This week has been a very good writing week for me. Over the course of five days, I managed to write about 3,500 words, almost without trying. So I thought I’d share with you some of the tricks that have worked for me this week:
1. Motivation – I’ve only got about 20,000 words left to write on Book Two but my motivation has suffered recently. Then a couple of the writers I follow on Twitter (namely Keith B Walters and Mel Sherratt) invited me to join a little club they’d formed – #octwords. Similar to NaNoWriMo, we each had to set ourselves a challenge and then use the hashtag to share our progress and inspire each other. As you can see, for me it’s been very helpful. I may be behind target, but at least I’m writing.
2. Making time for writing – I’m the worst excuse maker when it comes to finding time to write. I love writing, I really do, but sometimes the idea of sitting down for a mega session just leaves me cold. This week I’ve been snatching 30 minutes here, 40 minutes there and you’d be amazed at how quickly the words build up.
3. Writing by hand – I don’t know about you, but I work on a computer all day as part of my day job, so come the evenings the last thing I want to do is sit down at my laptop and type for hours, much as I love my fiction writing. By writing my first draft longhand, it means I can carry my story everywhere much more easily than if it was on a laptop, and have an impromptu writing session whenever the opportunity presents itself (see point 2). The downside of this is I have to spend time at the laptop typing it all up, but that’s a small price to pay!
4. Looking after my body as well as my mind – as a writer you spend a lot of time sitting around and this isn’t good for your body. So I’ve made sure I’ve taken walk breaks, done stretches and even fitted in a short running session. Use whatever method you need – walking, swimming, yoga or Pilates – anything that gives you head space away from writing.
5. Giving myself a break – obviously, writing every day on top on your normal life is exhausting and by Thursday evening my brain was beginning to feel a little fried. So I told myself ‘no writing on Friday or Saturday’. I stuck to it and allowed myself to have a bit of socialising time. It worked wonders and now I’m planning what I need to write during this coming week.
So that’s what works for me. Or at least, it worked this week. I think the key really is to be flexible and fit in your writing as much and as often as you are able. But don’t beat yourself up and make yourself feel guilty if you can’t sit down to write today. Instead, while you’re tackling that big pile of ironing, plan what you’re going to write tomorrow, and make that session lots easier.
Have these tips been helpful to you? Do you have any helpful hints about keeping your motivation high and your word count ticking over? Do you even monitor your word count? I’d love to hear your comments as ever.
And if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here, make sure you subscribe to receive updates by email.