Time to crack that whip and get writing!
I'm on a kick of making writing time, rather than trying to find it. And it's working for me. As I force myself to write something everyday, I'm finding more creative ideas arising. It's like Paul Newman once said, "The more you do it, the more you can." (although I don't think he was referring to writing).
How can you make yourself write? Here's a few tips I've picked up from other blogs, books and my bossy little voice in my head:
- Set a daily minimum word quota (500 seems to be popular). Keep a note of your highest number of words too, you HAVE to reach your minimum, but you might feel like aiming for your high-score some days.
- Turn off the internet. Seriously, don't just 'say' you'll ignore it. No Facebook, emails, Farmville, Twitter or blog-visiting until your writing is DONE. If you can't resist temptation (like me). Turn off the computer and use a notebook and pen.
- Make an appointment with writing friends or join a critique group. This way you'll have to produce something to share with them by your scheduled date.
- Give yourself short sprints of time to write throughout the day, like little writing breaks. It doesn't matter if you can't fit in a block of an hour a day - shorter writing spurts make you more productive, because you have to work fast.
- Use prompts to get your writing started. No sitting and staring for ten minutes. Just start anything until you're ready to write your WIP. That pen should not stop moving!
- Bribe yourself. If you beat yesterday's high-score word count, you bake some cookies.
- Hold your day to ransom. Write first. House is a mess, and you better get onto it or you are a bad bad mum (or it feels that way), but, you are not allowed to put those dishes away until you've done a ten minute writing stint or you've written one page. This method works best for me.
- Record your dreams in the morning. They may not seem relevant but there may be a spark of an idea that can merge into your WIP.
- You can stay awake for just ten more minutes, you're in bed, drowsy, write your random thoughts.
- Plot out an idea or conflict in your novel while you do menial tasks. As soon as you're done the task, jot it down.
- Choose the time of day that works for you, find your natural flow, perhaps you have more imaginative thoughts in the morning, or, like me, you're better after the first cup of tea.