Choosing to Write

One of my resolutions this year was to write a little something every day.

Well…that hasn’t happened. It was probably a little ambitious, considering everything that’s happened (moving house again, having the Little Moore and all the lack of time that comes from him) but I don’t want to give up on it completely. It’s tempting with resolutions to give up once you’ve stumbled a bit, but I’m determined to keep going, and write every day I can from now on, or as close as I can get.

I read a post recently from Indigo’s Dragon author Sofi Croft about how she makes time to write (check it out here) and one point in particular got me thinking. Sofi said she chooses to write, and I think that’s a key point. I have so many other things I want/need to be doing, and if I really want to write then I need to prioritise writing over some of those activities. Obviously some things come first and have to be done: looking after the Little Moore is top of the agenda, plus things like cooking and bits of housework. But there’s plenty of other things I do that could be sacrificed for writing, like watching TV or reading.

Along with choosing to write, I need goals too. If I just say ‘do some writing’ I know it might not get done, or I might do a bare minimum amount. But if I set a target to reach, whether it’s daily or weekly, it’s more likely to get done. I used to do this by word counts, when I was finishing my WIP, but now I’m on the editing stage I don’t think that’s the best idea.

My partner mentioned an article he read about setting an amount of time to work – say two hours – and then recording when you’re working to make sure that gets done. You only record the time you’re working, so if you start internet browsing or take a phone call, then you mark the time and don’t start recording again until you’re actually working.

Nathan spoke about using sticky notes and writing down the times that you stop and start, but I’ve decided to use the stop watch on my phone instead, and pause it every time I’m not working.

I think this will help me get the work in, and show me that I can fit in bits of work here and there. I know in an ideal world I’d like to have hours and hours to sit down in my study, but with a baby to look after, the reality is that I’ll have to squeeze it in whenever and wherever I can.

I’m also going to do a small post once a week to record my progress and talk a little bit about writing each week. I’ve set a goal of one hour of work on Nathan’s working days, and two hours when he’s not. I had originally wanted to aim higher but it’s just not going to happen when baby duty calls!

I’ve tried this method for the past two days and got my hour in both times, which has equalled roughly 2000 words a day on the short story I’m working on. This is a bit of a secret project at the moment – hiding it from Nathan and he reads my blog – so I won’t go into details yet. But it’s something I’ve not tried before and I’m enjoying this way of writing a lot.

I’ve laid all this out and am publishing it mostly to just give me the motivation to stick to it. Fingers crossed it works!