Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Write on track

Farewell then January you grey, grumpy, lumpy kind of month - and hello February, bringer of longer days, first flowers and the slightest hint of spring.

Always my least favourite month, I would quite happily forget about January completely, hide away, hibernate and start my new year on the 1st February. This year though there was something exciting about it - starting (and sticking with) Sally's Quilford's challenge to write 100K words in 100 days.   The result so far is that in 31 days I have written a total of 30,126 words. Not bad for one who could win awards in procrastination and suffers from chronic distractionitis. 

I still wonder why it is so hard to do something I really enjoy when I am actually getting on with it but learning lots about what works for me along the way, such as:

  • The best thing I can do is have an hour very first thing to write undisturbed. I can usually write around 1,000 words and not panic if I don't get any more written that day. So I'm now setting my alarm a bit earlier on a regular basis (apart from odd days when the desire for a bit more sleep wins!)
  • I aimed to set aside more than just an hour to two here and there - planning to have half days and even the odd full day doing nothing but writing. This hasn't quite worked out and I now know that I need to get out of the house and loiter in the library or sit in a cafe if I'm going to achieve this.
  • Most of my writing so far has been non-fiction but some of Sally's prompts have inspired me to scribble some short scraps of fiction. This has led me to now actually taking notice of the seed of an idea that's been blowing around me for a while and I'm starting to give it some attention and develop it properly.
  • I am happy to some degree going with the flow but do need to have a plan, some targets set and goals of how many words I want to get done each week and when I want to finish drafts.
  • I am working with several different things on the go. I thought was just me being my usual 'flibbertigibbet' self (as my mother would say) But actually it's quite helpful. If I'm a bit stuck or not ‘in the zone' for one particular piece of writing, instead of struggling and getting nowhere I can choose another one which at that moment in time just flows a bit easier.
  • Most importantly - I feel that I can do it! I know that it is quantity over quality at the moment (I’m getting over my desire to edit as I go along) but just getting a lot of words written and, more importantly, making the time to write regularly has done wonders for my confidence.

Here’s to the next 30,000 words!

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