Productivity - Writing - Smart Butt in Seat Time

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Write. Every. Day.

That's what runs around in my head until I give in to the instruction and take pen to paper or put my fingers on the keyboard. At times, I feel like my characters and the characters of the people from my daily life stand in the back of my mind and nag until I acquiesce to their demands.

There are times when I have had no idea what I am going to write and that is okay. The purpose of writing every day is to strengthen our writer's muscles. If we do not put the effort in to developing the skill of writing practice we are doing ourselves a great disservice and robbing ourselves of the opportunity to attain our greatest dreams.

Personally, due to my current work/life balance, I write at night most of the time and this is a routine for me. Although if I had the time, I am sure I would write in the mornings just as often. This is a life style that I am inching myself toward on a day by day basis.

My writing routine has developed over the past 16 years when I finally gave into my desire to get all the whirling thoughts out of my head and into my 'Mirror Book.' What a relief it was to take all the thoughts, feelings and difficulties of life and put them into the pages of a notebook that would hold my secrets for me. I felt like I was in Harry Potter, extracting my memories into a vial for storage and reuse at a later date.

I call my journal a 'Mirror Book' because it is a reflection of the life experiences that I have had and a chronicle of how I have handled situations both in positive and not so positive ways. It serves me as a teaching tool for my own personal and professional development.

The contents are mine to review and reflect on. The pages keep my secrets, fears, concerns and greatest dreams safe. They are a treasure of my life's experience as well as a tangible way to continue to develop my own writer's voice.

Regardless of your writing schedule, if you want to be a writer of a finished fiction or non-fiction work, you must put the time in. I like what Charles Gilkey says when interviewed by Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn, "it's smart butt in seat time, not just butt in seat time." * This is about smart planning and doing more of what works and less of what does not serve your ultimate writing goal.

I think that even if we are only writing down our internal reflections and developing our writing practice this is smart butt in seat time. However, if we have a project that we are dedicated to finishing and wish it to come to fruition, then we need to have a structured plan in place that we follow and commit to.

Writing a novel, a memoir, or even a short story are creative projects are all worthy of smart butt in seat time.

When I started writing Nephelem Journeys, I did this in a very ad-hoc manner and I know that it was because I wasn't sure of myself as a writer. I needed time to develop my creative confidence and come to a personal cross-roads in my life where I decided that I must put this creative project front and centre.

This year, 2014, is the year of Smart Butt in Seat Time for me!

Are you working on a creative project?

Do you give it the time and space that it needs to be nurtured, developed and birthed?

What is your writing schedule?

How do you project manage your writing life?

* If you go to Joanna Penn's website, The Creative Penn, you will find numerous valuable podcasts and her interview with Charles Gilkey - # 181 Business Strategy and Creative Giants with Charlie Gilkey.

Please comment and let me know what you are working on, share this and hit the star button to show your support.

Thanks, S

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