Technique #2: Write first thing; wake up early if necessary.
You've likely heard this advice before. That's because it works,
and not just for writing. Whatever is most important in your life,
whether itís writing or studying or exercising, do it first thing.
If you don't, life inevitably intervenes.
A few years ago, I had a twelve-week deadline to write six one-hour
scripts, a 60-page instruction booklet, and to complete the
altered-state sound engineering for a CD companion album to my first
book. I had to do all this while 1) my co-author was on tour and
couldn't help, 2) I was going through a major house remodel, 3) I
was working full-time, 4) I was scheduled to travel out of the
country for two weeks, and 5) I was preparing for the PNWA's annual
3-day writers conference. Waking at 5:30 AM every morning and
writing allowed me to finish the project on schedule when I
otherwise would have been unable to find time to write.
I realize that not
everyone is a "morning person," so rising at the crack of dawn won't
work for everybody, but the earlier in the day you can schedule your
writing sessions, the better.
Technique #3: Use motivational triggers to your advantage.
Almost everyone who loves to write has an activity that, when
they're engaged in it, compels them to write. Maybe it's reading a
good book or books by a particular author. Maybe reading poetry or
listening to music (especially cinematic soundtracks) inspires you
to dance with the muse. Maybe what motivates you is watching movies
or listening to Uncle Bert tell stories about the old days.
Example: There was a period in my
life when my only free time was during my work lunch hour. So I
made a pact with myself: I'd spend my lunch break alternating
between reading a book and writing a chapter on my current project.
I promised myself that I wouldn't write a word until I finished the
book I was reading, and I wouldn't read anything else until I'd
finished writing my next chapter.
I found that when I was
reading, all I wanted to do was write. And so I'd hurriedly finish
my book so I could work on my next chapter. When I was writing, all
I wanted to do was read my next book, so I'd write as quickly as I
could so I could read another novel. During this period I wrote a
tremendous amount of material and finished a great deal of books.
What inspires you to
write? I can't tell you what that is. It's different for
everyone. Think about it, recognize it when it happens, and
habitually engage in that activity to keep you motivated.