|This good place is by the Chilcotin River in Farwell Canyon.|
People often ask me how I get writing done. I have a full time "day job," like a lot of writers, and I also have the regular pleasures and duties in my life that call me. I've found two things that really help me get work done. The first is simple. I get up when my son gets up for school and I start writing as soon as he's out the door. In the morning my head is slightly foggy, still halfway in the dream world of sleep, a semi-altered state of consciousness that seems productive for me. I usually write until about noon.(It helps that my day job allows me to set my own schedule, more or less) Sometimes I have other obligations before then, but I try very hard to keep that morning time slot clear. I also try not to check my email first thing. Email is a great time-sucking, soul-destroying distraction that can lead me off into all kinds of directions and before I know it the day's half gone and I've accomplished very little of any kind of work. Not that I have strong feelings about it! Recently, I read that many companies are trying out a zero or minimal email model as a way to boost productivity.
The other thing I do, and this comes back to the Good Places to Write blog, is go on writing retreats. These can be formal, juried retreats run by arts organizations for a minimal fee. I'll post some of these. But sometimes, I head out somewhere on my own, somewhere far enough away from home, preferably without email access, but not expensive. I consider $50-$75/day not too expensive. I might just take two or three days. If I can find a week somewhere, I'll do that and look for a cheaper weekly rate. The change of scenery is good for my writing and I almost always manage to write about a normal month's worth of work in those few days. (don't forget it can be used an as expense on your taxes).