Your Time is Yours

There are a lot of resources out there that tell you how to write a book. These resources can be helpful, but they will only take you so far.

Whether you’re a newbie, or an old pro, I doubt you’d disagree that the best teacher of writing is writing itself.

You could watch every single how-to video on YouTube, or read every book on writing, and still not know how to write a good story, because the best way to learn how to write a book is to…write.

You can’t get better at playing the piano if you just stare at sheet music all day and never actually play. You can’t get better at painting if you only go to art galleries and never pick up a paintbrush.

The hard truth is this: Getting good at writing takes time and effort. If you really want to get better, you have to make it a priority.

Be consistent. It’s no secret that quantity leads to quality. Maintaining a consistent practice, whether daily, weekly, or every other Tuesday, is paramount to your success as a writer. If you’re unable to stay consistent, can you identify what’s holding you back? Maybe it’s your living situation, your work schedule, or other obligations. Or, maybe it’s something internal–a mental block or some sort. Whatever it is, there are things outside your control and things within your control. Where do you think you should place your focus?

Change Your Environment. Your environment has a direct effect on your behaviors. So, try experimenting with it a little bit. Move the TV to a different room. Set a cut-off time for phone use. Let your family know you’ve set a block of time dedicated to writing and you can’t be disturbed. An environment that’s not conducive to writing will make it that much harder to get anything done.

Evaluate Your Downtime Activities. The next best thing to do besides writing is reading. Books should be your default downtime activity. If you say you want to be a writer, yet you spend more time watching TV or using social media than reading, well…good luck, I guess.

So, take a look at where you’re at, currently.

Your time is yours, no matter how it may seem.