Sunday, 15 November 2015

Writing Everyday, a post on perseverance.

I think this is probably my first real post about writing on WFS, possibly ever. Usually I'd chicken out before posting, since I'm not exactly the best authority on writing and very few people will be familiar with the books I've written, but what the heck - it's Nanowrimo, why not?

In the last 3 months I've written 130,000 words. A whole 130K, and I was pretty darn shocked when I looked back and made that calculation. I have been writing a lot, but I didn't think it was that much, and for a while I couldn't work out why. And then it clicked - that bit of writing advice I'd seen from dozen of authors, the one that says writing everyday is essential, is actually true. And to think I'd scorned it, because I'd been writing for the past few years and had never written more than 25K in a month. I thought it was the age old thing - one man's advice is another man's nightmare. I assumed it was just one of those things that only work for some people. Nope. Nu-uh.

The thing with writing everyday, I've found out, is it takes time. You can write everyday for a month (Nanowrimo, anyone?) and produce a tonne of words, and slack off and write only a couple thousand the next month. You have to keep up the writing everyday, week after week, month after month. Writing everyday is a HUGE commitment, but it really does, eventually, pay off. It's taken me months of full time, everyday writing for it to kick in and for the words to come at the rate all those writing advice posts promised.

I say I write every day ... but I do take a few days off. I've found if I force myself to write on days where it feels like pulling teeth it just doesn't happen at all. My mood suffers, my writing is horrendous, it all goes to crap. But overall, looking at the overview of the month, I write 80-90% of the time. Maybe three or four days off, but those other twenty seven days? Racking those up, month after month, really really works. It just takes time, for the routine to settle. Maybe at the beginning you'll write 200 words a day. Maybe by the end you'll write 5,000. I've gone from taking 5 or 6 months to write a 100K+ novel to taking half that time.

So keep at it. I bet at some point it'll all kick in for you too, and you'll look back and be like 'I wrote HOW many words?'


(Keeping track of progress on a spreadsheet is pretty great for this, as it lets you see your progress at a glance. Maybe at some point I'll write a post about my spreadsheet set up!)

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