzing in my brain. It was rougher than sandpaper. I didn’t bother to read it, but guess what?
My spirits lifted. I felt both happy and proud that I was one step closer to completing my first draft. I finished both blog posts and ran all my errands, with time to spare.
Don’t have 15 minutes?
Believe me, I understand. There are times when life won’t let you write: during a major move, a loved one is in hospice, you’re in a divorce you never expected. If that’s you, be patient and know your life will turn back toward pen and paper someday.
However, most everyone else can find 3 minutes to spare. Jot out a quick scene, brainstorm your next chapter, make a list of tasks for your book launch.
Even you just scribble on the back of a receipt, while your car is stuck in traffic, it still helps focus your mind for when you do have more time.
The key is to do something to honor yourself as a writer, no matter how small.
Some is Better than None
This is my mantra. Some writing/exercise/sleep is better than none.
I wrote 550 words in 15 minutes. I didn’t have time to procrastinate, and used my anger as fuel. I banged away on my keyboard until I felt better.
Fifteen minutes for an attitude adjustment is a pretty sweet deal. I went to bed in a great mood that night.
I’ll definitely add this to my bag o’ tricks for the future and hope you’ll do the same.