3 Tips for Writing in the Face of Chaos

Put DOWN that panic button and step away from the meltdown!


It’s 9:17 on a Monday morning and you already know it’s going to be one of those weeks. The type marked by too many meetings and deadlines, too many moments of rushing, stress, and worry. It’s a week marked by a huge schedule that’s out of your control – and you’re praying that there’s enough stuff in the fridge to create dinners because there’s no way in hell you’ve got the time, energy, or patience to deal with the grocery store.

And in it all, there’s that little voice that whispers…

What about your writing?

Take a deep breath, here are three tips to help you still move forward on your writing project even in the face of an overly-busy week.

080916-Relax1. Relax

This period of craziness is temporary – so just relax into it. If you’re anything like me, crazy breeds crazy. Suddenly, on an overly busy week, I can’t stand [fill in the blank] one more second and it MUST go on this week’s to do list. For me, that’s often some non-urgent task like pulling weeds in my driveway or needing to organize the pantry.

So relax. Take a deep breath (you do have time for that!) and remember that it’ll be okay.

2. Plan

Your writing is a non-negotiable (right?) so just because the week is crazy, you’re not going to let it slip. But you might need to modify your goals and expectations temporarily. Here’s a plan you can borrow: 3 sessions in the week, writing 15-minutes per session.

It’s a mini-plan – but no matter HOW crazed your week is, you can find 3 chunks of time for 15 minutes.

3. Renegotiate

080916-RenegotiateA great friend and client of mine, Maribel Jimenez, is so great about teaching that sometimes, the best thing to do is to ask for a change in the deadline, scope, etc. For the longest time, this felt like a cop-out or excuse to me – but once I started putting it into practice, asking for a win-win renegotiation can open up a lot of space and leave both parties happy and empowered. This can free up some of your bandwidth – either time or emotion – to refocus on what’s important and time critical.

Don’t succumb to excuse-itis, but asking for some flexibility is showing off your strength.

3 tips for writing when you're stressed: Relax, Plan, Renegotiate. #amwriting Click To Tweet

No matter what else is going on, be sure that you’re keeping your momentum on your writing project even in the face of a busy, hectic life. I always tell myself that while this period of busyness is temporary, another will show up soon. Because that’s just life!

So if I can develop good habits for staying sane and keeping the words flowing on the current project in this period of insanity, when the next one inevitably comes, I’ll be that much more equip to take it on.

Let me ask you: what’s your go-to tip for maintaining consistency in your writing when the rest of your life is getting busy or falling apart around your ears?

Kim Galloway
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