I have 33,500 words written. I am deep into writing this book. If only I could find the time and place to finish this project, like the guy in that photo. You know the one, the man with the laptop resting on a blanket, nestled in a cool green pasture, hidden away from people and electronic gadgets, in the midst of nature. If only…then, I could do it.
Most of us cannot steal away to our perfect writing wonderland. We have busy lives. We have families, friends, tasks that require our attention. There is hope, however, and all it takes is one hour a day.
- Determine your personal best hour of the day. This may be the first hour of the morning for you, when you have a clear mind, are well rested, and have few interruptions.
- Tell family and friends that you have an hour each day blocked off for writing. This is your job, this is what you want and need to do. This is your time, and unless it is a dire emergency, they can interrupt later.
- Prepare the area. Have your completed research notes at hand – along with any additional materials that you may need to complete your one hour of writing. Before you begin writing, check the lighting, temperature – anything that improves your concentration or comfort.
- Unplug. Turn off your phone, internet, social media; turn off anything that will distract you from your sole purpose – writing.
- Write. Resist the urge to do anything other than writing, except to jot down an occasional note to be read later. What do you need to research later? Don’t think long on it – write it down. If you think of a task that needs your attention, write it down. Any time you write something down you free yourself from having to remember it. I keep several note tablets: personal, business thoughts/ideas, and research.
- Complete research after the writing hour. Research is an important component of writing, however, it can be done later when you are not intent on keeping the tapping of the keys at a smooth flow. When you possess completed research at the beginning of your hour-long uninterrupted writing stint, production flows!
My production (writing) increased dramatically just by concentrating on an hour a day. It even relieved stress. Focusing on one hour a day, instead of four, or five, or seven…is much less daunting.
I start my hour first thing in the morning. I do not check email or social media beforehand. I look at nothing that will persuade my thoughts to go in any direction, except on what I am about to write.
Was my one hour a day easy at first? No! I felt disconnected from the world. I felt like my most useful tools had been cut off. When, in reality, I finally realized they had been my least useful, full of interruption roadblocks to accomplishment.
Do you have one hour a day that you can devote to your writing (or any task that requires your full concentration)? What time of day works best for you? What methods of concentration have worked, or not worked, for you?
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