Summer’s nearing an end–the days are getting shorter and kids are returning to school. For many people, there’s a sense of urgency going into September.
If you write, there’s a chance that writing will fall to the side as other responsibilities take priority.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Here are five things you can do right now to be a better writer next month:
Whether you’ve been meaning to set up a writing blog, finish a story or article, or devote some time to outlining a screenplay or novel, there are five days left in August to finish something (five and a half days left if you get busy right away).
Many people do their best work when faced with a deadline. At the very least, many people at least devote time to projects when on a deadline.
Looking at September 1 as a deadline you must meet for whatever it is you want to finish may be exactly what you need to finish something and move on to other things when the calendar rolls over to a new month.
Give yourself half an hour and brainstorm.
Sit alone in a room, or go someplace else. Do nothing else for half an hour but write down ideas for stories or articles and things you want and need to do.
No matter how trivial an idea seems, let yourself commit it to the page; once the ideas start to flow, you’ll walk away with plenty you can use.
There’s time left this month to do this a couple times, so you can be ready to charge into September full of ideas!
Make A Schedule–And Stick To It
After you’ve filled two or three pages with ideas, take an hour or so and decide which ideas you’ll make real in September.
Look at your work load at the day job and time you spend with family and friends and schedule time around those things. There’s almost always time to write every day if you have a plan. That plan is a schedule.
Write during lunch breaks at work, or a little time in the morning and evening. Share your schedule with loved ones so they know you’re busy, but also that you will spend time with them.
Once you’ve blocked out writing time for September, stick to your schedule–even if it means cutting out things you enjoy doing. By the time the end of September comes along, you’ll be able to look back on the month and all you got done!
A Writing Weekend
If you have available time at your day job, schedule 1 or 2 days off around a weekend in September. Dedicate that long weekend to writing. If you don’t have time to take off, still pick a weekend in September that will be dedicated to writing.
Especially if you’re starting something new, having more than a half hour or hour here and there to write will give you time to focus and work through some of the issues that take a little longer to work out.
If you’ve spent some time brainstorming and making a schedule in August, you’ll have plenty to keep yourself busy writing during your weekend in September.
This isn’t to say that all time spent during the weekend should be spent at your desk. Get out and enjoy the time off as well. Spend time with family and friends without thinking, “I should really be writing…”
While you will have to inevitably return to work after your writing weekend, dedicating time to writing without distractions should put you ahead of your September schedule (or at least getting back on track if you got a little behind).
Perhaps you haven’t been writing as much as you should have been in August–maybe the heat’s been getting to you, or maybe you were busy with summer vacation.
There’s still time to get back into the habit of writing.
Dedicate the last five days of August to sitting down and getting back into the habit of writing regularly. Just write, even if you’re not happy with what you’re producing.
There are times when juggling a day job and life gets in the way of writing; there’s no reason to get down on yourself if you’ve dropped writing.
The most important thing is picking things back up and getting busy!