Saturday, March 2, 2013

Silvia Villalobos: Why is it Important to Set Aside Blocks of Time for Writing

Please welcome today's A-Z Participant expert, Sylvia Villalobos.  Her topic is timely and important for all who are participating in The Challenge, as well as for writers of all genres in general.   I hope her advice helps you like it helped me.

You can find her here:
Name: Silvia Villalobos -- first time A-Z participant - way to go!
Blog: Silvia Writes
Stories published: “An Affair of the Heart” at Fiction365, and “Games” at Red Fez. 

Why is it important to set aside blocks of time for writing

I’m having trouble, sometimes, keeping a writing schedule -- for blog entries or stories. The A-Z challenge is a perfect motivator. Great to keep me on that chair, coming up with something new every day.    

After long breaks from writing, most of what I write centers on what’s already there, old stuff. Not bad, but it doesn’t stimulate my imagination. I add a few words to a WIP or a blog draft, cut and paste, maybe even change a name or two, but that’s not real writing, is it?

When I'm lucky, and inspiration strikes, writing is that process where I let my thoughts guide my fingers on the keyboard, create new sentences and paragraphs, do not move from that chair until I produce something new. Hopefully a whole lot of something new. Editing comes later, but if I don't put something down, I don't have anything to edit. 

Here’s what writing everyday does for me:

1. It improves my writing. The more I write, the easier it gets.
2. Memories clarify themselves -- the more I write, the better I seem to remember things.
3. Keeps the creative part of the brain engaged.
4. I don’t have to endure remorse for not having created anything new.
5. I have a schedule and discipline -- instill that writing discipline.
6. Helps me be more observant. The more I write, the better I connect with the world around me.
7. Master techniques such as description, dialogue, and exposition.
8.  I get comfortable with writing.
9.  Practice, practice, practice.
10. Feels good.

What about you?

Now can the process of everyday writing become counterproductive? Sure, it could turn into a mess if I just type away for fear of not coming up with anything new. I also need to take time off to look for inspiration. That happens when I travel or read a lot. But back to setting aside blocks of time for writing. When two writing friends mentioned the A-Z challenge I thought, that is exactly what I need. What better way to keep motivated? Can't think of one, nor can I think of a better event than the A-Z Blogging Challenge. 
I'm ready. :)

Sylvia, I'm glad you shared your advice with us. The part about not just adding to the work I've already done really spoke to me, as did the discipline of daily writing. I wish you all the best in this year's challenge!



Anonymous said...

Good luck with the Challenge, I have done all of them and although time consuming it's great fun also.
Being organised is also a must not leave it to the last minute.

Enjoy your week-end.

Unknown said...

Silvia, I can relate. It's my first time at A to Z Challenge and I plan to use the challenge to learn discipline in writing.

My posts for the challenge are almost ready but the challenge doesn't lose it's significance for me as I plan to use April to post daily and also write on another project.

Your advice if very helpful for someone like me who needs discipline in writing and the challenge is helpful because it makes me commited to my goals.

Silvia Writes said...

Yvonne, thank you. So true, organization is key. My writing friends mentioned being prepared. Think I have the first three weeks covered.

Adriana, nice to meet another first time participant. Cogratulations on having the posts almost done. Glad my comments were helpful.
I need discipline in writing too :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina and Silvia - good to have another new participant join us ... and Adriana too ..

Being prepared is the key for the Challenge ... it made me write shorter articles, and this year they'll be even shorter - that will surprise many!

Being prepared allows us to have more time to visit other blogs and meet new friends - leaving comments etc ..

Cheers - good luck with your Challenge and writing ... all the best Hilary

Tina said...

Good stuff, Sylvia. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Powdered Toast Man said...

It's tough when I am not an actual writer, just a blogger. Unfortunately life comes first. I hope i make it through the A to Z challenge.

JoJo said...

For me, I have to take the time to find the photos, upload them to my blog and then do the writing. It can be a daunting task, esp. for A-Z. But luckily we had a few snowbound weekends so I did marathon sessions and got it done.

Silvia Writes said...

Hillary, absolutely. Look forward to visiting as many blogs as possible. Really excited.

Tina, thank you for having me as a guest. This is fun.

Jolie du Pre said...

Yep. Writing every day is important. I do this full-time. So it's important I write almost every day. However, I don't blog as much as I'd like to. A to Z is perfect for blogging more. I plan to write my first A to Z post for 2013 today.

Silvia Writes said...

Powdered Toast Man, probably easier that you are not a writer. I agonize over what I write. I am sure you will.

JoJo, nothing like snow to help get things done. No snow in So. Cal, where I live now, but I grew up with long winters in Romania. Good luck.

Silvia Writes said...

Jolie, I know what you mean about not blogging everyday. I am hoping the Challenge is just the motivation I need.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Silvia. Great post.
There was a time when I put aside about 10 minutes everyday to complete a free writing exercise from a one word prompt. I found that it became easier and easier to sit down and write for those minutes. I need to get back to that.
Nice to meet you.

klahanie said...

Hi Sylvia and hi Tina,

Your writing everyday seems to be conducive to what helps you in your ongoing writing. Whatever works is most certainly beneficial.

However, I write when I want to write and that works much better for me than any schedule. I go with the inspiration of the moment. No pressure on myself, no unrealistic expectations.

Even though I would never participate in this challenge, I do my own thing, I wish those who genuinely do it for the reasons of sharing, caring and interacting, benefit greatly from it all. Those who just use it for self-promotion make my skin crawl.

Have a peaceful weekend and happy writing.

In kindness,


Silvia Writes said...

Michelle, sounds good. Nice to meet you too.

Gary, whatever works for you. No right or wrong method. Only different. And how wonderful that we are not all the same.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Silvia. Those are wonderful tips. I'm just now getting into the habit of writing every day. It took a bit to get here but I think it is so key. Thanks again.

Andrea said...

I need to set aside the blocks of time, and then post reminders all over the house for myself and anyone else who might be looking for a snack, dinner, ride, laundry...

Arlee Bird said...

Lately if it weren't for blogging I might not be writing anything. On the other hand if I weren't blogging so much I might be writing more other things. What a conundrum!

Writers Workshop
An A to Z Co-host blog

Jolie du Pre said...

@Silvia - Yep! We'll do it.

@Gary - Some of us are full-time writers. Some of us can't just say, I'll "write when I want to write" and "I go with the inspiration of the moment." If some of us did that, some of us wouldn't eat.

Silvia wrote, "whatever works for you. No right or wrong method. Only different."

And that's correct.

Silvia Writes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Silvia Writes said...

Sorry, having difficulty with comment feature. Trying again.
Mimi, no problem, and thank you.

Andrea, sometimes I hide from my family. It's the only way. :)

Lee, funny how that happens. I am going back to writing after the Challenge.

Jolie, yeah, I hear you.

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Silvia,
Welcome Abroad,
At last you landed at a wonderful place
I want to add one more thing along with the top ten
that is Read, Read, Read and again to Read LOL
I think this is what every writer did and to do too
some may think that i am an established one I need not read others.
But I am sure that is a wrong idea or trend
So each one i mean especially the so called writers need to read more and more and more Lol
Hey, where is then the time to write!!!
Indeed a good Question for that one need to find an answer too!!!
happy blogging
and Best Regards
Thanks Tina for the intro....

Phil @ Philipscom
An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good
And My Bio-blog

Jaime said...

I too look forward to the A to Z Challenge for helping me become more disciplined and inspired. I will try to incorporate both photography and writing in every A to Z post. Blocking time is so important - it's too easy to get side tracked. Thanks for the reminder.

Unknown said...

You are so right, Silvia. The more we write, the more we write!

Rob Z Tobor said...

I did the A to Z last year and am back this year it certainly is an interesting little task. I blog everyday anyway so that is fine but with the added focus of the alphabet it does make you think.

But the more I write the worse my typing and spelling gets . . . . I sure that is not meant to happen.

Rob Z Tobor

Silvia Writes said...

PV, thank you. You are right about reading a lot. So much to do ... fun ...and overwhelming.

Jaime, glad to do it. Nice to meet you.

Cindy, so nice to see you here. Thanks for introducing me to the Challenge.

Rob, I guess the more we do any task, the higher the likelihood for mistakes. Just keep at it.

Rob Z Tobor said...

Just a little comment for the A to Z team.

I have done my own A to Z Promotional Post for you (yes sorry about that)

So here it is in all its glory
Rob Z Tobor’s A to Z Promotional Post

Rob Z Tobor said...

Just a little comment for the A to Z team.

I have done my own A to Z Promotional Post for you (yes sorry about that)

So here it is in all its glory
Rob Z Tobor’s A to Z Promotional Post

AJ Lauer said...

These are all such good points, Silvia! I am so glad life is calming down a bit so I can get my Saturday morning writing time back! I always feel so much better when I have it :)

Elizabeth Sara said...

I'm having trouble making time for the challenge, but I've come up with a theme now (books), so I'm finding it easier!