A month of writing without a plan: update

writing quote

So, yes I have not been blogging, and no, I have not been lolling around eating doorsteps and rovers looking like a dying duck in a thunderstorm.  That was the week before last for your information.  That’s right – the week when I only wrote a pilfering 9400 words for the whole week.  That was The Week of Life, and I am afraid that writing had to take a back burner for the while.

However, this week I determined to get back on course.  I had already conceded that I might not be able to complete the novel in the 28 day time frame (which incidentally ran out… TODAY!).  But still, I make the rules on this one, so I gave myself an extra week which takes the challenge to this Thursday.  By then, I wanted to have finished my first draft OR completed at least 28 sessions of 3000 words per session.

I am happy to report that despite no plan and no postits being harmed in the writing of the novel, I have now reached 68 500 words.  You read that right folks.  That’s more than a NaNoWriMo novel.  In a month, with a week off for bad behaviour, I have managed to write all those words and find myself approaching the final furlong of my story.

I am not there yet but it has been a blast of a writing experience.

Here are 5 things I have learned writing a novel in a month:

1:  It is okay to take a day off:  Yes writing is a habit, but so is smoking.  You can take a day off without having to abandon the dream altogether.  It is possible to get back on the writing wagon.  A day off is not a failure my friend.  It just means that on that particular day, something else was more important than your writing. And THAT IS OKAY.  Promise!

2:  Having a plan is one way but it is not the only way:  I worried about writing myself into dead ends with this novel.  Hell, 28 days ago I did not even know what story I would be telling.  I have learned to trust myself and my story to show me the way.  If I come to a dead end then I will extricate myself from it in the second draft.  It is just a story.  A dead end is an opportunity to create a new opening.  That’s it – not a biggie.

3:  A strict timeframe is a great motivator:  Look, I confess that I like a deadline ina  sadistic kind of way.  Not only do I enjoy a deadline, I take great relish in beating those deadlines.  This would be fabulous in Corporateland but unfortunately it means I do put myself under some pressure, even though I make my own deadlines.  But having a deadline – it helps.  It keeps you on task and gives you just the right frisson of pressure to keep putting words on the page.

4: It won’t be perfect but it will be something:  This is a first draft, a pile of words.  It can be honed and polished and tweaked and pulled later.  You are creating raw material.  Don’t worry that it is not great.  Take heed from the writers who warn us that the first draft will be doo-doo.  This is just for you, nobody else needs to ever read this one.  It is your baby and you can love it even though it is a bit odd-looking, and takes after your great uncle Jimmy who ended up in the nuthouse.

5: Have fun with it:  The worse that can happen is that you lose a month of writing and bit of memory on your laptop.  Big deal.  Think of it as an experiment in writing and nothing else.  If it works then you have anew model for writing your first draft.  If it doesn’t then you just lost a month but you probably would have spent that month procrastinating anyways so you are still way ahead of the game.  Win. Win.

Hope that cheers you on.  I will bring you a report from the finishing line before Easter if it all pans out how I hope.  Fingers crossed loves!

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The Ecstasy of the First Draft

the soul quoteI am now entering into the second week of my month long experiment.  This is the second quarter.  The enthusiasm of the starting whistle has faded and the end is not in sight.  This morning I found myself waning.

I blame Anne Lamott.  Yesterday, after my writing was done for the day, I kicked back into lazy town and read ‘Bird By Bird’ from cover to cover.  I would like to be able to tell you that by the end I was inspired, uplifted.  I would love to report that no sooner had I finished it than I grabbed my pen and whizzed off another 1000 words.

Actually, by the end of the book, I was feeling altogether depressed.  It is probably not fair that I blame Anne Lamott.  In fact, she seems like an all-round cool kind of gal.  I loved her.  And she shares a huge amount of wisdom in there.  Acres of it in fact.  For this reason alone I think that every writer must read it.

I was depressed rather because I realized how woefully lacking in confidence I am.  Confidence…. and experience.  I mean I should have both by my age.  I should be flipping through my Rolodex, and texting my agent, without even batting an eyelid.  But I am not.  And there is one simple reason for this.  I have spent the whole of my adult life running from the fact that the only real dream I have is to be a writer.

Why having one dream is rather difficult

Having only one dream is a terrible thing, I have concluded.  It means that I must face the fact that even if/when this whole thing fails miserably, it is all I have.  There are no reserve dreams in there.  Those were the ones I invested my 20s and 30s in.  Now I am down to the bottom of my Pandora Box of Dreaming.  If this one goes, the whole thing is coming down, baby.

So today found me in my writing spot, relishing my ‘process’.  Because this is all I have right now.  If I can focus only on the joy of this creative journey then perhaps, if disappointment follows, I will find some comfort in the fact that I loved the writing.  Forget outcomes.  Focus only on the process.

And that means that right now, I am reminding myself of the above quote by Dickinson.  I am standing ajar, ready to welcome in the ecstatic experience.  I am feeling joy when new characters introduce themselves and show me just how they can weave their strand through my story.  I am smiling softly when the narrative beckons to ‘shift perspective, zoom in on her now.’

This morning I am grateful that people like Anne Lamott are out there to remind us that really, when all is said and done, you’ve just got to love the writing and that is the reward.  If you dream of being a writer, then you should theoretically dread “The End”.  If you are a writer, you should crave the second quarter when you and your characters dig in together and they start to trust you just a little with some of their secrets and their darker thoughts.

I am a writer.  You are a writer.  We know this because the nature of our ecstatic experience lies in the formation of the sentence, not in the full stop at the end.

Today, relish the spaces between your words.  Leave your soul ajar my friend.  Leave your soul ajar.

With love x

PS  Wordcount today, in case you are interested…. 3100.  I thank yer…..

5 reasons why writing is good for your health

5 reasons why writing is good for your health

As I was walking along the beach this morning between slot one and slot two of my writing for the day, I began to think about the health benefits of writing. I mean, I get it – it is true that we writers are not the most athletic of demographics.  Out art is, after all,  sedentary – bum on seat, fingers on keyboard or pen.  Even painters get to stand for hours which is apparently much better for you than sitting down to work ( – though of course they are all alcoholics so the benefits are probably cancelled out.)

But I maintain that writing is actually marvelous for your health and here are my top 5 reasons why writing is good for you:

1: Writers are more likely to take themselves on long walks

When  in the middle of a hefty chapter, or having written your hero into an inescapable cul-de-sac, there is nothing that clears the cobwebs better than a good walk.  Take away the pain of running and the annoyance of having to get changed to leave the house, a good walk allows you to lose yourself in your body’s natural rhythms and think about your story in a leisurely and clear-headed way.  With the added advantage of doing some exercise too which gets your juices flowing again.

2: Meeting your writing goals enhances self esteem

Ask any writer and they will probably tell you that they go a little bit mad if they don’t get their daily writing done.  From personal experience, I know that once I have done my word count, I feel much more positive about my day.  By keeping a record of my writing for the day, I am able to really feel that I am working towards my goals, which is an essential element of self-esteem.

3:  Expressing yourself improves your blood pressure

If you keep things bottled up, your poor ticker starts to feel the pressure.  Whether it be ideas, thoughts, characters, or stories, keeping things locked inside your mind rather than giving them a  manifested form on the page, is actually a form of repression that can lead to all sorts of problems in the human body.  We are designed to find a means of expressing ourselves in order to release tension.  If writing is your means of expression then practice daily.  See it as a healthy means of decreasing pressure build-up in the body.

4: Writing develops your brain power and can help treat Alzheimer’s

Did you know that there are those who treat Alzheimer patients with Memoir writing classes?  The theory is that by using the brain’s linguistic function and bridging the gap between memory and language, we create stronger neural pathways and keep those parts of our brains functioning in a healthier and more revitalized way.  So when you are using your brain and searching for the right word or phrase, you are actually giving your brain a really great, personalized work-out, that is just as good as doing crosswords, or logic puzzles.

5: Writing is fun and so brings a renewed sense of positivity to our day

Yes, you heard it right, my dear!  Writing is … FUN.  Capital letters fun. I know, I know –   we would love to think that writing is hard work and that we are all suffering for our art, but the reality is that writers have inordinate amounts of fun in their work.  They get to play God, make up whole worlds, and tell stories for a living.  When things get a bit tough, why not remind yourself of this essential fact and find the fun in what you do.  Play with your story.  Throw in a curve ball.  Do something completely outlandish just to remind yourself that this is fun.  That mind shift will be just the thing to kick-start the story once again.

Or at least, these are the five things that I am telling myself as I go through my month long writing challenge.

Update on the Pantster challenge: 

Another 3000 words today which brings my up to about 12 000 words so far this month.  If you don’t know what I am on about then you can hop back to the first post here, where I explain the challenge and why the blinking heck I am doing it anyway.

I am having a lot of fun with this.  It is amazing what reveals itself when you start to write.  I hesitate to say that the Muse is with me but…. The Muse Is With Me.  I can feel her.

And she is AWESOMELY GORGEOUS.

 Leave a comment to tell me why you think that writing is good for your health… or not!  How are you nurturing your Muse?

In fact that, my friends, may well be the title of tomorrow’s blog post.

Until then, my lovelies, have a write good day!

x

 

 

 

Why writing in cafes is really hard

writing in a cafe

Today, on Day Three of my Month of Pantsting, I decided to write in a cafe.

Because, I am weak, and like many writers, I have fallen in love with the idea of writing in cafes, getting on first name terms with the staff, naming my characters after them.  Blablabla.  I blame J.K. Rowling and her glamorous tales of life as a solo mum, banging out Harry at the local cafe.  I fell for it like the rest of you.

But here I am afraid is the sad truth.  Cafe owners hate writers.

WHY CAFE OWNERS HATE WRITERS – especially aspiring ones!

Cafe owners love people who are nipping in for a quick coffee or a bite to eat.  In out, 30 minutes max and then the table is free for some new punters.  Job done.

But writers?   Oooh, that’s a whole other ball game.  I guarantee that cafe owners see that laptop emerging from the bag and they have already calculated how much that novel has lost them in lost revenue.  They know that we will be there for hours sipping on that one cold coffee and just generally cluttering up the place.  We take up a table for four.  We eat nothing.  We have no friends, and glare if the music is too high or if people dare to laugh too loudly near us!

If we were good writers we would at least order a suitable amount of coffees.  Say two per hour to make up for the fact that we are taking up space that could be inhabited by honest, decent, paying customers.  A word of caution though : if you drink two coffees per hour, you will probably be dead within a week.  And that will definitely put a dent in your monthly word count.

And Planners/ Outliners…. well, it’s never going to work is it?  The cafe owner is not going to let you pin your vision board and plot outline to the wall, let alone tolerate your covering the tabletop with PostIts.

The Solution?

It’s a simple one.  Go in disguise.  You have several options of course:

Disguise options for writers:

  1.  Go as J.K. Rowling.  Blonde wig.  Shy demeanor.  Soft voice.  Throw in a couple of references to Harry et al and you are good to go.
  2. Go as a ‘business person’.  People are generally much more tolerant of all sorts of shenanigans if they are done by people wearing suits.  My evidence for this?  Global Financial Crisis anyone????
  3. Pretend you are a tourist.  Make a point of asking for the WIFI password and then pretend to be having a Skype conversation in a different language before burying yourself into your laptop.  Don’t speak another language?  Call yourself a writer???  Make it up, my friend! NOTE: the downside of this plan is that it is difficult to return to the same cafe for more than three days.  That’s when the special Tourist in Cafe dispensation runs out!
  4. Pretend to be a cop.  You can buy a fake uniform and occasionally talk into a walkie-talkie for effect.  Buy a donut and cwaffey, and you are golden with this disguise for a few hours at least. Top Tip:  Don’t buy one of those sexy cop uniforms – inappropriate!
  5. Write by hand.  This is my disguise of choice of course.  That way I could be confused for a sad woman sitting on her own filling in her ‘dear diary’ for the day.  This approach is also much easier if you are not a plotter because you have all you need – pen, notebook, head full of sparkling and exciting ideas fopr the next big thing on Amazon.

Alternatively, you could just bite the bullet and write at home.  But there’s nothing very glam about that is there???

Latte anyone?

Oh and by the way.  I did write today.  3000 words.  Yayah 🙂

Have you ever written in a cafe?  Any tips for how to make it work?  Any other disguises that could work?  Leave a comment.  This could be a vital writers resource that we are creating here, people!

 

One Month, One Novel – No Plan

This is the month that I write a novel – with no plan.  I am officially joining the Pantster tribe and throwing myself into this one with my eyes wide shut and my fingers crossed.

Let me be clear – this is not my natural modus operandi.  I am most definately, by nature, a Planner.  I am a Virgo with a stationery fetish and a stack of notebooks just crying to be filled with dreams and ideas.

Why write a novel with no plan?

However, I had a terrible epiphany last month.  And it was this:  I am often so thorough in my planning that by the time I come to write I am completely over it.  It has become like entering into a romantic liaison having already watched the whole disaster panning out ahead of me.  By the time I have planned those darlings, I couldn’t care less about the main character, and tension?…. meh, not happening.

You see I have a sneaky suspicion that planning had become, for me, a very subtle form of what I term, Productive Procrastination.  You know, the type of procrastinative activity at the end of which you have something, and nothing, to show for your time.  And I wanted to try something different.

So, what is the alternative?  Pantsting.  Literally writing by the seats of my pants.  No outline.  No scene by scene plot arcs.  No orchestrated tension.  I was just going to throw myself into it and hope for the best.

The scene was set.  I had made the trailer.  It was scheduled in my Filofax.  Systems were go, go, go.

Day One

But somewhere in between deciding to do it and actually doing it, I found myself in a maelstrom of self-doubt.  What should I write?  What genre should I write in?  Was I writing to sell, or writing for me?  Should I finish the other novels first?  Should I revive my very brief foray into erotica?  Should I? Should I?  Should I?

So Day One was, in sporting terms, a No Show.  Rain Stopped Play, and all that.  Not that I wasn’t thinking about the whole thing.  Not that I wasn’t beating myself up like a gangland boss, and reprimanding myself for my lack of action.  But words on page?  Nada.  Nothing.  Sweeeeet FA.

Day Two

So Monday arrived.  Which was kind of like Day One, only it was by now, Day Two (are you still with me?)  The scene was set.  Kids were at school, I was heading home to write, but blow me, if a sneaky new novel idea hadn’t crawled into my brain overnight.  Like an earwig, this idea was gnawing away – munchie, munchie, munchie – and to cap it all, the blinking sun was shining.

Well, I ask you, what’s a woman to do but take herself to the beach to ‘live in the moment’ for a little while.  Well, an hour and a half later, I was back at the car and ready to return to my post.  I was Ready To Write.

Or so I thought.  Because then something very strange happened.  I had laptop freeze, which for those who don’t know is when I go to turn on my laptop but I just cannot do it.  Something stops me.  I don’t want to be tied to the keyboard.  This frolicking little pony in my mind says, ‘don’t do it!  stay free, my beauty, stay free, neighhhh, prrrrr’.

Which is, quite evidently, a problem.

Or is it?  Because my answer to this conundrum was pretty darned radical.  I have gone…. ANALOGUE, my friends.  We are talking notebook, pen, armchair.  Old School Portability.

“Paper and pen?”  you cry.  “Are you nuts?”

Well, it would appear that yes I am.  But here’s the thing.  It is working.

First session of the novel with no plan: 2400 words.

Which I think can officially be called – A START!

So what say you?  Fancy joining me?  Fancy freeing yourself up from the orthodoxy of planning and venturing into the crazy unknown.  Want to pick up a pen and just start writing?

Let’s do this thing.

All comments gratefully received.  Show me I am not alone in this.  Please….

 

Go Pro versus Go Slow

the war of artI recently reread “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.  Just like the first TWO times that I read it, this little powerhouse of a book provided me with much food for thought and a well needed kick up the behind.  In fact, it was so darned inspirational that it sent me into a flurry of planning.  Postits abound, journal pages galore – washitape, colour coding – I was riding high on a wave of “I can do this.  I am a writer” high.

Professional Overwhelm for Writers

And then…. overwhelm reared her ugly, salivating chops at me. Yes I could see that Pressfield was right.  I do need to take the whole thing seriously.  I need to up my game.  I want to GO PRO.

But the thought of all that?  Well, it’s a mountain, isn’t it?  The Roman Empire took hundreds of years to create.  Is it realistic for the solitary writer to think that they too can build that Kindle, indie publishing empire in less time than it takes to grow some seedlings in my vegetable patch?  Probably not.

And to enter into this marvelous and creative paradise, I need to ensure that I have the strength and resilience to do this for the long haul.  I need to be professional enough to have the patience to build things solidly from the ground up.  And that probably means that, like most writers, I need to temper my greed with a savouring for going a little more slowly.  I need to take my time a bit, and tell myself that it is not a race.  I can do this at my own pace.

Of course, such wisdom does not stand particularly firm in the face of my grand plans.  I like a challenge.  Every writer does.  Why else would we set out on this journey?  If it was so easy then everyone would do it, right?

What is a ‘professional’ writer?

And all the info that is out there is pretty clear.  You need more than one ‘masterpiece’ if you are going to stand a chance at going “pro”, and, by that, I mean, earning a full-time income.  Because that is what ‘professional’ means really.  It is about getting paid to do your thing.  We can all go a bit crazy churning out vast amounts of content but if the quality of that content is shoddy then the reality is that you are building an empire on dodgy ground and it will inevitably fail.

Do I want to be a professional if that means putting out vast amounts of content that I am not particularly proud of?  Well no, not really.  Who would?

Reasons  to ‘go slow’

So instead, I am taking today to remind myself that it is okay to go slow.  Slow is not unprofessional.  Slow is steady and measured.  Going Slow is about ensuring that the quality standards of your work are the best that you can offer and that you can promise that quality on a consistent basis.  Going Slow means that the journey is part of the reward.  It is about giving things time to build and develop without pushing them or placing them under too much pressure.

I am coming to the understanding that yes, I do want to be a writer.  Heck, look at me – I am writing.  This very post is evidence of that.  But is this ground-breaking?  No.  Am I being professional by only committing to producing a few books this year?  Yes, if I can promise myself that I will be consistent and productive without compromising my own standards of quality control.

How to go slow as a pro

So, fellow writer, by all means – Go Pro.  Create your work with the attitude that this is your life’s work.  It is not your ‘job’ (yet)but it is your profession.  A profession has longevity, it has standing.  In a profession, you commit to constantly learning and honing your craft.  You expect it to take a few years to really get into your stride and you commit to doing what it takes in the long term.

go pro v go slow

But you don’t do that at the expense of your mental health or quality of life.  You can avoid overwhelm and burn-out by committing to a realistic daily word count.  Record it.  Take pride in every small step.  Don’t rush or push.  Instead be willing to relish every inch of the path and to extract all the lessons that you can from your process.

Be professional in your approach by all means, but don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the ride.  Expect some disappointment and remind yourself that this is a long-haul game.  No short-cuts here.  The more you do, the better you will get.

What are your success parameters?

So I make this commitment to myself as part of my professional development as a writer:  I will commit to writing at least 1500 words every day.  My target is to create a solid body of work of which I can be proud and confident that it is a good representation of my emerging identity as a writer.  I am willing to try some new things and learn as much as I can from the masters of my craft. I am in this for the long haul.  I do not set myself a time-frame for success.  My success parameters are based on what I have within my control.

So, what are your success parameters?  Are you setting goals that are professional and sustainable?  Are you balancing going slow with going pro?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

See you next post???

How to become a writer

For many years, I dreamed a dream.  I saw myself writing wonderful books.  I imagined myself writing books that people would lovingly pass to their friends, whispering ‘you have to read this’ in exalted tones.  I envisioned myself talking to others about my life as a writer.  The trouble with this dream was that it was so beautiful, so sacred, that it actually held me back from doing the one thing necessary to make that dream a reality.  My dream was so wonderfully huge that I was too scared to begin writing.

So I went to university to study literature.  Studying literature can be wonderful thing but when you aspire to be a writer, reading Dickens and Gaskell, consuming metaphysical poetry and Shakespeare can have a rather stultifying effect on your own writing.  I went through many years of thinking “well if I can’t write like …(insert name of literary genius here) then what is the point of writing at all”.  I forgot somewhere along the way that the only person I needed to write like was little old me.  I boxed that dream away.

So did I write?  Heck no.  Anything but.  I taught others how to write as a high school English teacher.  I taught others how to create convincing characters and devise plots that would keep an audience on the edge of their seats as an actress and drama teacher.  I journaled every night about my big and beautiful dream.  But did I put my backside in the seat, crank up the laptop and actually start the hard stuff.  No way!  I was too scared to begin.  I was cowering under the big cloud of potential disappointment.

It is only now that I have let go of the idea that feeling disappointed is the very worst thing that can happen to me, that I have opened myself up to the experience of Being a writer.  Truth is that disappointment is one of life’s guarantees. It’s a given in any area of our life in which we open up our vulnerability and show ourselves to the world.

Becoming a writer involves one thing: writing.  Sorry, scrap that…  Becoming a writer involves two things:  writing and discipline.

And perhaps it is the second thing that is the real key.  I look back now and realise that it wasn’t fear of disappointment that was holding me back.  It was the deep fear that maybe I wasn’t disciplined enough to be a writer.  On a deep level, I felt like I was too lazy to be a writer.  I didn’t feel ready to step up and test my worthiness to dream that dream.  So I fled from it.  High speed, tail flying, faster than the speed of light, fled!

It took writing a book on self hypnosis for me to come to the realisation that the only criteria I needed to be a writer was to write.  Writing is a craft.  When you craft something, you go into the process knowing that the skill level that you demonstrate is often directly correlated to the amount of time that you invest.  The more you do, the better you get.  The better you get, the more you do!  It’s a radical idea.  And not particularly attractive if you have been seduced by the idea of natural genius and wondering when your ‘special skill’ will reveal itself.

Truth is, your special skill will reveal itself when you sit down and start trying.  And then just keep trying.  And trying.  I have now resigned myself to producing copy every day.  I have set a target word count.  I have come to the sinking realisation that blogging, unfortunately, doesn’t count towards that word count.  The journey of a thousand (or 400) pages begins with a single word.

You become a writer by writing.  Simple as that.  Keep your eyes on the page and put the dreams of publication and adoring readers on a high shelf.  To make that dream a reality, there is nothing for it but to write.  Daily.  With a disciplined mind.  Words on pages, my friend, words on pages.

It’s that simple.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has ninja tricks for getting the copy down?  Have you created an amazing tick chart to record your progress (gulp, confession time – I have!!)?  Have you scheduled in writing time in your diary? Are you one of those amazing people who has trained themselves to rise at five and turn out 2000 words before coffee!?  Let’s share some tricks on ‘how to become a writer’.

Ok I am off to write something.  Honestly!

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How many words should my book be?

When I first started the process of writing my book “Change Your Life From the Inside Out”, I was full of intentions that it would be a 15 page Opt in guide for the website.  After writing the introduction, I realised that I was already onto page 5 and that I hadn’t even got started yet!  Yikes, what’s a girl to do except keep on writing. Soon enough my little guide had turned into 30 pages and I realised that I was, in fact, writing a whole book.  By accident!  The Muse had grabbed me and I felt duty bound to continue running with it.

That was when I started to worry about my Word Count.  Worry might be understating it… I began to panic more like.  After every sentence I found myself flicking to word count like an obsessive. Would I be able to produce enough decent copy to create a fully blown book? Or would it end up being one of those hybrid creations which is not quite a book but too long to be a guide?  I went a-googling for the average word count for non-fiction books and discovered that a non fiction book is normally around 60 000 words.  At the time, it seemed like a monumental number and I struggled with that figure.  It seemed like such a mountain.  So what did I do?  I just kept writing.  And writing.  And writing!

Pretty soon my word count was up to 45 000.  Like a miracle, when I sat down to write the words came.  I realised that writing this non-fiction book about self-hypnosis was a lot like teaching.  You just keep going until the teaching is done and lesson is taught.  When I finally hit Save on draft 1, I had completed over 60 000 words.  Yee har, the mountain was scaled and this little writer was like Sir Edmund Hillary – I had “knocked the bastard off”!

Getting a word count in your mind is the same as setting any goal.  Once you know where you are headed, you can just create a writing schedule within a time frame and keep going til you get there.  It is not impossible, even though at times it felt like every word was the literary equivalent of  pulling teeth without drugs.  My time frame was 3 months so that was a window that amounted to 60 days with weekends off for good behaviour.  1000 words a day is only 3 pages of A4 which was like totally achievable.  I just kept going.  Created myself a geeky little tick chart to record my progress.  Soon enough the job was done.

I am now working on a novel.  Average word count for a novel: 120000 words.  Twice the words, twice the work.  Time frame 6 months…

What I figure as a writer is that, to achieve my goal I just need to write.  My writing goal needs to be like any goal – achievable and specific with a definite time frame.  1000 words per day and I will have banged that baby out in six months.  Job done!  Sure in the real world there will be days when 1000 words is impossible.  Perhaps I will be too busy ironing socks or drinking coffee.  Perhaps some days I will just be a lazy arse and give myself a day off.  No problemo.  My goal, my choice!  But knowing the target and having a plan will definitely get me there quicker than just saying “I want to be a writer” in a whingey voice.

So what is your target word count?  How will you plan your schedule to get you there?  Have you been realistic?  Built in some down time?  Get realistic on what you are creating but also make sure that you enjoy the journey.  Writing can be a job but I prefer for it to be a passion.  I want my ‘job’ to feel like a hobby, not a chore.  If I wanted a chore, I would get a job in a cubicle somewhere pushing paper until the gates of Hell finally opened and swallowed me whole.  No chores for me, thanks.  This girl wants to be a professional hobbyist and pay the bills doing it.  How about you?

Okay off the write a 1000 words. Tick!

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