This is a freelance contribution by Sally Keys. Sally is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, she enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as possible.

Creating The Time And Space You Need To Write Your Best Work

Writing hands | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Photo: Alejandro Escamilla, via Unsplash

Working on a book is not only creatively challenging but can often be an isolating experience. Depending on how you write best, you’ll have different opinions on where you should write, and when. Perhaps your greatest work is done early in the morning before anyone else is awake. Or, perhaps, it’s best done enjoying the fresh air in your garden during a warm afternoon. Whatever your preference, it’s important to find the right space and time for you to work, and avoid any problems that might stop you from achieving what you set out to do.

Beating the Block

Writer’s block is a common problem that writers face. This can range from mild, stopping your progress for the rest of the day, to severe, where it can last weeks, months or even years. When you feel as though you just don’t know what to write next, a change of scenery can often help. Take a break from where you usually write at the moment, and go for a walk, talk to a friend, or sit in a café and observe people for some inspiration. A trip away might also stimulate your creativity.

Peace, Quiet and No Distractions

Focusing on your work is equally as important as taking breaks. If you can’t focus, you’ll likely not produce your best work, and you’ll be unhappy with it. Setting up a dedicated workspace can help with this. For example, one of the nice things about working from home is that you can arrange an office space where you will only do your writing. There will be no browsing Facebook or news sites here; no distractions. Setting rules like these for yourself can be helpful and can help you work more productively at home. If you think you can’t resist browsing, don’t forget that there is software that stops you using the internet.

Making the Time to Write

Finding time to write is important. Whether it’s just for a few minutes or an eight-hour day, make sure you are writing. Tell yourself you’ll write for a set amount of time, and then go for it. Think of it as going to work. You work from 9 am until 5 pm. These are your work hours. Writing is more flexible, so you could work, say, from 8 am until 1 pm. Then have a break. After that, resume, from 3 pm until 6 pm. This structure will allow you to become more productive, as people can stick to a schedule, whether flexible or not, with more ease than merely improvising. It becomes easier to stop early if you have no set finishing time or work hours.

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