I still remember a research interview I did 20 years ago with a young couple sharing parenting and breadwinning tasks. One of them said something like
You wouldn’t believe how much you can get done in an hour when you know that’s all you have.
In her case, that hour was time when her partner took the baby out and she got some rare peace to work on her own writing.
You might not have a baby but you do have a lot going on. I bet you can write a lot in an hour or so.
Break your goal down into small chunks
For example, say you want to have an article ready to submit by Christmas. Crazy, eh?
Let’s assume you’ve done the research but you haven’t really started putting the article together at all. Still sounds crazy. Who writes whole articles during term time?
An article = 6,0000 to 10,000 words
In a focused hour or so of just writing you could write 1500 words. They might be solidly in the realms of the shitty first draft (HT Ann Lamott) but in 4 – 6 sessions you would have a rough draft of approximately the right length.
If you were doing A Meeting With Your Writing that would be mid-October.
Devote an equivalent number of sessions to revising sections of that shitty first draft into good drafts. You will still have 2 or 3 sessions to go over full good drafts.
When you put it like that, writing an article in a term seems totally reasonable.
The importance of focus
Focused decision making: I guide you through that decision and we give the decision making a time limit. You make a decision and then you do it.
Focused writing: Knowing you have 1 hour and 20 minutes and no more. Putting a sign on your door. Not looking at email or anything else for that time and just writing.
Support to refocus: If you start second guessing yourself or if a gremlin starts distracting you with all kinds of doom messages about how this isn’t the right thing to write or it’s not good enough or whatever, I’m there at the end of the phone ready to talk you down off that ledge and get your pen (or keyboard) moving again.
The first meeting is September 10th and we meet every Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern for 2 hours. It costs $125 (CDN) for the whole term. If you try it and it doesn’t work for you, let me know before September 30th and you’ll get a full refund
Want to know more about how this works? More information here.