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how to organize your writing life today

6 min read

I’m gonna talk about the things that work for me, which means you don’t have to follow everything like a rule or something, but I’m sure I’m gonna help you with this post.

This month, I decided to write more and test my limits. I’m also gonna try writing in different places other than Instagram (like here and on Twitter, for instance).

So this is the first blog-only post I share after a few months of just re-sharing my Instagram captions here, and this is already me executing my plan for the month hehe. I hope you enjoy, and that I don’t die on the way.

But seriously, for that to work, I’m gonna have to organize my writing life, and here’s how.

time management

Time is a great villain when you don’t know how to manage it. It is by far one of the reasons or sometimes excuses for people not to do things they want to or for they not achieving their goals.

And the only way to manage time is by making it not finding it, as I told you once before. What I mean is that you should organize your day in a way you can make time for your projects and life. If you keep thinking that you will find time eventually in the middle of everything in your life, you’ll never gonna find it. There will always be something in the way.

So, here’s how you make time:

  1. Know how much time you need to write. I suggest from 25 to 50 minutes.
  2. Block that time on your day every day and call it a Writing Session.
  3. That block will be your commitment or your appointment with your writing.
  4. Forget everything else. That’s your time for writing, and nothing else.

We’re gonna talk about distractions later on. Keep reading.

how to create a habit

Now that you created an appointment or a time block for your writing, do that every day and make sure you do that in an environment and a mood that allow you to make it easy to write.

You create a cue, that is the time and place for writing, then you do your routine. You sit and write.

But sit to write in a place you feel comfortable and you can keep a writing mindset. It won’t work if you’re hanging on a subway-train bar while commuting or while you’re cycling or working out. In my case, I need a steady table and the least amount of disturbing noise possible.

As for mood triggers, I mean music or anything that triggers your brain to be the writer you need to be during that writing session. I know that that part is not always easy but you’re gonna find something that puts you in that zone you need for writing.

I’m just glad that in my case, it’s coffee, a few Jazz songs, and the environment itself.

After you do that, you set a reward that can mean your motivation or a distraction as a gift.

Cue, routine, reward.

about motivation

You might feel a little overwhelmed. That’s when you have to find something that will keep you motivated. A reward.

But motivation is not something I can just tell you about. It comes from within. Why do you write? What is your purpose with what you’re writing? What do you want to achieve?

I mean, if you’re writing just to be a writer, it’s not enough. If you just wanna get published, it’s not enough. Maybe if you want to tell a story that will change the lives of other people, then we may have a better motivation there. But what’s your reward in that?

Maybe you want to vent out. Your reward is to take that thing out of your chest. Or you want to tell the story that is in your head for so long that you know it by heart even though you never read it, and now you wanna tell that story to everyone. Your reward is to have perpetuated that story.

In any case, think about the reason why you write, what would happen if you fail, and what do you want to get from your writing.

That’s where are you going to find the motivation.

how to get rid of distractions

Alright, you set the time, the mood, the environment, and the motivation. Now you can’t get rid of distractions. Why?

Because you care more about those distractions than the actual writing. Or because you have to find an excuse for any reason.

So the first thing you have to think is that you will only get disturbed by distractions if you care about them more than your actual writing. Therefore, one of the ways of getting rid of distractions is to MAKE your writing a priority and remind yourself from the MOTIVATION we talked about.

If your phone buzz, don’t worry about it. You know it’s a notification from social media, from an app, or it can be an email message. It’s not important right now. What’s important is that you’re writing.

If you can’t get rid of distractions by the power of your mind, turn everything off. Go back to setting up the environment and make turning off your phone, for example, one of the items in the environment setup checklist.

If you can turn your distractions off, it means you chose a bad time for writing or go back to the beginning of this part and read again. Simple as that.

how to embrace distractions

But distractions are good sometimes. You can use them as a reward to your habit cycle.

When you finish your sessions you can have a little distraction as a reward. After your 25 or 50-minute writing session, embrace distractions for the sake of your mental health. Play a game, scroll social media, go do something that makes you relax. You need that. We all do.

Embrace distractions! At the right time…

how to optimize your writing process

Now, I’ve been trying a few methods for optimizing my writing process. One of them is dictating. This post for example was 80% dictated. Which made my whole writing session a lot faster than usual.

Another great way to optimize your writing is by drafting outlines before you actually go writing. You can or should do it during writing sessions because they’re are not just for writing. You can use them for brainstorm, researching, and creating an outline.

And I know that many people don’t like outlining because they think it restricts their creative minds. I told this many times in my posts before, but when you outline you use your creativity already, then you make a map that will make your whole writing as in just “putting down words” a way faster process.

so, to wrap it all up

  1. Manage your time
  2. Make it a habit
  3. Find your motivation
  4. Get rid of distractions
  5. Learn how to embrace distractions
  6. Optimize your writing process

Then tell me how it worked for you.

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