Are you in a writing rut? No matter how long you’ve been a writer, it can be challenging to stick to a realistic writing rhythm. Our needs, responsibilities, and demands on our schedules evolve over time. It’s easy to forget that our writing commitments need to shift with them.
If you’ve experienced a change in your life or you’re looking to develop a more consistent writing schedule, it might be time to reevaluate your current process. Keep reading for four tips to help you create a realistic rhythm for your writing life.
Assessing your life is the first step before you can dive into the details of developing your rhythm. If you haven’t taken the time to evaluate your current season of life, the other steps will not be as helpful. Consider what responsibilities you have right now and how those responsibilities impact your time and creative energy. Are you a caretaker of small children or an elderly relative? Do you have a long commute? Are you a new retiree? Have the demands of your day job increased or decreased recently? Do you have a robust volunteer schedule? Are you facing a health concern?
These commitments have a profound impact on the time and energy available for writing. Sometimes we unconsciously operate out of a past season, and we need to reassess and make adjustments to understand what’s possible for our writing life now.
Once you have a sense of your season of life and how it impacts your writing rhythm, consider what time of day you have the most creative energy. A common suggestion in writing communities is to make the most of the early morning hours to write; however, this only works well for people who thrive in the mornings. You may find your creative energy picks up in the afternoon or even late into the evening. Take your body’s signals into consideration, and plan to write when you feel your sharpest.
You can’t write words that matter if your creative well is dry. A writing rhythm includes more than writing time. It also involves taking time to recharge. Recharging could be as simple as taking a daily walk, reading fiction or poetry every morning, gardening, or taking up a new, energizing hobby. It could also include scheduling regular outings to museums, concerts, natural parks, poetry readings, or art galleries. Pursue whatever makes you feel alive and stimulates your creativity! The important thing is that it becomes a part of your rhythm and takes up space on your calendar, just like your writing.
Regardless of your life season, you can sustain a writing life — even if it means you write in short 15-minute bursts a few times a week. You are a writer with an important message to share, and when you commit to sharing it with consideration of your constraints, magic can happen. You can write an entire book in 15-minute increments. You can create a course in 20 minutes a day. You can write a podcast episode in borrowed moments over the course of a week. The time you dedicate to your craft is multiplied by consistency. Stick with your rhythm, and the writing will reward you.
Set aside some time in the coming days to take a clear-eyed look at your current life, when you’re most creative, and what recharges you. Consider what a new plan could look like for your writing life, and give it a try. Trust that consistency in your particular rhythm will pay off in the long run.
If you’re looking for honest insight and helpful direction to learn how to balance the art of writing with the business of publishing, you’re in the right place. Click here to sign up for The hope*writers Summit for free!