I’m happy to report that I met mine. I have to admit, however, that writing 5,000 words a week may be a little ambitious. Though I wrote for a few hours in the early morning hours on a couple of days, I was able to achieve my goal this week because of that great middle of the week 4th of July holiday. While my husband was at a barbecue on Wednesday, I was bunkered down at home writing and stayed put for over eight hours.
I’m usually off on Fridays and write that day, but I travelled to Houston for the NAACP Conference this past Friday. I did some editing of my hard copy draft on the plane and also got in a couple of hours on Friday and Saturday night in my hotel room. However, sitting in bed with my laptop in my lap is not my optimal writing position. But I made it work.
To achieve your writing goal, it’s important to stay motivated. I’ll share a few of the tips I use to keep me psyched up.
First, whenever I have a full day to write (like a holiday, Friday or weekend day), I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll prepare the day before by setting up the room where I’m writing, even laying out my clothes (usually comfortable sweats and a T-shirt) so I don’t have to waste time in the morning finding something to wear. When I wake up, I want to get to the computer as soon as possible.
If I’m writing in my home office, I’ll make sure my laptop is set up and plugged in. I’ll place a bottle of water, pen, notepad and snacks (raisins and almonds) on my side table. My handy Flip Dictionary will be within arm’s reach. I’ll also do this if I know that I’m going to get up early in the morning to write for only a couple of hours. I typically get home from work by seven. If I’m going to write the next morning, I try to get to bed by nine, so that I can wake up at four to write from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. I can get dressed by 7:30 a.m. and get to work by 8:30 a.m.
I try to plan my writing sessions ahead of time. For example, this week, I plan to stay at work to write on Tuesday night and will write early Thursday morning. I’ll be attending a religious retreat in Palm Springs this weekend. It’s my intent to get some writing done in my hotel room on Friday and Saturday during the early morning hours before the daily events begin.
If I’m writing at one of my offices away from home—Starbucks or Panera Bread—I’ll pack up everything I’m taking with me in my rolling bag and leave it near the front door. I try to get to my spot in the coffee shop by 7 a.m. For me, my creative juices seem to flow better in the early morning hours.
Oh yeah, coffee. I need that warm, stimulating liquid to get me going whether I’m writing early in the morning or late at night. So once I’m up and ready to go, I brew my coffee (or run around the corner for my favorite cup of java at 7-11; and yes, I've done that at 4 a.m.), then I get cracking.
I have special coffee mugs that I must have with me when I’m writing. I have two that are my favorites. One says “writer” and the other (my favorite) says “I’m an early morning writer.” Here are photographs of my mugs:
Zaggle.com, the site where I purchased the mugs, also has some other great writer mugs I was tempted to purchase and probably will down the line. But how many mugs can one girl use? Here are the words that appear on some of my other favorite Zaggle mugs:
"Go away or you'll end up in my novel."
"Write something even if it's just a suicide note. Gore Vidal"
Write here, write now."
"Careful or you'll end up in my novel."
"Shut up and write."
So make sure you check out Zaggle at http://www.zazzle.com/writers+gifts. You'll find lots of great writer gifts, including T-shirts.
I also have a brightly colored vision wall with motivational words, quotes and pictures in my bedroom. Though I rarely write at this desk anymore, it’s the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and it’s always an inspiration. Here’s a peek:
Have you made the place where you write conducive to writing? I encourage you to determine what helps you stay motivated and use those tools to get your juices flowing.
Good luck on your writing journey and stay motivated!