If there’s one thing that throws me off with my writing, it’s a break in the routine. A week off for the school holidays is fine, but if I leave it any longer than that, it’s much harder to get back in to.
That’s what happened this week. Half term came and went, then the following week (last week), when I should have been getting back to normal, ‘stuff’ happened. You know by ‘stuff’ I mean life in general don’t you? It’s inevitable when you have kids and I had two of them at home on Monday due to an inset day, the eldest off sick on Tuesday and the youngest off sick on Friday.
I had to work from home all week and that was a disaster! I became Queen of finding distractions, whether it was loading the dishwasher, doing some washing, tinkering with my blog, baking biscuits, you name it, I did it. I’m amazed I got any work done at all. What I did miss, though were my Monday and Friday writing slots, which is my precious writing time.
When I first started working from home, I was all over the place – a little bit here, a little bit there and I always put my fiction work to one side for the sake of my paid writing work. Things have settled down now and I have a system in place: Monday and Friday mornings for working on my book, Tuesday to Thursday for my freelance work. I know exactly where I am each day and that suits me just fine. Except, that is, when something happens to rock the boat.
Your children can’t help getting ill and if the school has an extra holiday, there’s nothing you can do. When this does happen and if you lose your writing mojo because of it, you just have to work slightly harder to get it back. My top tips for keeping up with the writing are:
- Set a routine – make distinctions between the different types of writing you do, such as blogging and fiction work and separate them, so if you know you are working on your blog on Monday, that’s what you stick to
- Know when you can write – if you are juggling between naps or school pick up times etc. make a note of all the writing slots you have and allocate them to a different task
- Find a place to work and stick to it – this doesn’t have to be the same place, for example, I write fiction in a coffee shop, as I seem to be productive in that environment. At home, I have a desk in an office, but I don’t always feel inspired to write there and for some reason, I write more prolifically in the dining room! No one goes in there, so I can leave my work scattered across the table
- If the routine goes out of the window don’t panic – sit down with a cuppa and plan your following week to start the process of thinking about getting back to writing again. Make notes of plots and story lines, blog post or article ideas, so that you can get to work on them as soon as you have the time again
- If all else fails do some reading – read for pleasure and see how other authors are doing it. Remind yourself of why you want to be a writer in the first place and you never know, it may just spark off a new idea
How do you keep up your writing mojo? Got any more tips to add?
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