Get Your Momentum Going and Flowing

Waterfall flow

Have you got your writing momentum flowing? Are you consistent in your writing habits? What keeps you at it? There are so many good writers out there and likely, if you’re reading this, you are one of them. You’ve probably realized that writers don’t become authors by intending to write a book, or announcing they are going to write a book—it takes diligence. If you are a blog writer, all your followers know when you are MIA. How would describe your progress as a writer? If you’re like me, you might need some help.

I feel a little sheepish addressing a topic of momentum after you haven’t heard from me for a while. I was recovering from hip replacement surgery in December and illness in January. You would think I’d be itching to get back at writing, but the truth is, I’ve lost my momentum! Today, I opened the book I’m currently working on.Scrivener plugOnce again, I argued with the doubt demons and reminded myself of all the good reasons I should continue. Still uninspired, I did what I so often do—I edit what I’ve already written. How many times have I done that??? Stop that Kathy! Oh, don’t get me wrong, my writing needs editing, but it is not moving my story forward!

What keeps your momentum going? Momentum isn’t something that can be conjured up. It comes from diligently practicing good writing habits that keep you in the flow. I make the most progress when I just plow ahead even if the direction isn’t perfectly clear or my words aren’t perfectly right. If I just begin, the Holy Spirit has a chance to guide me. It’s thrilling when the words that come from my fingers surprise me. That alone should inspire me! Speaking of inspiration, in I Timothy 4:15, Paul writes to Timothy, “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” Paul is encouraging Timothy to continue in his faith by practicing it. If you are a writer, be diligent in your writing habits so you can make progress and improve yourself as a writer. The world needs to hear from you!

What should you take time to do?Is your momentum is waning? Do you need to develop good writing habits? Watch for my next blog series called: “Writer’s Block Busters.” As you read these, I hope you will participate by responding and sharing the ideas that have worked for you. So be thinking about what you’d like to add and share it in the comments section.

I can’t wait to talk to you next time! Meanwhile: write on!

Kathy

Harnessing time to do what you love

What should you take time to do?-3

Notice how we talk about time—we spend time, waste time, save time, take time—all suggesting we have control over time!

Judging by the number of times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t have enough time,” it sounds like there is a universal shortage of it. How do we get more?

We have the talents and skills to make many things, but we can’t make more time. So, the real question is: “How do we use the time we have in the most fulfilling way?”

If you were given a month free of responsibilities how would you be spending your time?

Do what you love

If you were given a month free of responsibilities how would you be spending your time? Does your response inform what your priorities should be? Even amidst your busy daily activities, if you are not taking some time for doing what you love, you’re probably not a very happy camper. In fact, if you find you are slightly agitated on a daily basis, it may be a sign that something is blocking you from doing what you may only subconsciously believe you should be doing. Your values are trying to tell you something.

At this point in my life, I strongly desire to write down legacy information for the next generation to enjoy reading and to possibly learn from my life lessons. I know that if I’m not making time for writing in my weekly routine, every request of my time becomes an irritation. That all changes when I’m doing what I know I should be. Then I am much more flexible, accommodating, and joyful. What about you? What should you be making time for?

Harnessing time

While we cannot manufacture more time, there are at least a couple ways we might be able to better handle what we do have. I want to talk about two of these today: setting priorities and scheduling.

Practices reveal priorities

At the beginning of the day, my first priority is to turn to God. He is the only one who can control time—partly because he is outside the time-space continuum and mostly because he’s God! Notice what 1 Peter 3:8 says about God and time: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Clearly, God has time for everyone and everything! How can we tap in?

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 1 Peter 3:8

Ordering time

Throughout the Bible, we see God measuring things. Measurements set boundaries. For humans, time is measured by days and nights, months, years, and a lifetime. Within those boundaries, we can order our time by setting priorities—making time for what’s important. and by putting them on the calendar— taking time to do them.

Making the most of your time

Do you have tricks and strategies for making the most of your time? Do you schedule time to do the things you love? I’d like to hear them! Here are a few that work for me:

  • By rising early in the morning, I can avoid interruptions and spend time with God meditating on his Word. When I take time to make this my first priority, God seems to make up for it in other ways. For example: maybe I arrive at a solution or idea sooner rather than agonizing over it for hours. Or a client serendipitously reschedules an appointment freeing up an already packed schedule.
  • Next, I intentionally schedule doing things that I want to do. For me, it is being with grandchildren or taking time for writing or having coffee with a friend. If I have a big project I’m working on, I break it into small deadlines and try my best to meet them.
  • I make appointments with myself putting them on the calendar. I have done this with writing days. I set up a consistent day of the week to write, put it on the calendar like an appointment, and protect it from interruptions! When another invitation comes you can say, “Oh sorry, I have another appointment scheduled at that time.”
  • When up against a deadline, I used to worry myself into a migraine. Now, I use this little trick. While I’m working, I’m telling myself: “There is enough time, there is enough time.” It serves two purposes: 1. It reminds me to relax and, 2. Somehow miraculously, there is always enough time!

Living in the moment

I know that I am going to hear from my friends who are constantly reminding me to be in the moment! OK, I tend to be a planner and when something interferes with my schedule, it throws me off a little. I’m trying to be flexible! I applaud those of you who can savor every moment! Are you someone that in whatever circumstance, you find an opportunity for enjoyment and appreciation? You have something to teach me!

What are your tips and tricks for making the most of time? What are you taking time to do that you love? I want to hear from you. Leave me a comment!

Write On!
Kathy

P.S. Coming Soon: Writer’s Block Busters

Since writing is something I should be making time for, my next blog series addresses What should you take time to do?breaking through writer’s blocks (both physically and mentally). In the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging on “Eight Writer’s Block Busters.” If you have some tips that work for you, please share them in the comments area! We will all thank you! 

 

Writing With Perspective

My best time of day is early morning as the sun is rising. The air is damp, the birds are beginning to sing, and the clouds have pink edges. Everything is renewed, and I have an optimistic perspective for the day. Today, as usual, I’m having coffee on the patio and contemplating God’s Word when movement among the heather bushes beneath the bottle brush tree attracts my attention. A rabbit!
Cute right? Not!
My husband coos, “We have a new pet.”
I complain, “He will probably eat our flowers.”
Interesting. We each spoke from our personal perspective. Same scene, same bunny, but different responses. It suggests something about our personalities. Maybe, maybe not, but it makes the story more interesting. In writing, your perspective can reveal something of your story or nature or just where you are standing that day. It can powerfully charge your message and challenge your reader to see things differently.

Different views of the same reality
As an art major, I studied perspective. In a drawing or painting, the underlying lines of YourPerspectiveperspective provide the proper shape, proportion, and position to make things appear three dimensional and realistic. Usually one-point perspective is taught first where you are at the center of the picture and the vanishing point is right in front of you. Much more interesting is two-point perspective as seen in the picture at the right. There are two vanishing points one at each  side of the picture revealing more dimension. Imagine yourself standing in different locations in this picture, you’d have an altered view of the very same reality. In writing editorials, offering differing points of view can bring balance and validity to your message. In your stories, providing differing points of view can add interest and dimension to your characters.

How do you see it?
In art, writing, and life, different perspectives can challenge us to see things differently. Where you position yourself affects how you see reality. For example, imagine the perspective picture as a city scene and you are standing in front of a tall building, how do you see it? Is it an obstacle blocking your view of what’s ahead? Or is it an opportunity to go up to the top floor and see much further than you would from the ground? If you feel stuck right now, try looking at your circumstance from a different position.

Version 2Two-point perspective also reminds us that there are two sides to an argument. You don’t have to agree with the other person but viewing things from their position will give you insights into their backstory. Ordinarily, I’m more tenderhearted about bunnies, but my response was provoked by the amount of work I had put into nurturing those flowers and plants and uncharacteristically, I was already planning that rabbit’s demise. It is a reminder that our beliefs, personality, and life experiences are like the hidden perspective guidelines that shape how we respond to what we see. Try tracing these out in your next conversation.

Write what you see
In my first writing workshop, I was told: “Write what you know.” In other words, tell the stories that are from your own experience because they will be credible. I say, don’t stay stuck in your one-point perspective where the world centers on you, but add dimension to your life by standing in different positions and tell what you learn. By the way, the bunny is fine. I decided he could be fun to have around. Keep writing my friend!

Write On!
Kathy

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:4-5