8 Challenges (and Solutions) When Writing From Home

In these last few weeks, writers everywhere have experienced major changes in their daily schedules. If you were used to writing from home, now you may be accustoming yourself to writing with kids or other loved ones in the next room. If you were used to squeezing writing in around the edges of a day job, then you may now be making use of your at-home time to at least temporarily live the life of a full-time writer.

Even if the only change you’re experiencing is the distraction and stress of the news, you may (like me) be figuring out solutions for some of these new challenges of writing from home in these unprecedented times.

The good news about being writers is that we not only have built-in self-entertainment for the duration of the quarantine, we also get to entertain ourselves in ways that are purposeful to ourselves, meaningful to others, and perhaps even eventually profitable. The less-good news is that writing from home—amazing opportunity that it is—can be challenging even at the best of times.

Just in case you’re trying to figure out a new schedule for your days, or perhaps just struggling with getting your head back in the game (I hear ya!), today I wanted to share some of the top solutions I’ve learned during my years as a full-time writer. The last year, in particular, challenged me and stretched me in ways I’m now profoundly grateful for, since I was able to learn and implement some crucial habits that are now helping me cope with Life in the Time of Coronavirus (the title of my next book—JK!).

8 Tips for Successfully Writing From Home

Even though the global situation is hardly ideal, this is still a time during which an incredible number of people will be given the opportunity to experiment with the dream of being a Full-Time Writer. Maybe you’ve already tapped in to some of the awesome parts of this. But particularly in light of the stress and uncertainty we’re all facing, I’m betting you’ve also probably already found yourself neck deep in some of the more challenging bits.

The need for self-discipline, the isolation, the lack of accountability, the frustration of stories that aren’t working, the very real urges toward procrastination—all these things and more can interfere with your ability to capitalize on writing from home.

Let me start by saying there’s a time and a place for lying on the couch and processing how the world and our lives have changed so rapidly. Self-care should be a priority for all of us—and writing may not be at the top of your self-care list. If that’s so, don’t beat yourself up. We’re all under enough pressure as it is right now. It is love that drives out fear, and that starts with loving ourselves.

But for many of us, one of our best self-care tactics will be the writing. As Christine Hennebury shared in her recent post “5 Ways Writing Can Help You Calm Down“:

It might seem a little weird to think about writing at a time like this but it isn’t silly or frivolous to try to keep yourself calm and grounded by sticking to (or creating) a routine. If you are calm and grounded you will be much more likely to be able to make good decisions and to take good care of yourself and your family.

Christine talks about how writing right now doesn’t have to be a full daily regimen focused on churning out thousands of words. It might just be a journal entry or morning pages.

You’ll know what is right for you. Whatever the case, here are my top eight tips for creating a solid daily writing routine. This reflects my usual routine, which I have consciously built to support me not just in doing the actual writing but in helping me feel like writing every day. It’s ultimately a routine that is more about the not-writing stuff than the writing stuff. But I think we all know the hardest thing about writing isn’t the writing itself but the getting-into-the-writing-headspace part. That’s more true now than ever.

So if you’re struggling with any part of your writing (or honestly with anything else you’re trying to accomplish during this period), give the following a try.

1. Start With the Right Morning Routine

This is crucial. We all have different preferences for how we start the day. Some of us hit the ground running; others take a while to get revved up (*raises hand*). Some of us like to start out with our writing; others prefer to schedule it later in the day.

Whatever the case, your entire day will be affected by the success of your morning routine.

  • Wake Up at the Same Time Every Morning

Our bodies crave homeostasis. Our circadian rhythm sets itself by the time at which it sees daylight each morning. The more regular your sleeping and eating schedule (even on weekends), the better. Your body (and your mind) will thank you and repay you.

  • Eat a Healthy Breakfast ASAP

Eating right away keeps your hormones from crashing, which helps fend off anxiety and depression later in the day. I prefer healthy proteins and fats—a baked egg with cheese, a small bowl of yogurt, and an apple. The first thing I do when I get out of bed is go to the kitchen, pre-heat the oven, and stick the egg in to cook. By the time I’ve finished my other morning prep, my breakfast is ready to eat. It’s just part of my routine now. I never have to wonder what to cook or feel guilty for making do with a too-small breakfast or a less-than-healthy breakfast. Nor do I have to spend more than three minutes prepping it, since I always keep grated cheese in the fridge.

  • Open Your Curtains First Thing

We need to see the sky these days. We need as much of Mother Nature’s healing light as we can get. Go around your house and open every curtain you closed the night before—then park yourself in front of a window for whatever’s next on your schedule.

  • Other Good Habits to Consider

Those three things are my morning must-haves. Beyond that, everyone’s preferences will vary. What’s most important is finding a rhythm that helps you optimize the day to come. For me, this involves a short time of sitting, looking at the view beyond my deck, and eating breakfast. I follow that with at least thirty minutes of yoga, before making coffee and fitting in some morning reading or research.

I finish my morning routine with a walk in the woods. Even if you live in the city, I encourage you to get outside as much as possible. If you’re unable or uncomfortable walking where you might encounter others (definitely keep your six feet of social distance!), you might at least spend time sitting in the sun on your front step—or maybe just standing in front of an open window for a while. Nature remains one of our most healing forces.

2. Choose the Right Time to Write

Full-time writing actually isn’t as full-time as it sounds. Especially if you have other business to take care of (emails, social media, stuff from your actual day job, homeschooling your kids, etc.), the writing is only part of your daily to-do list. You may also have multiple projects in various stages of completion. These days, my work day is divided between fiction writing in the morning, email and “business” stuff in the early afternoon, and (on certain days) non-fiction writing in the late afternoon.

Whatever your writing to-do list, one of the most crucial challenges is figuring out which time of the day is best for each task. I wrote about how figuring this out was crucial for me and how implementing my new schedule was one of my top goals for this year.

Largely, the challenge here is to organize your day so your energy is optimized to each task. Do the work that requires the most mental “oomph” at your best time of the day. Which task actually is the most energy-demanding may not be what you initially assume. Implement some trial and error until you find a maintainable flow to your day.

3. Put Strict Limits on Phone and Internet Consumption

This is always important for anyone doing creative work at home, but especially right now. At this point, most of us are now informed of the most important details about the virus and our responsibilities in dealing with it. Whatever new info we require can probably be gleaned in as little as five minutes per day.

Guard yourself against spiraling down the Internet hole. Potential anxiety triggers aside, time spent browsing the Internet is time not being spent writing. Put your phone in the other room. Unless you absolutely need to be available for others, turn on Airplane Mode while writing. While on your computer, discipline yourself not to browse for anything but the most necessary information. If you’re struggling, turn off the Internet during writing or install an extension that limits your ability to access certain sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Limiting social media during this time can feel even more difficult than usual, but it’s much better to schedule the times you connect with people and to connect in a controlled way that shields you from unnecessary anxiety triggers or overload.

4. Fill Your Well and Be Kind to Yourself

Almost all of us are feeling stressed (or perhaps even sick) to one degree or another. Although this quarantine is the perfect opportunity to create good habits and discipline ourselves to improve our writing lives, it is not the time to beat ourselves up or force ourselves to do tasks for which we really don’t have the energy or motivation.

Be honest with yourself: is your resistance to writing today just the usual urge for procrastination—or is it because you really need to chill and let your body process its tension?

Just as important as outputting is inputting. Writers must fill the well if we’re to draw the bucket. You may find this quarantine period time more suited to well-filling than to massive productivity. Or you may find you need a balance of both rest and work.

Listen to your body. Listen to the tension in your chest and your stomach, the stiffness in your neck and jaw, the tears that are always close to the surface, and the racing thoughts that just won’t settle. Everything you’re experiencing may be telling you to write. But it may also be telling you to go read a jolly new novel or watch something that makes you laugh. Be kind and do what’s right for you at any given moment.

>>Click here to watch my video “5(-ish) Happy Movies to Watch During #QuarantineLife”

>>Click here to watch my video “5 Inspiring Novels to Read During #QuarantineLife Because #BooksConnectUs”

5. Nourish and Exercise Your Body

Even though we’re all hyper-aware of our health right now, we may also be craving loads of comfort food. Aside from the pressing health concerns of the moment, it’s important to remember your brain is part of your body. If you want your imagination and your word skills to show up during writing time, then you need to keep your entire body in top shape.

This starts with eating a healthy, nourishing, and regular diet. #QuarantineLife is the perfect time to learn more about healthy eating habits and to start weaning yourself off junk food (sugar’s a good place to start).

Same goes for exercising. Choose your flavor. For me yoga and walking outside have been transformatively positive.

6. Forget Breaking Bad Habits, Just Create Good Ones

This is something I’ve realized lately: I stink at breaking bad habits. The more I try to quit whatever it is, the more compulsively I do it. But when I instead try to channel that compulsive tendency into a better habit, suddenly I’m back in the driver’s seat. Dan Millman said:

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.

This is a useful tidbit in just about any area of life, but definitely when it comes to creating solid work-from-home skills. Were you planning to write today, but now Netflix is calling (and you’re pretty sure it’s more laziness than a genuine need to rest)? Try promising yourself that you’ll schedule a movie into your evening routine, so you can focus on writing now.

Another useful trick (which I heard on John Tesh’s awesome Intelligence for Your Life radio program) to disperse compulsive and unwanted thoughts (whether they be cravings or anxiety) is to visualize a flock of birds spiraling up into the sky. Try it! It works great for breaking up thought patterns, but you do have to follow up by redirecting your subsequent thoughts in a disciplined way.

7. Schedule Time to Connect With Others

One of the reasons now is a prime time for getting more writing done is because we’re not around people as much (unless, you know, you are). But we need to connect more than ever. Whether you’re at home with your family, staying with friends for the duration, or living alone—be proactive in scheduling your together time. Let people (and yourself) know when you’ll be hanging out—whether in the living room, on Skype, or on Netflix Party. That way, you can enforce your writing boundaries both to yourself and to others without feeling like you’re missing out on the crucial nurturing of facetime.

8. End With the Right Evening Routine

Finally, make sure you end the day on a positive note. For some, this may be your best writing time. For others, like me, this is a needed wind-down time before bed. Whatever the case, this is your set up for tomorrow‘s success.

  • Try to Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night

For many of us this is even harder than trying to get up at the same time every morning. But disciplining ourselves to maintain a regular bedtime that allows for at least eight hours of sleep (I seem to do best on eight and a half) can make all the difference in our daily health and energy.

  • Log Off the Internet as Soon as You Reasonably Can

After supper, I check email one last time, then turn off the computer for the rest of the evening. I don’t need anything messing with my head at this point—whether it’s an email, a tweet, or a news article. Whatever it is can wait until morning.

  • Shut Down the Screens as Soon as You Can

If you watch TV in the evening, do it without your phone in your hand. This is a good habit, period, since it helps ward off Internet brain, but putting aside the phone also helps you avoid anything disruptive your sleep. It also prevents the brain confusion that comes from your device’s blue light. If you do watch, read, or scroll (naughty, naughty) before bed, at least try to use blue-light inhibitors (which may be built in to your device or which you can wear as stylish glasses), so your body doesn’t get confused about the fact it’s nighttime.

  • Save Your Most Relaxing and Fun Stuff for Right Before Bed

This is the perfect time to get your reading in, to hang out with loved ones (in the living room or on Skype), watch a movie, or take a bath. Choose something both rewarding and relaxing. You earned it.

***

Self-care often seems, well, self-indulgent. But it’s not—and especially right now. Rather, it’s a crucial foundation for everything we do throughout our day, whether that’s cooking meals for family, bolstering our own spirits so we can bolster others, or maybe even writing a book that changes our wonderful, insane, frightening, amazing, one-of-a-kind world for the better!

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! What challenges (and solutions) are you discovering while writing from home? Tell me in the comments!

Click the “Play” button to Listen to Audio Version (or subscribe to the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast in iTunes).

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

Comments

  1. robert easterbook says

    Boy, you really know how to challenge a guy. The other day when you asked us to write something positive and life-affirming at this time rather than say, what we normally write, which for me is Sci-fi/crime stories with a negative arch, I responded by saying that’s like asking a volcano to not erupt. I felt, for some odd reason, some pressure. I don’t know why. Perhaps because I am experiencing some pressure and tension because my paid job, the one that pays the rent and puts food on the table, places me in a ‘high risk’ environment. I don’t want to catch Covid-19 but I probably will. I’m not sure what to think of that, but I know how I’ll feel. Anyhow, I thought about what you said but didn’t remember that last year wrote something positive and life affirming – I was feeling brave and thought to enter a competition (it was hiding in a file) – which means I am capable. I never did enter the competition, though. Hearing you tell your story today reminded me of that short story about a lost robot who couldn’t remember where she lived or anything about her family. She makes a new friend, a dog, whom she can understand. He convinces her to come home with him to meet his owner because he is lonely and he will understand her. The dog believes she can help his owner get over his depression. But the journey home is fraught with danger and the dog almost loses his life. While there’s lots of drama, there’s a happy ending: she finds a new home and a new family. I was amazed I’d written it. I just wanted to say you’ve helped me in a lot of ways with my writing, and today you’ve helped me again. I don’t know you well but I think you are braver than me. I wish I was like that but I’m not – I’m different from you in many ways. I find it difficult to always be positive, I have to work hard at it. I jokingly think of myself as a pessimistic optimist. Because that’s who I am. I also live on the bottom of the world as you Americans would say. Well, some of you. 🙂 I have acquaintances/friends in many parts of the world – you’re the only person I know in your part of the world. But I’ve heard the fear in their voices regarding Covid-19 because people around them are dying. And I don’t know how to speak to that. I can say ‘chin up, chaps’ in my British accent but I will invariably feel a little insincere. I’m at home alone, trying to do the right thing, do physical distancing and protect myself and others. But because I’m prone to melancholy, my thoughts will drift to the negative unless I keep my mind occupied. So, I guess I’m saying thanks for bothering, for caring enough to do what you do. For making your shaking video and encouraging us. I thought you were noir-ish. 😉

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      This week, I happened to randomly read something in a book about the Five Stages of Grief and immediately realized that probably the entire world is experiencing one of the stages for one reason or another right now. Then later that same day, someone on Facebook posted this article on that very subject.

      Which is all to say: you’re not alone. It’s been a very up-and-down couple of weeks for me as well, and I’m currently one of the least affected in practical terms.

      Part of the grieving process is arriving at Acceptance. The pandemic is what is it is. We are dealing with what we’re dealing with. Something else I read today that resonated for me at this time was a quote from Melody Beattie about goal-setting: “I am not suggesting we can control all the events in our lives. We can’t. We don’t have final say on much of anything; God does. But I believe we can cooperate with goodness.”

      This too shall pass. If we’re spend the interim trying our best to seek acceptance and cooperate with goodness, then we may look back on this chapter in our lives as a phase of inspiration as much as one of sadness.

  2. So much good advice.

    About the best time to write: studies have found that many people are most creative and social in the morning, and best at critical work and resting in the afternoon. Like you, I write in mornings and plan later. As proof, I think about how many radio stations do talk in the morning (social) and then go all-music in the afternoon to help listeners wind down and keep going.

    It’s a pattern I think everyone should consider, but definitely not be limited to: maybe someone does write best at night, or in multiple bursts throughout the day. Or circumstances (especially now) might call for getting the best and the possible to meet each other halfway.

    And like you said, the hardest part is often not the writing but getting ready to write. (It’s the “scary bicycle” we never forget how to do, but keep thinking this time we’ll freeze at.) So one of the best tools is making the first thing you’ll write as easy as possible (finishing an interrupted sentence, or making a single simple decision about what’s ahead) and doing that right away. It’s even easier if you leave a question hanging at the end of that, so so you have all that time to scribble a note that “He’ll answer with the word Ludicrous” and then start writing just by filling that in.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Yes, mornings are a much “softer” time for me. I’ve learned I don’t do well when I try to ramp up to top speed right away.

  3. Eric Troyer says

    Excellent post, Katie. I do much of what you do and I agree that it helps a lot. Some things are different. I have given up breakfast during the week after reading “The Obesity Code” and consulting with my doctor. I make sure to eat healthy the rest of the time. (Well, mostly.) I do yoga in the evening right before bed. A few years ago I started a 10-minute guided meditation practice in the morning. I love that! I also do 10 minutes of meditation right before starting my morning fiction writing. I found that helps me focus. I also get outside and exercise just about every day. You are spot on with that. Research has shown exercise and being in nature go a long way to a healthy life. Self care is so important. I would add one thing regarding computers (including your phone): turn off notifications altogether. Just schedule a time to check on things.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I hear you on notifications. I only got a smart phone for the first time a few years ago. It’s a blessing in some ways, obviously, but it’s also a big fat pain. :p I’ve had to create new habits and structures to keep myself from abusing (and being abused by) this technology.

  4. I like your title idea. My husband recommended “Love in the Time of the Coronavirus.” Both good ideas, eh?

  5. I am changing the screen saver in my brain to a flock of birds. TY

  6. This is a wonderful and timely article, thank you! I’ve been having a tough time lately, dealing with all changes coming at me fast and hard. And now that I’m homeschooling against my will, being at home with my kids all day long, I don’t have the couple hours alone that I used to have when they were in school.
    Needless to say, I know I need to write some, since it will help me feel better and process my emotions in a healthy way. I’m glad for this advice and plan to re-read it several times!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I think we’re all adjusting our expectations of personal productivity to one degree or another right now. Perhaps scheduling a shorter writing time or lowering your word-count goals for the moment might help you accomplish some regular writing without feeling you have to match previous levels of output.

  7. Sound, common sense advice. Thanks.

  8. Katie, please do not pre-grate or buy pre-grated cheese.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I don’t buy pre-grated cheese because of the non-stick additives. I grate a brick at a time myself; it gets used up pretty quickly.

  9. Wonderful post as always. I’ve tried my best to stick to my routine despite work not being a factor: get up early, brew coffee, check my email, and write. I’m also taking more time to read as much as possible and watch movies I’ve been meaning to see (or revisit). This virus is nerve-wracking (I’m especially scared for my grandfather, who already has heart and lung problems), but keeping busy and setting aside time to meditate or take walks helps immeasurably.

    Btw, I had no clue what baked eggs were until your post– they look delicious! I’m getting burned out on my usual breakfast of fried eggs, so I’ll have to try that out tomorrow!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Yes, baked eggs are delicious! I like mine with just cheese and ground pepper. But you can get creative and add all kinds of goodies like bacon and tomatoes and avocado.

  10. Denise Greene says

    Thank you so much for this heartening article. I‘ve spent my entire life setting up the opportunity to do just this—be able to sit on my back deck and “forest bathe.” But I am so anxious and undisciplined right now that I don’t do it, and my writing becomes a burden instead of a joy. You have so many wonderful suggestions here, and I feel they’re really doable. Last night I was just thinking, what better time to start that gardening that I’ve always promised myself I would, and that weaving project instead of zoning out on the Internet? Then I would feel refreshed for my writing time.

    A suggestion about removing distractions is to consider getting a Freewrite. It truly keeps distractions to an absolute minimum. When I convince myself to use it, my word average per hour goes way up. If I find something I need to research, instead of getting on the Internet and going down a rabbit hole, I simply make a note in brackets and keep on going. I also have a fun little app on my phone called Forest that I keeps you from picking up your phone during writing times.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Last year was a low point for me in dealing with my own anxiety and depression. What helped me the most was realizing that my emotions were physical sensations in my body (rather than, IDK, ether floating around my head, which is how I’ve always kind of envisioned emotions :p ). I couldn’t run away from them because I couldn’t run away from my own body. The more I tried to escape them, the worse they got. Only after I started really sitting with my emotions, making space for them, mentally holding them as if I were the adult and that part of me was a child, as well doing grounding exercises such as yoga and meditation, did I start to see a turning point.

      Being outside is great. The ground really is grounding. 😉 So I second the garden idea!

  11. Thank you for this post. I love to read your posts — and this one landed in my inbox with perfect timing. I have a draft of a novel done, it needs editing and I am heading into book two. I was trying to figure out how to balance that with a kid at home from school — along with working from home. It’s all doable, especially with a plan and a positive structure. You are so right. I’m inspired. Since my son’s school has beautifully transitioned to being online (yes, I am one of the lucky ones) I was going to start with his schedule and build mine around that. I get to eat lunch with him — what a joy — and that opportunity will not last once the schools go back. I have also been doing a daily class with a friend who teaches pilates and offered to open up her own practice to share with a couple of friends. Again, silver lining. So, morning writing, lunch and exercise, afternoon work-related tasks. Wish me luck! (And thank you.)

  12. Great advice all around! I started opening the curtains last week. My work is still very busy, and I’m much more chained to my (home) desk than usual. It somehow makes a huge difference to have real sunshine coming in, and a view of green leaves. I also dress and put on shoes, which helps mark off the working part of the day — a real necessity both for getting going in the morning and stopping in the afternoon. Removing my shoes at the end of the day is a small replacement for the old routine of driving home.

    A few weeks before the quarantine, I started avoiding gluten — this has also turned out to be a huge help for me. My old routine of eating a wheaty cereal bar in the morning was making me dumber and dulling my focus.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The fruit trees around my house are starting to blossom this week. Seeing them felt like such a surprise. It was a gift to remember that life and beauty and growth are still happening all around us, even though so much of the world seems frozen right now.

  13. Great reminders for sure. For me, the most important thing right now is to remain engaged and not let my mind be absorbed with concern…unless those are going to become a story. I also think accountability helps right now. Keeps me focused and on track.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I saw a good idea about how it can be helpful to call someone up on Skype and just leave the video on in the background while both of you work. I can see how this could be grounding for some people at certain times.

  14. Wonderful advice, for any time. Felt sluggish this morning & really did not want to get on the stair-climber, even after I made myself get dressed for it. But I made a humorous groaning sound and got on with it, knowing how much better I’d feel later, not just physically, but, you know, bragging rights. Thanks for all you do for us, Katie! 🙂

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Speaking of humorous groaning :p , I’m trying to embrace my silliness more these days. Certain parts of life may feel very serious right now, but there’s plenty of fun and wackiness inside of all of us right now too.

      • Oh, I like silly. Bugs Bunny, Marx Bros… Last night, after trying to watch the final episode of Mandalorian & unable to get a stable connection on Roku, we ended up watching The Secret Life of Pets 2. My bf laughed out loud like he’s hasn’t laughed in quite a while. It was awesome! It doubled my laughs. I hope you have a delightfully wacky day today! :p

  15. I am all too familiar with the distractions writing from home can bring. I did some of my best writing while on holiday, especially if the surroundings are influential.

  16. I’m a night owl. The selling point of being a night owl is that everyone who would interrupt you at 3 pm is asleep at 3 am. I felt oddly well-prepared for this shut down …

    However — my relatives are *also* night owls, but *now* they don’t have to go to work in the morning. So, my mother calls me at 3 am to talk about the news she’s reading 🙂

    But suggestion 6 is a revelation. I should think of bad habits as obstacles, as my default setting is to just tunnel under, or climb over, or go around an obstacle. In this case the re-routing would be “form a new habit instead.” I like this! I think I can make “form a new habit” a much more successful endeavor than “break a bad habit.”

    This is gold! Thanks !

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I always say, “I’m an expert at workarounds.” It covers for a multitude of sins and weaknesses. :p

  17. Abigail Welborn says

    I use Freedom to force future me not to use the socials when I shouldn’t. 😅 I also like the LeechBlock browser extension to give myself time limits. After reading the book DEEP WORK, I also started implementing doing my heaviest-thinking writing work in the morning. I am by no means a morning person, but I am prone to letting my morning routine eat up my best brain hours (because with kids, I lose an hour of the morning no matter what, and now they’re home all day!). I was shocked that such a night owl could work best in the morning, but for me that starts at 9am. 😉 Morning is whenever your brain is fresh!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Thanks for sharing this! I wasn’t sure which extensions to recommend as I don’t use them myself. I’m (usually) disciplined enough to keep my browser closed when writing. 😉

  18. Five hundred episodes, congratulations! I will definitely be here for the next five-hundred.

    I use to think filling the well wasn’t getting work done but one of your past posts helped me realize that’s just not true. I cherish the time I put into gathering inspiration to pour into my well and future creative projects not just writing but everything. I’ve spent this time reading (more than usual) and it helps eased my mind. Plus when I’m reading I can’t watch the News on an endless loop.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Thanks! And, yes, I used to feel a certain measure of guilt, or at least non-productivity, when doing well-filling. But after draining the well in my late twenties, I eventually figured out how vital those well-filing exercises really are. 😉

  19. Dennis Michael Montgomery says

    Congratulations on your 500 essay. I have enjoyed and been enlighten by your essays keep up the good question. I hope you can reach a thousand.

    My question to you is will you run out of ideas?

  20. Barbara M Webb says

    Couldn’t agree with you more re your tips for writing from home!!

  21. My real question in all of this is what’s a baked egg? Is that like a hard-boiled egg made in the oven? (Legitimately wondering…)

  22. Congratulations on 500 episodes! That’s amazingly impressive consistency.
    (I could not spell consistency correctly just now and had to look it up!)

    This week’s article was particularly helpful. I also enjoyed the interview you linked to, and love the idea of looking for meaning as a 6th stage.

  23. My morning routine is working well but my evening routine needs some improvement. I particularly need to get better at putting my phone down much earlier. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I find that physically removing myself from the phone helps a ton. I’ve also gotten in the habit of turning on Airplane Mode instead of Don’t Disturb–because why not cut down on the radiation when I’m not using it?

  24. Penelope Smith says

    One little discipline I have cultivated is praying and having faith that the right ideas for the book will emerge. When I am dozing off to sleep scenes will pop into my head so I leap up and write them down like a long note to myself. I have known so many interesting characters in my life to draw upon, but the trick is to pray for your writing esp. if you don’t have time to work on it. Don’t give up on your writing cuz you don’t have time. Couch it in there, keep praying and having faith that the time will come when you have the time.

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