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ANWA Member since Oct. 2003 - Chapter President of "Write to the Point" writing group.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday's Fractured Features... Writing - Hobby or Job?

I've often thought other people have a different sun and moon or something that makes them have more hours in their days than I do... for they seem to get way more done in their writing efforts than I do. This has reminded me of one time when I was at a SCBWI writing conference in Utah where we had classes with a certain teacher throughout the conference... my teacher happened to be LDS Author Dean Hughes. Each day we went to class and he coached and taught us the fine art of our craft. One of the things he said that stuck with me (but I haven't as yet been able to make myself apply) is: he said that each day he got up and showered and dressed for work, had breakfast with family, then went in his den, closed the door and went to work. If you're working from home you have to treat it like a job or you will never get your work completed.
 Those profound words were re-iterated in a magazine article I recently read. It said, "You can't add more hours to the day, but you can supercharge those you already have. As often as possible, put writing first; before the kids wake up; before you go to work, before you run that errand, turn on the TV, check your e-mail and Facebook posts, or take a break. Putting writing before other intentions ensures you will get it done ...Writing time is work time, and it's as important as any other kind of work. Don't kid yourself that you can write while watching TV, or that you'll get to it after the next phone call. Set yourself up for success by writing in environments that are friendly to your focus. ...explain to family that writing time is 'do not disturb time' unless it's an emergency. Hang a sign on your door. Sit at your computer every day at the appointed time, whether or not you feel like writing... at least 20 minutes a day until it's a habit and you can spend more productive time."
So in essence if you want to be a published author... you have to treat your writing time not as a hobby but as a profession. You need to put the time and effort into it as you would if you were going to work for a high class company. Hours spent in writing time, in research, in rewarding self for job well done, time for "going home" and leaving work at work, play time, etc.
Now that I've been reminded of Dean Hughes and the lessons learned I hope to be able to be more productive at following this counsel!
... Joyce

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