It All Starts With Coffee

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Yes, it’s true! I’m a coffee addict. Like you didn’t know.

So, by now, it’s no secret… or at least I hope it’s no secret, that I write every day. Some days not as much as others, but I do write daily.

It’s not something I’ve always done. In fact, it took me two years to make the habit stick and it wasn’t easy.

Now, I’m not going to tell you what to write… that part is up to you. Blog, novel, short story… journal? Whatever. Nor am I going to give you story ideas… although, that might make for an interesting series of blog posts sometime in the future.

For now though, let’s get back to developing daily writing habits.

Decide what you want to work on. Is it a short story or a novel? Does it have a deadline? How many words is it?

Break it down. And keep your daily word count target small. There’s nothing more overwhelming then setting a daily goal of a 1000 words and falling short because you were so caught up in writing ALL THE WORDS. Trust me, small is better.

Take my goal for instance. In January I set a goal to write 275 words a day. Some days I write more, others I write less, but in six months I’ve never missed a day.

I know many writers who churn out upwards of 5,000 words one day and then don’t write for days afterwards. I don’t get it. I mean, each writer’s writing process is different but I’d much rather see the progress on the page, bit my bit, than multiple zeros on a spreadsheet. But then, I also like accountability. I like seeing proof of my progress.

Make time. I cannot stress this enough. Even ten minutes. My biggest time saver when stealing time for writing is my iPhone. I often find I’m more productive if I just use the notes app, but I have MS Word on there too and I save everything to OneDrive, so its all right there waiting for me to pick it up the next day on whichever device I choose to work with.

You’re probably sitting reading this and going but I don’t have time, right? Wrong. Back in April I felt the exact same way. I asked other writers how I could fix it. How I could up my productivity and stop procrastinating. I’m time poor. I have four kids and a husband, along with a house to take care off. Something had to give, and it couldn’t be any of those three big things. Family is important.

So, what did I do? Well I began tracking my time for a whole week. 7 days. It made me accountable to the house, the kids and my husband, and I soon saw a pattern forming and I was able to identify blocks of time where I could write.

Back in May, I posted this about finding time and while it’s not a concise picture of every day of the week, it is a rough idea of what a week day looks like for me. It’ll likely change when I get a part time job, becoming even crazier, I suspect, but I’ll deal.

So, I made time. Two hours at night. And not every night mind you. Some days I blow off writing at night in favour of TV and when I do I make up the words in other ways. By blogging, for instance. Yes, I multitask.

Pick one project. You don’t have to do everything at once. I have… three, no four novels on the go at the moment. I switch between all of them depending on the day and my mood. It helps me to keep the story fresh. And tricks my mind into thinking I’m working on something new, even though I’m clearly not.

And, I could go on, but I won’t. So… if you think there’s something I’ve missed or you have a question, pop it in a comment and I’ll be sure to reply.

 

 

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