It's Thursday night and I'm sitting with my friend Gaby Robbins at Panera. We are supposed to be writing, but we're spending time catching up and chatting about what we want to write. There is nothing wrong with girl time…Gaby and I try to carve these nights out at least twice a month. But, there has to be a better way to utilize our time.
With so much on our To Do Lists, we feel guilty when everything doesn't get checked off. There's also the matter of wanting to share all of the cool articles we've read and progress we've made since we last met. Did I mention we text almost everyday, along with our buddy Morgan Wylie? We even have matching tattoos! We make each other stronger. We make each other better. We also distract each other.
So, I thought I'd share some tips (that I plan to put into practice) to keep our write nights right.
1. Don't forget your earbuds.
Earbuds don't just keep people from approaching you, but they can also help you stay focused. My favorite way to jump into a manuscript is to choose a playlist and click shuffle. When the music stops you can take a break. (I love the 30 minute increments Spotify plays.) If you'd rather, you can also set a timer on your phone and an alarm will sound after a specific amount of time. If you get achieve your goal reward yourself with some girl talk!
2. Eat before you meet.
I can't tell you how many times I've gotten together with friends to write and shown up hungry. Unless you set aside time for a meal ahead of time, try to push through the writing before you eat. Once you set the keyboard to the side and dig into your dinner, the conversation can take over and before you know it you have to head home to tuck the kids in bed.
3. Set a goal for the night and stick to it.
A great way to make sure you set and achieve goals is to start your night by saying it out loud. Then, everyone stays accountable to each other. If everyone finishes their word count or writes their chapters, you can spend the rest of the evening enjoying each others' company, and talking through what you plan to write next.
4. Plan your next meet up before you leave.
Before you jet, get the next write night in your calendars. Be flexible and encourage everyone to be there. Consistent writing will only benefit your manuscript, and a good support system will help you finish your manuscript! Take the time to write as often as possible!