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Monday, June 24, 2013

BICHOK – Getting in the Groove

Write a little every day and soon writing becomes a habit.

This is great advice, but it’s much easier to nod and agree than move forward and obey. I’ve been away a lot this year, and while I take my laptop with me, most times I end up doing a little plotting and catching up on my reading instead of actually adding words to my work in progress. On my return home I always find it hard to get into the swing of writing again. I tell myself I’m busy doing laundry and unpacking when really I have my feet firmly in Procrastination City.

I’ve developed several strategies to get my butt in a chair and my hands on the keyboard. (BICHOK)

1. Join in some speed sprints #1k1hr on Twitter. My competitive streak won’t let me report a low total.

2. Use Freedom  to block Internet access for a selected amount of time. This works well for me because when I’m procrastinating I do a lot of playing on the Internet. I tell myself I’ll just check out Facebook and get sucked down the black hole. Freedom stops me from doing this.

3. Take myself off to one of my favorite cafes and set up camp there. I call them my coffice. I try to pick one without Internet access and usually get a lot of work done because I can’t get up and wander around.

As well as getting me writing, I meet interesting people in my coffice. A few months ago a man at a neighboring table asked me how to spell a couple of words. Then he asked me about wording his letter. It turned out he was writing a letter to a judge and if the court session didn’t go well, he’d end up in jail. He’d done bad things, he told me. I wasn’t brave enough to ask for details.

After writing the letter to his satisfaction, he left to change for his court appearance. Weeks later, I was busy working in the café and he said hello. He happily told me the letter did the trick with the judge. I’m sure there’s fodder for a story there!

How do you get into the writing groove when every particle of you wants to do something else?

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy. Her next release is Past Regrets, an erotic contemporary romance from Samhain Publishing. If you would like to learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website at


Mary Kirkland said...

I try to write a little bit each day even if I don't use what I've written in my articles, I can usually use it in a blog post.

Dark Thoughts Blog

Anne Marie Becker said...

"Coffice" - LOVE that. I'm there right now. LOL (except it has internet...definitely a tempting time-suck!)... I find it so hard to get back into the groove when I've taken a break for more than a day or two, so I'm trying to write at least 500 words a day when I'm on vacation. BICHOK is a priority! :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Love BICHOK! Here's another one for you: WIBBOW. It means Would I Be Better Off Writing? So, whenever I'm tempted to fool around with a cover, or go online to "socialize," I ask myself, WIBBOW? The answer is almost always yes, so I go upstaris to my computer (the one that NEVER connects to the internet) and I write.

Rita said...

I am such a nosey nellie once I have a difficult time once I get on social media. I do whatg I call a drive by post. Say it and log off. Check back a couple of hours later to make responses. Today I decided I needed to do something about my office furniture. Took me 45 minutes to talk my self out of making a huge mess. Ugg. Then I went to beautiful day out side why not sit by the pool. Hell. I'm writing taking a break now to make blog comments. then back to it.

Shelley Munro said...

Mary - you've got it sorted. I truly believe that making writing a habit helps to keep a writer productive.

Shelley Munro said...

Anne Marie- there is that :)
Most of the cafes in NZ require you to ask for a voucher before you can log on to the net. I pick my coffice carefully so I'm not tempted!

Shelley Munro said...

Marcelle - I'm going to need to remember that one. Normally after a holiday I take ages to get back i to the swing of writing. This time I've been strong and actually wrote 3k yesterday, which is good for me.

Shelley Munro said...

LOL Rita - when I'm procrastinating and ironing instead, I know I need to take action. I've found the Freedom app good to keep me focused and off the net.

Wynter Daniels said...

Wonderful advice. I reward myself with internet time for every 100 or 200 words I advance toward my daily goal. Usually works;-)

Cathy Perkins said...

Oh, I needed this reminder today! Between the day job & promo around my latest release, it feels like I haven't written anything new in ages.

Ana Barrons said...

Oh, Cathy, that's the exact same problem I'm having. If the job weren't bad enough, I spend a lot of time spinning my wheels on promotion because I don't really know what I'm doing! I definitely need to set writing goals for myself, because it just ain't happenin'.

Shelley Munro said...

Wynter - great that the reward system works for you. A treat is always good.

Shelley Munro said...

Cathy - writing isn't an easy business, that's for sure. Sometimes all we can do is hold on, take a deep breath and give ourselves permission not to write until life is on an even keel again.

Shelley Munro said...

Ana - promotion is another topic all on its own. I know from my own experience that it's easy to get down the black promo hole!

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