How to Write Consistently When Emergencies (Like Pandemics) Happen
Updated: 4 days ago
In prep for an AMA I'm hosting on Sunday, I asked participants to submit questions. Here's one I received:
🤔How do you maintain consistency with writing? Especially when crazy things in life (like pandemics) happen?
This is a great question and I want to share my response with you all. I'm currently writing my second book, The Developer's Guide to Book Publishing (out on May 19!). Earlier this month I made the decision to push out the release date to have more time to write the book. Then COVID-19 happened. I also live in New York (currently the "hot zone" of the epidemic in the United States) and I worry about family and friends. So how am I maintaining consistency? I'm giving myself permission to take care of—and worry about—me and my loved ones first.
I read a tweet a few weeks ago that went more or less like this: "If you wrote 1,000 words today, you're still working on your book. If you wrote 100 words today, you're still working on your book. If you wrote 10 words today, you're still working on your book." It has given me much needed perspective.
A lot of us feel the need to maintain our previous levels of motivation and productivity even in times like these. Some of you might find that you're actually more productive now, and others may find that working on projects or writing is a welcome distraction from current events. Others may be more like me and find that they're too distracted or too tired. Whatever your response, it's OK. There is no right or wrong here.
So if you find that you aren't as "consistent" as you were before this all happened, give yourself a break! If you only write 10 words today, or 10 words this entire week, you're still working. I spent some two weeks away from the book and was able to contribute to the word count this weekend. Today, I added 100 words and an exercise, and I submitted my draft to my first reader! Progress has been slow but these are not ordinary times. You are not at "fault" for your reaction to extraordinary events.
Resting is just as important as productivity.