Just do it. The ubiquitous slogan, coined by Nike, is the perfect catchall philosophy for this editor, writer and mom. It helps me accomplish (most) everything I need to do in a day, without succumbing to perfectionism. Instead of focusing on carving out perfect, uninterrupted moments in each day to read, write and reflect (it never happens), I’ve learned to be satisfied with the thirty minutes I have at lunchtime to read a chapter, or those fifteen minutes after I put the kids to bed to start a poem. It always feels rushed and incomplete, but at least I’ve started something. What could you do with a few stray, imperfect minutes?
Aine Greaney, author of Writer With a Day Job, offers these 8 tips for making the most of your writing time:
1. Make a date with yourself. Set a regular date for writing, and show up on time.
2. Right brain. Right time. Figure out when you’re most energized and creative, and make the most of it.
3. Find a clean, well-lit place. You don’t need an artist studio with an ocean view, but make your writing space comfortable and inspiring.
4. Tell your family and friends. Enlist their support and cooperation in achieving your writing goals.
5. Same time, same place. Establish a routine, and stick with it.
6. Switch off all electronic communication. Enough said.
7. Set a daily word quota. This makes it easier to quantify your success.
8. Allow yourself to write badly. Give yourself a break—you can always revise later.
Read an excerpt from Writer With a Day Job here:
Writer With a Day Job