Saturday, August 7, 2010

Setting Boundaries

This week I'll return to my success series.  The next topic I haven't written about yet is about setting boundaries.  Setting boundaries is a little bit like setting goals and at the same time it's a bit different.  In my opinion, there are two methods that you set boundaries.  Boundaries are set around the times that you write and boundaries are set around the places where you write. 

First of all, you have to set boundaries around the times that you devote to your craft.  Again, this is a bit like goal setting.  If you look back at goals setting (see blog post here:, I suggest that you create a goal around when you want to finish your project or that you devote "X" number of minutes to writing every day until you accomplish your goal.  This type of goal helps me get going on my writing and get working on a project.  But once I get going, I can get carried away.  I can end up neglecting household chores, bedtimes, paying attention to the things that matter just as much as accomplishing my writing goal.  By setting boundaries around time, I ensure that I continue to function in life and don't neglect my sleep or my household chores (One of these days, I'll be able to afford a cleaning service and then I can devote more time to writing, right?).

The other boundary that's been helpful for me to set is with my workspace.  Find a place to do your writing that works for you.  For me, it's the home office when I'm at home.  I attempt to keep it organized and uncluttered so that during the times that I write, I can sit down and do it without constantly searching for supplies.  I keep one or two reference books available for my current project.  The printer always has paper in it for the times that I want to print something and do some editing.  Find a place to do your writing and create that routine.  For some, their writing space may be a coffee shop, carrel in the public library, a park bench.  Although I've never had to resort to this to get my writing done, it's a great idea for someone who is struggling with balance and making writing a priority.  It would be akin to going to a part time job:  going to a specific location to complete a specific task.

Time and space are just two of the boundaries I believe you have to set as a writer.  Get those two boundaries out of the way and you'll be well on your way to accomplishing your goals, through the routines that you set for yourself.  In the end, you'll realize that vision that you're working towards.

Have a great week!

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