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Writing Has Taught Me to Do Less

This may not sound like a good thing, but hear me out….

When I sit down to write, I want to keep writing until I have finished the story. I'm so excited about what I'm going to put down on paper that I don't want to stop. Being a storyteller is highly addictive, as I'm sure many of my fellow authors can attest!

But if I spent all of my time writing, I wouldn't get anything else done. I have a family to care for, responsibilities around the house, a body to take care of, and so on. If I don't spend time with the family, at the gym, taking a break, and paying the bills, we'd be in serious trouble!

So I have to intersperse my writing with the rest of my work--as all newbie authors do. Unlike those of you fortunate enough to dedicate your life to the work you love, I (along with 99% of the world's population) have to go to work every day. It's hard to fit the "work I love" in with the rest of stuff.

I've written about how I've had to push myself hard to write more, but I've also had to learn how to do less. Why is this a good thing?

Back to the "addictive feeling" mentioned above. I can (and have) sit down and write for hours on end, but I'm pretty sure the people I live with wouldn't like that. If I did that during the work week, a lot of other things (like the kids' homework, the cooking and cleaning, workouts, taking the kids to their events, etc.) would be neglected. So I have to force myself to do LESS than I really want to do, all for the sake of keeping things on an even keel.

But in many ways, I think my writing comes out better for it. It's hard at times to work on big projects one small chunk at a time, but breaking the writing down into small chunks helps me to keep things on track.

So I'm forced to do less, but it helps me make it quality. If I know that I'm only going to get an hour of writing time in, I'll do my damnedest to make the most of that hour. In that hour, I get as much done as I can, and then I move on. No prolonging the work, no "just a little bit more…" Get in, write, and get out. Makes for much cleaner writing, and a much happier family!

Learn to do less at a time, and you'll find that you get a lot more done in the long run--and with less displeasure from those around you.