Take a novel by a favourite writer and copy out of three or four pages just to get the fingers and thoughts moving.
I like to walk for a couple of hours each morning before breakfast. I do most of my thinking at this time. It is a great way to start the day. Well, that’s what I think. But I know this habit wouldn’t be popular with other writers.
How do you structure your day? Are you a night owl or an early bird? There is no right or wrong way. It’s just a matter of knowing how you work best. You may like to brainstorm in bed in the morning leaving the afternoon to write. Or you might write on the bus.
It is about finding the routine that works for you. Know it and own it. This is your time.
“The soldier is drilled every day so that their exercises are like battles without blood and real battles are like exercises with blood.” Josephus, The Jewish War
Don’t think about inspiration. Just write every day and allow that discipline to spark your creative instincts, because only with regular practice will you improve your writing skills.
‘Beside the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the nonessentials.’ Lin Yutang
Be realistic about what you want to achieve within the time you have available. Do the most difficult tasks first in the morning and schedule in some relaxation time. Above all else, be flexible.
But what can you get away with not doing?
1. All low-priority items – unless the high-priority items have been completed.
2. Any task whose completion is of little or no consequence. When you have something to do, ask yourself the worst thing that could happen if you don’t do it. If the answer isn’t bad, then don’t do it.
3. Anything you can get someone else to do.
4. Anything just to please others because you fear the condemnation or you want to put them in your debt.
5. Thoughtless or inappropriate requests for your time or effort.
6. Anything others could do for themselves.