How to write when you finally have the time.
Alright. You have the time. It’s time to write. Now what? How do you actually start? My dear you simply just start. I know, easier said than done. But what do I do if I get stuck?
Here are some tips that might help you write when you actually have the time to. Finally.
Do a puzzle
I find that when I have a puzzle laid out on my table and I’m writing, it helps me to figure things out without realizing it. Maybe it’s that I’m literally trying to put the pieces together, but when I get stuck on a character or in a scene, I’ll take a break and work on the puzzle.
It takes my mind off my writing but still exercises the working things out a bit in my brain. Sometimes I spend longer sessions on the puzzle and other times I find a piece and get back to writing. The point is to give your brain another puzzle (literally) and subconsciously trick it into solving your writer’s block. Just make sure your furry friend doesn’t eat the last piece.
Focus on one scene
Take it one scene at a time. Grab a scene card and work through it. The only way you’re going to finish writing that book or screenplay is if you break it up. Just thinking about finishing the whole thing is daunting enough. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Don’t have scene cards? Don’t worry. Make some.
Save The Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody or Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field are great resources that will help you understand outlines and scenes. Don’t let that scare you. Both are great for your novel and for a screenplay. Don’t limit your writing genre reading, you can learn from different crafts.
Set goals and give yourself rewards
For me, a simple sticker will do. What works for you? Chocolate? A glass of wine? Remember your inner child, what did you love getting as a kid that brought you joy? Still stickers. Whenever I write no matter how many words, I give myself a sticker. I use a planner to track word counts or days written, depending on my goal. This helps me to look back and see that I did actually write.
Sometimes I’m really hard on myself and think I didn’t make any progress. When I’m in that mindset, I get my sticker tracker out and see that I actually did write for more than two days in a row. It’s the little milestones you want to focus on. You can’t open your planner and wait for the milestone to be you finished the book. That will come eventually. Today, let’s just get some words on the page. Today, let’s finish editing a scene or work on building your character. Those are goals too. You don’t always have to go for the word count.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself
Just because you have the time to write, doesn’t mean you have to finish what you started. Writing should be fun. It should be something you enjoy. If you have the luxury to create something for the sake of creating, go for it. It’s important to finish what you started but that doesn’t mean that you’re chained to that forever. Take a break if you need to.
What’s more important to me is your love for writing. Find it. Even if it takes a few starts and stops. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You’re still figuring out what works for you. Have fun with it. Now, go write!