Did you catch the interview with Joanna Penn that your Write Practice team did last week?
In it she talked about a sign she has hanging on her wall:
Have you made art today?
It's a powerful question we should probably all hang on our walls. Or at least ask ourselves every day.
Your definition of “art” will differ from mine, just as mine differs from Joanna's. Yet that doesn't negate the importance of making art every day.
Even in the busyness that is the holiday seasons.
1. Schedule Time
Pick a time every day and use it only to make art.
Don't let anything come between you and your art time. This means saying no to friends, work, blogging, the television, etc. during.
(Hypocrite alert: “blogging” doesn't count as art in my dictionary and I'm using designated writing time to write this post).
2. Turn off the Internet
I know, I know, it's really temping to keep checking Facebook or seeing if you have any new emails. Sometimes you can even use the internet to research the legitimacy of the scene you're building, market the piece you just published, or build connections with other writers.
Newsflash: while all of those are good things, they're also procrastination tools and don't belong in your art-making time.
3. Make a Goal
This is the biggest benefit I see for NaNoWriMo: it forces you to sit down every day and meet a word goal. Now maintaining 1,667 words a day for 30 days can be seen as insane. Give yourself an achievable daily goal and stick to it.
Be it 200 words or 20 minutes. The amount isn't as important as the routine.
4. Build a Deadline
It's the reason school essays have deadlines. It's the reason your boss expects something at a certain time: it's more likely to get done when there's a firm deadline looming.
Create a deadline for yourself, share it with a friend if that will help you stick to it, then get to work and make it happen.
5. Create Art
Just do it.
What are your best tools for making sure you create art every day?
Spend some time quality time with the characters of your current project. Let them create art. You just get to write it down.
When you're done, post it in the comments, comment on a few other practices, and nominate The Write Practice.
Katie Axelson is a writer, editor, and blogger who's seeking to live a story worth telling. You can find her blogging, tweeting, and facebook-ing.