It's another long one, so please pull up a chair...
After ever major plot point and character is to some extent figured out in my mind and roughly outlined on paper, I finally sit down and begin writing the story.
I tend to find that the hardest thing to do as a writer is write. I don’t believe this means I shouldn’t be a writer, I think it just means I’m human – not a time traveling robot with super cool disco moves as previously believed. Story ideas are pretty easy to come by, but finding the time/ drive to chain myself to a notebook for more than 20 minutes can be hard to come by.
Last year, I took three or so months off from writing my last novel. This was partially due to my inability to just sit down and to the work and primarily due to the fact that I didn’t like where my story was going, and I didn’t know how to fix it. Ultimately, I momentarily gave up. When I finally decided that I wanted to finish the book, I was able to find the time and the drive to do the work.
Recently, I realized that my last book, which was barely up to novel length, took me three years to write. Now I was going to school full time and working 20 hours a week, so hopefully future books don’t take as long, but I freaked out at the prospect of only writing three books over the span of ten years. I decided things had to change.
Authors always tell you to write everyday. I didn’t agree with this for years but now I concede and agree that it is a good plan for any writer to adopt. In my attempt to write daily I did two things. 1). I gave myself a daily goal (only two handwritten pages which I proudly surpass on most days) AND 2). I gave myself a monthly goal (25 writing days a month). In this month, with its 31 days, I have 6 freebie days – days when I don’t have to write. I like to keep track of my writing days on my calendar. I put a star on each day that I do write and keep tally marks on the top of the calendar. This way I can see my progress through the month.
So far, I am happy with my plan and each day I write I feel good about my progress. Keeping a writing plan helps me ensure that my novel is being written and I don’t anticipate/worry that this new book will take me three years to complete.