Write for an hour every day

January 2015Hello and Happy New Year to everyone.  In our house we are variously curled up on sofas and beds, wrapped in duvets and fleecy blankets, still in our pyjamas or fully clothed, in coats, and wearing gorilla-shaped slippers, and scarves.  (It’s chilly in our house.) The teenagers might have overdone it with the fruity-flavoured cider last night, plus there’s been a cough and cold bleating through our neighbourhood all over the Christmas break.  The good news is my husband is back on taxi driving duty! Hurrah! Leaving me to go to bed early with a book and liquorice tea while he cruises the unlit Wiltshire lanes in search of one or both of his non-paying passengers, namely our sociable children, making merry with their friends at each other’s houses – every week the pick-up times seem to be getting later.

But what about the writing……?

………. the writing, the writing? As Robin Houghton says in her excellent New Year’s post, if you want to write you need to allocate time to writing.  It’s all very well making merry on your blogs, on Facebook and Twitter, giving readings, organising competitions, buying books and magazines, keeping track of your submissions, acceptances and rejections, setting goals, planning and talking.  If you don’t set aside time for writing, you’re in trouble.  But it is easier said than done, at least for me.  And if, like me, you have many roles in your life: part-time charity worker, parent, wife, sibling, friend, relation to many, pet-keeper…….. well, the jobs add up!

Would it be best to leave social media altogether?

Is that the answer?  I’ve read a few status updates recently about intentions to leave Facebook.  I know that I’ve lost myself inside many a Facebook thread and wandered out 30 minutes later trying to remember who I am.  It’s not very good for my focus and, like others, I’ve thought many times about switching everything off.  But, over 60 per cent of us (in the UK) have a Facebook account – some facts and figures here – and, for its many, many failings, there is no denying that in 2015 we will be communicating with each other on the internet.

So, I’m not switching off all together but I have, in recent weeks, found a way of managing my social media distractions.

One hour, every day.

evidence that writing has taken place

Admittedly I’ve been on leave since 19th December so it’s easy for me to say this but I have been writing for at least one hour every day.  For that hour I’ve not checked in to any of my social media places, I’ve sat inside my writing room (in our house this is also a sitting room) and closed the door.  I haven’t necessarily sat at a desk because I don’t always work like that.  I’m a bit messy.  On some (most) days I’ve ended up writing more, much more, than one hour and I’ve returned to the writing at different stages of the day.  On other days, it’s only been the one hour.

It’s not perfect but it’s meant that I’ve started to make headway with my unfinished poems.  NEWSFLASH – I’ve only actually finished one but, what can I say? I’m a slow writer.  I know it will be more difficult to stick to my plan once I go back to my part-time job later in January but, one hour a day isn’t too onerous, I think it will be manageable, and better to set a realistic goal than to aim too high and end up feeling like a failure.

Join me!

It’s not exactly a New Year’s Resolution, just a goal for January.   I daren’t even think about February, yet.  So, I wonder if you’ll join me in turning off all the distractions and writing for one hour every day in January?  Perhaps you already do this or perhaps you have ideas you’d like to share about managing your writing time and maintaining your focus?  Tell me!

Don’t forget to go outside…

outside house
proof I’ve been outside today
walk on new year's day 2015
more proof

One last thing…. it’s muddy in January, it’s breezy, it might be raining or even snowing but it does you good to get outdoors.  I probably need to allocate time for that as well.  At least I managed it today.  Best wishes for 2015, everyone.



30 thoughts on “Write for an hour every day”

  1. I have a 100 pound puppy, I get out everyday. And I write at least an hour a day. And, like you, I consider myself a slow writer. But slow goes the prose, but blitz be the poeming. Like down and dirty in at most an hour, or I sour on the effort and walk away. But hey, different stokes….have a happy and productive year.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. You make good points here, Josephine. Over the last few days I’ve started doing the first edits of my first (attempted) novel. But I’ve also been switching into Facebook to check what’s going on. I know it has to stop! But I have actually edited quite a few pages. These things are such a distraction. I do like your idea of one hours writing a day and I shall try and stick with that. As for your idea of taking a walk I’m off on one tomorrow with my hubby. The weather forecast looks good so we’ve planned a small section of the Thames Path (a challenge from last year to eventually walk the whole path!). Walking takes me out of myself away from everything else going on. Looking forward to it. Happy writing and Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you! Futhermore, I’m going to write the protected time into my (paper) diary. That way it is real and has to happen. I’m slow too, which is why keeping up on 52 has been impossible. But that’s OK — it’s not a race.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post and Happy New Year! Good luck with the writing and I’ll look forward to seeing the poems as they emerge. I’m going to try and join you with an hour a day, but won’t be starting immediately due to a couple of pressing family commitments. Might start from mid Jan and try to cover Feb and March — that will give me something to look forward to!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for such an encouraging blog. It’s great to start the New Year with a positive resolution, so I’m going to give it a go! Now, all I need is my iron will. I know I left it around here somewhere…


  6. Wonderful post. I agree wholeheartedly about getting outdoors. Especially if you can visit places you haven’t been before, cathedrals, churches, museums, galleries, curious shops, parks, nature etc.

    I have strong views on the social media side of things. I don’t see why it can’t be used as tool to aid the creative process as opposed as a distraction. I often write poems in response to comments or other people’s posts, or as messages. I find FB a wonderful source of inspiration. Do other people utilise social media like this? If you keep your poetry head on whilst using social media it only opens you up to more poetry. Just like cooking dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Josephine, this writing for an hour really interests me. I think we must all remember to yes, always be open to ways in which we can improve.

    But the beauty is in being true to ourselves. When you find something that works for you, stick at it. A lot of the time I’m in the distractions camp, because distractions give me ideas that lead to writing. But as a new year experiment, I will commit to omg an hour a day writing at a table with no electricity. Crikey! I don’t know if I can do that. I’m going to start by seeing how I get on with 20 minutes.


    Isn’t it intriguing how everyone has a different way and style.
    Dickens valued walks, Dahl spent all morning in the shed.


    I will attempt to write an post on keeping your poetry head.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m gonna join you, Josephine, although I am a day late, so I promise to make the time up.

    I think you have hit on a very simple but brilliant idea here. I spend far too much time reading and not enough writing so, from now on, that is going to change and reading and writing will swap ends.

    Happy New Year to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    This is exactly what I promised myself.
    So far I have failed.
    Tomorrow the ‘team’ are back at school (yippee)
    And excuses will dwindle.
    Your wonderful, encouraging, hopeful, comforting and strangely appropriate blog is just what I need.
    THANK YOU xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I only look at Facebook once a week but I use Pinterest a lot. Like George I find it a great springboard for ideas, mostly for art but also for writing. I have really gone off writing lately and I’m trying to find a way back. I have started this year with a daily sketch and a daily snapshot (recording a small significant moment in the day, a daily walk, a return to my blog and some local art courses. Already I’m finding it hard to fit them all in! I am lucky in that I have a large and lovely garden with small areas of woodland to walk through, and no houses in sight, so there is really no excuse not to get out there…but I seem to find one. Thank you for stepping by my blog today, much appreciated. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to pop back to your blog, Lesley, to read more closely. The matchbox art you’re creating is beautiful! You will find a way back into writing, I’m sure. Your garden sounds idyllic. Thanks for commenting 🙂 x


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