Okay, it's a new year and many of us are making new resolutions with the best of intentions. For me, it's to finish my sequel to Shards of Trust. However, when I read articles about how to discipline yourself to create good writing habits, I often get discouraged because the suggestions of a set time each day, doesn't work for me. When caring for elderly in-laws with varying needs and doctor appointments, flexibility is key. If you are in a similar situation, whether it's family, another job with hours that vary, or anything in your life that presents variety in your schedule on a day to day basis, then this blog post is for you.
First and foremost, take a good look at a sample week in your life. Is it predictable or does it lean more toward the unpredictable? Be honest about it, because this is for you and you alone.
Second, when do you function best? Do you need to be awake for at least an hour or two, having had a cup of coffee, before your brain can function fully? Are you a morning person who pops out of bed, ready to go, but fizzle out as the day wears on? Perhaps you're a middle-of-the-day person, who can forget about trying to concentrate on anything as creative as writing in the morning or evening. Essentially, it helps to know how you are wired.
Finally, after assessing the above items, make a plan that works for you. For example, my plan is to look at what is happening each day, since it varies so much, then carve out a chunk of time in that day to sit down and write, avoiding late evenings like the plague. Even if that designated time has to be broken into two periods of time, the important thing is my determination to write every day.
When life happens, and your plan fails, give yourself a break. Know that you'll write when you can. After all, if it wasn't for those life events, we wouldn't have anything to write about. Make mental notes of the emotions, people, and scene of whatever has interrupted your writing. Who knows, any one of the three might appear in your next great novel!