Create Your Writing System

A writing system is a great way for managing your time and getting a lot of writing done. Since the only way to improve at writing is to write, the more time you spend doing it the better.

Do you have a system?

If not, consider creating one. It doesn't have to be a long, complicated plan. In fact, simple is better because you are more likely to stick with it.

Before you create your system, though, answer these three questions:

When are you at your creative best?

We all have up times and down times. It is important to honor our cycles. And you can use this to your advantage.

Do you know what time of day you are most creative?

Maybe it is when you first wake up until you've had that third cup of coffee.

Maybe it is after everyone settles in for the night that your creative juices flow.

You will recognize this time by the drive to write. Pay attention to your moods and cycles for a few days to figure out when you are 'on'.

What motivates or inspires you?

I am inspired by a number of things, including good writing by other authors and upbeat music. These two things put me in the right frame of mind to create.

Do you have something that makes your eyes light up and your fingers itch to write?

What if your motivation isn't something you can put at your desk?

Maybe it's a mountain view that you don't have in your apartment. If that's the case, find a picture that captures the same feeling and put it right above your monitor or in easy view while you work.

Use what inspires you to help you get and stay motivated to write.

window view inspiring writing motivation

Where do you work?

Is your workspace working for you? Is it comfortable? Is it somewhere you look forward to spending time?

Or, are you having to compete for space at the kitchen table? Maybe your chair isn't conducive to sitting for long stretches.

The point is that you need to have a work space that works for you so you can work in it. Do what you can to make that happen.

Get a new chair. Find a small desk you can stick in a corner to get off the kitchen table. Whatever it takes.

Once you have answered these questions, it's time to create your simple writing system. How?

  • Plan a ritual that you will use each time you write.
    For me, it is to get a cup of coffee and put on some good dance music. Use what inspires you to kick off your sessions at the desk.
  • Set a time that you will use this ritual and spend time writing.
    My best time is the early morning. So, after my shower, I grab my coffee and get started. I get up earlier than I need to, so that I have plenty of time before leaving for work to get things done. Use what you learned about your own rhythms to decide when is the best time for you to focus on your craft.
  • Work in a comfortable, welcoming space.
    This doesn't have to be a big, fancy space. It just has to work for you. And, it should be specifically for your writing.

Now, you have a writing system that will help you write more, more often. So, what are you waiting for? Go write!

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