Writer, Know Thyself!
I cannot — simply cannot — write on a day when I have even one phone call scheduled.
I’d long ago resigned myself to the fact that if I have an article due, I’ll write it on the weekend because I can never get it done during the week. It never occurred to me that the phone calls that broke up my day were the culprits.
But as I was talking to a friend about it, the pattern became clear: If I had a phone call scheduled (unless it was very first thing in the morning), I wouldn’t be able to start writing because “Hey, I have a phone call coming up soon, so why bother getting started on this article?” Even if I had four hours to spare!
So my new M.O. is that when I have a deadline, I’ll keep a day or two before that totally clear of mentoring calls and interviews so I can get the writing done.
Do you have any ways of working that are not yet at the level of consciousness…any patterns that aren’t working for you but you can’t put your finger on what they are?
Think about a work problem you’re having and see if you can’t define what it’s really all about.
For example, do you put off starting your assignments because you’re afraid of interviewing? Do you neglect to market because you don’t like coming off like a pushy salesperson? Do you sit on revisions as a passive-aggressive way of punishing the editor for asking you to change your work?
Then, brainstorm ways to get around the issue. In the interviewing example, you could figure out ways to psych yourself up for interviews, hire someone else to do them for you, hire a transcriptionist so at least that burden is lifted, talk to a coach about it, or figure out a type of writing you can do that doesn’t often require interviews (copywriting, anyone?).
Don’t be like me and suffer for 15 years because you’re subconsciously creating obstacles for yourself!
How about you? have you made any major discoveries about your habits that have helped you improve your work? Let us know in the Comments below. [lf]