Sunday, April 10, 2011

Defining Boundaries

Setting boundaries with your writing goes along with developing and following routines.  There are times that you will need to put down the writing and focus on "life" activities.  This is something I've been struggling with myself the last couple of weeks.  In my quest to create routines and boundaries, I've spent a bit too much time on social media, and bit less time on working on my important works in progress.

There are two different types of boundaries that I think of when I talk about setting boundaries.  The first boundary is a physical boundary so that we can work on our craft.  For some of us, this is easier than others.  Some writers find that space in the home office; that space is sacrosanct to others in the home.  Some writers find solace and peace and productivity by heading to the local coffee shop, restaurant, or public library.  Whatever works for you, find a space that is conducive to your creativity and productivity.

The other boundary that needs to be defined for writers is the time boundaries for writing and time for the other things that are important in your life.  As a writer, I work on my writing projects (which includes this blog), read to develop my craft, read other fiction to learn about the craft, and spend some time on social media to develop a platform of followers. 

Most advice I read says that at a minimum, a writer should work on one page a day (250 words).  What I do is set my timer for 15 minutes and and get to work.  Usually, the fifteen minutes is up right as a I get into a groove and the creativity starts flowing.  Some days I can continue and work longer.  Most days I have to stop writing and move on to my next task.  Only when I feel blocked do am I challenged by writing for fifteen minutes a day.

Reading has never been a challenge to fit in.  I've always been an avid reader and enjoyed reading.  What has been a challenge for me is too much on social media and not enough time to the craft of my writing.  A new friend of mine (through Twitter) also blogged about the subject of stepping away from the social media.  This week my goal is to devote more time to working on my novel, to keep up the daily blog entries, and to find more balance in my personal life. 

Do you have a hard time setting boundaries and getting it all done?  I'd love to hear your comments.  Have a great week everyone!


  1. First of all, Dean, I was surprised to see that I was not already following your blog. I must have missed yours when we did that document on the Writer's Circle...(OOPS)
    And second of all, a big fat yes! I have been having a hard time staying off of all the social networks lately too. I am so happy to have met so many great writer friends on facebook, twitter and through blogging. But it is so hard to keep up with all of it and still keep writing every day! I've blogged about this too! I think we all have!!
    Have a great week, and right now I am going to follow your blog!
    Sharon :)

  2. Thank you for the great comment, Sharon! Now, it's time for me to return to writing... :-)