I was ridiculously proud of myself when I realised that I had written 18,500 words of my book in the space of seven days (yes, I’m writing a book. Read all about it here). This is, to me, a monumental achievement. I’ve been saying that I want to write a book since the days when Bruce Willis (mmm, Bruch Willis) still had hair, and yet until this week, I hadn’t written anything more than a few chapters of a long-forgotten novel. So when I announced to the world that I’m actually doing it, for real, this time, I felt the pressure rise. Now everyone knows that I’m actually writing it; I cannot just give up midway without people a) thinking I’m a tit and b) never taking me seriously ever again.
So I decided I’d do things properly and set up a schedule for myself. On the basis of the fact that a) I have the attention span of a 3-year-old, and b) I need utter calm and silence in order to write well, I decided to do the following:
First, wake up at 6am every day.
Second, walk to my local Starbucks, get myself a big coffee, and find a nice corner to hole myself up in.
Third, open my laptop, put Self Control on, and start typing.
Four, not budge until I write at least 2,000 words.
I was a bit sceptical as to how successful this technique would be, but guess what? I’ve done exactly that for the last week without fail and that’s how my word count is up to 18k+. I get up, have a quick shower and head straight out. I always sit at the same table (upstairs, in the corner furthest away from the stairs. Yes, I’m your typical introvert), make myself comfortable and type away.
So there we have it. I always used to scoff at authors who said that the way to get writing is to simply set aside some time in your day to sit and do it. No matter what happens during the day, those minutes/hours are for your writing. I always thought “As if it’s that easy.” But it really is that easy. If someone like me has somehow managed to write 18k words in a week, then there’s something incredibly powerful in this technique, so give it a try! Pick an hour or two in your day, find a place that’s just for your writing – whether that’s a corner in your house or a local café, minimise distractions and sit and do it. Let me know how you get on!