Today I’m joined by J. M Adele, a busy mum and writer. Today she’s talking about the challenges of working from home and the dreaded ‘P’ word- Procrastination. It’s a feeling most writers will know well. It always strikes me when I get to the finicky process of line editing. I suddenly need to do everything but sit at the computer! Jen has some great tips that can help you next time the dreaded P strikes you. Take it away Jen!
You know you do it. You start the day with every intention of getting the next chapter done, or hitting a certain word count and then, “Oh look the washing needs doing.” Or your kids are being monsters and everybody suddenly requires your attention. It’s called life. Working from home is hard. I get it. I have three monsters of my own and a Mount Washmore that never seems to disappear. I should clarify that there are circumstances that are impossible to overcome. If you’re so sick you can’t even sit up you’re just going to have to surrender to it and forget about all the work you haven’t done. But if you’re avoiding your manuscript because you’re just not feeling the muse, you need to drink a cup of concrete and toughen the hell up. I will admit it has been a difficult transition for my family to understand that when I’m at my computer I am working. If I had an employer I would be expected to put in a certain amount of hours and reach certain goals. Why is it any different for you at home, working for yourself? So, how do writers get around this problem? What strategies can we employ to beat the temptation of distractions? • Set up a timetable, allocating a number of shifts each week where you have to sit at the computer, or with a pen and paper, and write! Do the same for your marketing, publishing, social media interaction, and administrative tasks. It’s important to differentiate all the parts of your business into time blocks so that your writing is prioritised. The writing comes first. I have a young family and no doors on my study, so I write at night. • Have a space that’s just for you to work in. It might be a corner of the bedroom, a deck chair out the back, or your local library. Sometimes you won’t want to be cloistered away, but find a space that’s yours where you can’t see the pile of dirty dishes. • Get yourself a laptop. Or use a pen and paper. You need the versatility of being able to work anywhere, anytime. • Turn off the internet. Mute your phone. If you research as you write resist the temptation to browse! • Have a plan. All the pantsers out there are scoffing at me right now, but you have to have a completion date for all your drafts, and know when you want your beta readers, and/or critique partner to take a look. It certainly helps to at least have a rough outline of where your story is going, but I get that some of you let the story evolve organically. Once your manuscript is with the editor you’ll collaborate on a publishing schedule. • Stop being a perfectionist! This is something I’m guilty of, and I kind of hate myself for it. You might sit there staring at the same sentence for three hours because it’s doesn’t sound right, but you’ve also wasted precious time. Just write the damn story. It might suck, but at least you’ve documented the sequence of events and moved the plot forward. You will be going back and fixing things later. Many times, in fact. *Use a timer. Set it at increments of half an hour or so and write as much as you can in that time. Working against the clock is a great motivator. • Learn to be a bit selfish when it comes to protecting your writing time. It’s so important, especially if you have family commitments, that everyone understands you’re in the ‘cave’ and won’t be coming out until high noon. Aren’t you doing this for them, too? Aren’t you teaching them determination and perseverance, and that if you work hard at attaining your dream wonderful things can happen? It’s hard. I know. I get it. Talk to them so that they get it. There’s one thing that all writers have in common. They write! If you want to get into the flow you have to push off the bank and paddle. Do it! via GIPHY Image credit: http://gph.is/XJ2ZOr That’s my rant. I wish you all the best in your writing. Feel free to contact me through my website www.jmadele.com, I’d love to hear from you. Cheers from Jen *Mic drop* About Jen: Former nurse, reluctant romantic, and chocolate lover, J.M. Adele, is the author of paranormal and contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. After years of indulging in her addiction to reading, her own characters started to tell their stories. They were relentless, forcing her to put pen to paper and release them into the world. She also owns and runs The Flare Up book blog where she shares her reading obsession. On most days you can find her running between the desk, and wrangling her three boisterous boys while carrying a book in one hand. When everyone else drifts off to dreamland she escapes into the worlds conjured by the characters in her head. Follow J.M. Website * Blog * Newsletter * Facebook * Twitter * Google + * Pinterest * Instagram * Amazon Author Page * Goodreads