November is a huge month. We select a new President and a slew of writers of all levels will take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo. Starting November 1st, participants  all over the country will write a complete 50,000-word novel in one month. Oh, how I would love to sign on for the challenge, but the truth is I don’t have the guts nor the time and I’d have be in the land delusion to even try attempt such a feat.

As much as I strive to have a structured time and place for writing, life happens. Over the last year or so many of you have read my resolutions to write a certain number of words per day and each time I gave it my best shot, but for the most part, I fell short. Things  haven’t happened the way I planned. Why? Simple, life happens. I’m not the only person in my universe.

As I read through some of my favorite blogs the other day, I found a number of them to be on the   same issues: How to overcome writer‘s block, become more inspired or tricks and prompts to keep you writing. I read each one with the intention of using their best advice offered. It didn’t happen, life did.

Instead of being productive, I became frustrated. I couldn’t keep up with all the reading, weekly prompts, tweets and blogs, my own writing, writer’s group and family responsibilities. I needed an attitude adjustment.

Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn gives three tips on how she keeps herself from being distracted.

1. Diary scheduling – days scheduled for nothing else but writing.

2. Working out of the Library

3. Setting a timer for ninety minutes -broken into four sessions, per day.

The first one would take an act of congress, divorce, giving my dogs away, or moving out of the country, but occasionally it happens. The second one works, and I’ve been stealing a couple of hours away from home to cut down on distractions. The third one, I’m trying this week. Emails, twitter, and research have a tendency to suck the hours out of a day and I get lost. The timer will be good for me, as long as I don’t reset it.

Life does happen to all of us. It’s unavoidable. We must learn to roll with the punches. It was easier when I was younger and a great multi-tasker, but that was then.

CJ Lyons in her blog No Rules Just Write, offered the best advice. She said there is no secret recipe to writing a good book or story and no one can tell you the right way to write.  Her own secret was “as simple as ABC: APPLY BUTT TO CHAIR”.

Sounds like good advice.


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