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.