Using Flylady tips to help your writing

Hi, my name is Nicole, and I am a Fly Baby.

If you don’t know what that means, you haven’t been introduced to the Flylady. And I want to introduce you to her today if you’ve never met her.

I’m sure that you’ve read about me using the Flylady’s habits to keep my home in order. I have a lot on my schedule, and her techniques have helped me learn to keep better care of my home, my family and myself.

Like with everything else that comes into my life, I have used the Flylady techniques to make me a better writer. I’ve taken the loving lessons she’s taught and incorporated them into my writing life.

Here’s how.

You are not behind

This is the first, best, and most often repeated lesson from the Flylady. Because she helps the flybabies work through zones in our house so that everything gets cleaned up eventually.

I took this another way. As writers, we have to do so much more than just write! We have to have a social media presence, keep a blog, do outreach for other authors. It can be hard not to feel like we need to hit the ground running with all of this. And to a new writer, who’s struggling to find the time just to write every day, let alone all of these other things. It’s like we’re starting out way behind!

You are not behind. Begin where you are, do what you can. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not where other authors are. I’ll say it again, you are not behind.

Shine your desk

The first daily task that the Flylady teaches is to shine your sink. I scoffed at this at first, but I did it. Before I went to bed, I made sure that my kitchen and bathroom sink were both clean and shiny.

I was amazed at how this impacted my morning. I didn’t worry about putting my precious makeup down in anything gross in my bathroom, and I could make my coffee without fighting with the dirty dishes in the kitchen.

When I saw how good this made me feel, I thought about how I could use this in my writing. And so I took this as cleaning off or shining, my desk at the end of my work each day. No more leaving coffee mugs or notebooks out. When I left my desk, it was tidy.

This allowed me to come to my desk the next time and begin right away. I didn’t have to clean the desk off first, and it wasn’t unappealing to look at.

15 minutes

The Flylady doesn’t ask you to spend all of your time cleaning. She doesn’t even ask for an hour. She asks for 15 minutes. Spend 15 minutes getting your place in order, and see what an improvement it can make.

If you tell yourself that you must write a whole chapter or a whole short story, you might never start. Instead, try saying, “I must write for 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be ready for my English teacher to see. I must simply work for 15 minutes on whatever project I’m working on right now.”

I bet you can make good on that.

Get dressed to the shoes

This one took me some time. I work a full-time job and I really don’t want to get up and get dressed on my day off. That’s part of why we’re writers, right? So we can make our millions dressed in our fluffy Winnie the Pooh pajamas.

Well, what do you know, I’m more likely to be productive when I’m dressed like I’m going to work. It’s a mental thing. Being dressed tells me it’s time to get working. It also helps my cyber schooled kids. Even though no one’s seeing them, they have to get dressed as though they’re going to a brick and mortar school.

Have a schedule

The Flylady encourages you to have certain chores assigned to certain days of the week. There’s anti-procrastination day, family fun day, pampering day, home blessing day. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about home blessing day before. It helps a ton!

I’ve added another day to that list. Writing work day. This is the day I submit work, write blog posts, design images, work on projects, create my newsletter. Basically, anything writing-related that isn’t working on my current draft goes on this day.

Control journal additions

Finally, when you go through the Flylady Baby Steps you’ll create a control journal. I, having writing things to control just as much as household things, have added several pages.

  • Agent submission pages- I keep track of every time I submit to an agent. I track the agent and the agency, in case someone switches to a different agency.
  • How long did this take chart- I track how long each draft took me of each book. This gives me an idea of how long these same drafts will take me for each new book. That way I’m able to plan my year out better.
  • Series outlines- I keep my series outlines in my control journal because I refer to them frequently. I need to make sure, through each draft, that the book is in line with where the series needs to be.

Do you follow the Flylady? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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