I Want To Be A Writer Series
No matter how natural writing and story telling comes to you, you will find more obstacles in your life that will prevent you from writing than you could ever imagine. It is extremely important to find a time and a place to write that eliminates as many distractions as you possibly can. The first thing you need to do is get it set in your head that this is your time to work. You must learn to discipline your time. That means you must turn off your phone. Turn off all email, messages, and social networking alerts. Turn off the television and radio (unless it is the music that inspires you). If something distracts you from your train of thoughts, then eliminate it from your work area. You may find that even an open window can be distracting. Some people thrive in noisy busy environments and some cannot have even the slightest distraction. This is all a personal preference that only you can decide what works best for you.
When you write, consistency is absolutely vital. The flow of your narrative, the character voices and personalities all must remain consistent or your book will fall apart. Imagine your story is a blanket that you are weaving. It is extremely important to keep the exact amount of tension on the string you are weaving in and out of the warp threads. If you alter the tension it will be plainly obvious in the finished product. Instead of having a nice straight edge along the sides of your blanket you will have edges that wave in where you have tightened the weave too much and edges that wave out where it is too loose. Your story is coming from your head so you must keep your mental flow processing at the same pace.
You often hear of people only being able to write when they are inspired. Personally, I do not believe anyone should leave their work dependent upon something that is not guaranteed to happen every day. Everyone is inspired by an idea to write about but you should never rely on that inspiration to carry you through the journey of your story or else you will not complete it. That is why it is important to create a “writing” environment that does not necessarily inspire you to write about a single story but enables you to have the freedom to remove yourself from all other outside influences and channel the story so that you can absorb yourself into the character’s lives and leave your own life behind for a few hours. When you are able to do this, you will find the inspiration you need from your story itself rather than something that you are constantly struggling to find in a world full distractions.
As a wife and mother, one of the most difficult obstacles I have faced is trying to explain to my family why I need to be left alone for a little while to work. Most people have jobs where they can talk and work at the same time. Absolute concentration is not a necessity. But as a writer it is absolutely vital. You must take the time and explain to your family and your friends that this is something you are dedicated to and you need the time to make it possible. But as I said before, you must discipline your time. It is easy to consume your whole life with writing and forget about everything else. You must balance your life and time you spend with your family. When your book is finished you are going to find yourself inundated with all the work that is necessary to market it. If you can start balancing your time now, it will help you balance your time then.
Next Post of the Series – “Write What You Know”