Get in the zone
Whether you are meeting a publication deadline, overlapping projects, or procrastinating:
- Mentally organise by thinking about your 'story' or project and how it develops.
- Don't think about looking at your MySpace or updating your blog, turn off the mobile and msn, but most important of all - delete all those distracting solitaire games on your PC. (Yes, this is me talking - I haven't been replaced by aliens. It is very good advice and one day, I too will follow it!)
- Keep a notebook and jot down all your thoughts on 'story' development and write down all those good phrases you over hear.
- Talk about the topic you are writing about (but, not the story) to your family and friends, your doctor or even the postman. Your writing will benefit from the reactions and interpretations of other people.
- If the information received is unclear, ask for clarification. But, whatever you do don’t get defensive and don’t argue. Smile and accept comments gracefully, even if you disagree. Then, make a note in that notebook we mentioned earlier and move on. You don’t have time to debate. If you get all uptight you wont be able to write anything anyway. So always remember it’s only a writing project!
- Clear your desk, or the place where you write, so you have a designated distraction-free area where you can concentrate.
- Make sure your time frame is clear, especially if you are dependant on others to get the job done.
- Devise a schedule working backwards from the deadline. This includes highlighting all the major steps: due date, revision, draft, workspace organization, resources required and research. This schedule can be adapted as you progress.
- Once you've organised everything you need to avoid disrupting your writing process you now need to think about everything you don't need! So, make sure you've got something to keep the kids busy - hire some DVD's and playstation games, buy them new feltpens, let them choose a whole range of books and CD's from the library and make loads of snacks they can help themselves to.