Monday, 09 February, 2015
Are you a writer who needs more time to put words on the page? Does your heart sink when you see tweets or Facebook statuses like “Squeezed in 600 words during my lunch break” or “Added 1000+ more words to my MS in 1 hour,” because it takes you longer to reach either milestone?
If you are, you’re not alone. I’ve run into the same situation many times. Belittling ourselves, however, doesn’t make us feel better about our “lack of speed.” What will is embracing our unique writing methods while recognizing what needs fine-tuning.
Below are various bits of advice about balancing productivity with individuality that I’ve collected over time. Some are suggestions from fellow writers. Others are lessons I’ve learned on my own. Regardless, I hope you find them as helpful or reassuring as I have.
Monday, 15 December, 2014
To call yourself a writer, you don’t need to be published. You don’t need a qualification. You don’t need to have been writing a long time. The only thing you need to do to call yourself a writer is write. And yet…sometimes that’s easier said than done. On those days when you know you should spend time on your work-in-progress but can’t muster the motivation to sit down and actually write, your willpower may need a helping hand. There to offer said hand is a little bit of psychology. Here’s one simple way you can conserve your waning willpower and get yourself writing on days when you feel like anything but.
The first thing to understand is that self-control—being able to deny your impulses and say no to temptation—is not a limitless resource. If you do something that requires a fair bit of willpower, like coaxing yourself into going to the gym or spending a full day at work or school, then you’ll have less available to will yourself to write. So, if you can’t just cut out activities aside from writing that require a lot of self-control, what can you do to make sure you have enough willpower for writing?
Thursday, 20 December, 2012
It’s been a week since I took my last final exam in social psychology and came home for the holidays. After reuniting with my family, receiving notice of my class grades and hanging Christmas stockings up by the fireplace, it feels like everything has fallen into place. Things are as they should be. I’ve taken the last couple of days to relax on my favorite couch at home with Mockingjay
in one hand and a mug of hot chocolate in the other. Life is good.
And yet, there is a small tug in the back of my mind, reminding me that something’s not quite right. I have never been able to sit still for very long without getting antsy — especially if I’m not doing work. Leisure is wonderful, but winter break wouldn’t be the same without some productivity, too. Even as I immerse myself in the world of Panem, the thought of internships to apply for, blog posts to write and stories to pitch and always sucks me back into the real world.