There is one thing you need to do if you want to be a writer: write.
Unfortunately, you are busy and writing can often be difficult to make time to do. But studies and writer testimonials show that all you need is one hour a day. Masterpieces are written in one hour intervals. An hour is all you need to work through a mental block. Sit in your chair for an hour a day and you’ll see significant changes in your life and your art.
My biggest advice is to set yourself up to be able to write every day. That doesn’t mean you have to have the Virginia Woolf Room of Her Own, although that would be absolutely lovely, but it does mean you need the tools to write every single day.
Journal or notebook
Your most important tool as a writer, a journal allows you to jot down notes, work through thoughts, and connect with your craft on a visceral level that typing just can’t achieve. Whatever you decide to use – a composition book from the drugstore, a leather bound journal, or some printer paper stapled together – make sure it is lightweight and easy to carry around with you.
Check out my favorite journals and notebooks in my shop.
Nothing is more frustrating than a cheap pen leaving clumps of ink all over your page and nothing is more painful than trying to write for an hour with your hand cramped around a crappy, thin disposable pen.
You don’t need to go out and get a Mont Blanc designer pen or an old-fashioned feather plume (although that would be amazing), but I do suggest taking a step up from a cheap BIC and going with something that writes well and feels good in your hand. (My favorite is Dr. Grip but find something that works for you and your hands.)
Not just an egg timer like a lot of sites suggest, but a real hour glass, complete with the sands of time. It may feel unnecessarily extravagant when you have a timer on your phone, microwave, computer, etc., but it is precisely because of its decadence that an hour glass works.
Most writers I know love to write, so making time in your busy schedule to do the thing you love the most can feel self-indulgent. Treating yourself to an hour glass is a reminder that you’re worthing of indulging.
Plus, I find that if I use a digital timer I can add or pause time, which means I can justify procrastinating or walking away to do something else for a bit – which often leads me to never coming back to my writing. An hourglass is difficult to pause or add more time, psychologically encouraging me to stay there and write.
Best part is: you can get them for super cheap on Amazon. So while it feels like a decadent reminder to indulge in writing, you don’t have to pay luxury pricing to get it.
When you’re “in the flow” chances are your brain is going to come up with some fabulous ideas, things it will try to convince you to go do instead of writing. This is why I keep a stack of post-it notes next to me. When an idea pops into my head, I write it down and then immediately go back to what I was working on. This way you don’t forget the idea but you also don’t let it distract you from your task at hand.
Airplane mode and/or a drawer full of stuff
Put your phone on airplane mode. Turn off the Internet – unplug your router if you can. Find the most stuffed drawer you have in your house (mine is the utility drawer) and shove your phone somewhere in all the mess, so you can’t just grab and check it randomly. Hide your TV remote.
Technology is the #1 distraction my clients complain about, so if you want to write you’re going to have to find a way to get away from technology as much as possible. It’s only an hour a day.