Writers: how to use your weekend.

If you want success as a writer, or in any venture, your weekend is your secret weapon.

You just can’t afford to waste two sevenths of your week if you want to be the best at what you do. It’s not an easy change to make in life – to work without days off – but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to get ahead as a self-employed writer.

It’s also a huge help if you can change your attitude towards writing. If you see it as work, then the temptation is to get through it as quickly as possible, so that you can do something better with your time.

The trick is not to see it as work, but something you love. Not something you have to do every day, but something you get to do every day. When you do what you love and get better at it every day, why wouldn’t you want to do it every hour you can? And make more hours to do it in?

So, how should writers use their weekend?

Section out your time. Get up early, get out on a run, then get to work. The earlier you can fit in your writing hours once you wake up, before the distractions can mount, the better. The question isn’t “how many hours should I write?” but “how many hours can I write?”.

I’m not saying “work 24/7 with no downtime”. We need downtime for our sanity. But we can take better downtime, faster. For example, instead of a rambling walk, go running some days. Instead of settling down to some TV, watch a movie. It’s a shorter chunk of downtime with more packed into it; there are tighter boundaries on it. That way you can get back to work faster, and pack more writing practise into your day.

If that sounds like no fun whatsoever, then it’s actually your attitude getting in the way. And I was like that too. But I’ve come to realise that a shift in attitude is what it’s going to take to be successful as a self-employed writer. Until we can get our attitude right, we won’t reach our full potential as writers.

If we resist that change in attitude all the way, then there’s a simple reason for it: we aren’t meant to be self-employed writers. We’d just be happier doing something else with our time.

And that’s in no way intended to exclude anyone, or look down on them. If we can question ourselves, honestly, and try out alternative passions that we enjoy more, then that’s the real path to living a full and successful life by doing what we love most.

 

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6 Replies to “Writers: how to use your weekend.”

    1. Thanks Jay – it’s always great to see writers approaching writing as a way of life! If you haven’t seen it already, I’d highly recommend searching YouTube for a documentary film called ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’. Nothing to do with writing, but everything to do with devoting your life to a single, simple occupation and attempting to master it. Thanks for your support!

    1. If you’re using every spare hour you have to write, then you shouldn’t have any regrets pal. Or there’s always the option to wake up earlier. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, sleep faster. :D

  1. Great post! You have certainly motivated me to use my weekend time better! For me too my weekends are the only real time I have to write and when I have other things to do on Saturday or Sunday, all I want to do is rush home and write! I do manage to squeeze in a bit during my lunch hour at work (I shouldn’t but it’s when I’m most productive!!) lol

    1. Thanks Millie – I’m glad this post helped! I know the feeling, there’s nothing like having all those ideas swirling around in your head and attacking a blank page with them! Seems like finding the time is a big part of the challenge with writing; that and staying motivated to write regularly, especially if the end of the novel/project feels a long way off. If you’re most productive on your lunch hour, good for you and keep it up – and I really hope you get to the point where you can write for yourself, all day every day! :)

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