Friday, March 23, 2012

An Hour of Writing Keeps the Manuscript Going

In February I decided to make an effort to get into a real writing routine. Rather than try to carve out huge blocks of time to get a ton of writing done, I determined to write for an hour every week day, first thing after breakfast.

No excuses.

I don't allow myself to get distracted by anything. Everything else important - shower, kitchen clean up, putting away laundry - these are all important things that are GREAT excuses to procrastinate on writing. So I make sure to do my writing first and suddenly I have quite a decent first draft appearing in a pretty good period of time.

Everyone writes differently so I'm in no way trying to advocate for one particular method. But most writers do say that having some kind of routine is important. It gets your brain used to kicking into writing mode at that time/in that situation, and it makes it all easier.

I find writing for an hour is the ideal time for me. I end it right about when my brain starts getting tired, so the entire writing period is pretty optimal. I can get between 1200 and 1500 words done in an hour's period, sometimes more. For my hour's investment, that's a pretty good return. Also, an hour is a short enough period of time that it doesn't intimidate me to start. If I can't last through 60 minutes of writing a day, then how on earth do I think I am cut out to be a writer?

Also. I take weekends off to give my creative juices time to recharge. I find this is vastly helpful.


Ben Hatke said...

Here's a trick I learned recently, and it's been working for me: always stop your writing in the middle of a sentence. Then when you come back to it you have one obvious and immediate little thing to do to get you started. It sounds stupid but it really helps.

(if you need more convincing the idea came from Joss Whedon).

Elizabeth Amy Hajek said...

All hail Joss Whedon!

I do tend to leave off writing in the middle of a scene for that very reason. It does work quite well!