That means that by studying their habits, copying their techniques and applying their wisdom, we mere mortals stand a chance of getting something done.
This may sound difficult, and it will be, but follow this advice and your book will go from dream to reality. Accepting this idea is probably the most important part of the process: You cannot trust your future self.
Hard rules can stop this behaviour, or at least lessen it. Author Terry Pratchett said it best in his book Thud! Would a minute have mattered? No, probably not, although his young son appeared to have a very accurate internal clock. Possibly even two minutes would be okay. Three minutes, even. You could go to five minutes, perhaps. But that was just it. So that was that.
The hardest part of writing a book isn't getting started. these ideas for the show because I want to know what you think for me personally and then thousands of. Here is a great 5-step plan that will help you finish what you start. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to grab that new idea and run with it. If your writing life looks anything like mine, you might well need to grab a sheet of paper and make .
Every day. Read to young Sam. No excuses. No excuses at all. Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses. That final sentence says it all. No matter how good an excuse you have for breaking a rule, the act of breaking it changes the system. Hand-in-hand with this goes the responsibility to make sensible rules. If you have a busy life, factor that into your decision making. Yes, you should push yourself, but writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.
There may come a time when something genuinely unexpected or time-consuming crops up and gets in the way of your hard rule. Life can throw up situations that are worth losing such a tool over, but when deciding how to handle this , remember that you can never repair that hard rule. So, what? You decide on a few rules for yourself and then start writing? Will that really create enough boundaries to get some work done? As I mentioned above, your future self cannot be trusted.
Hard rules are useful because they exist outside of our changing moods and thought processes. By bundling these desires into a character, he is given something to fight against, and his efforts to engage in beneficial behaviour become something more. It can be utilized in two ways, which can work separately or together depending on the way you think. A guardian is the opposite of the Blerch — an external, fictional figure who wants you to write the book. Give them a unique voice, a look, maybe a funny hat.
A Blerch by any other name is just as useful. The gremlin is the opposite of your guardian — a devil on your shoulder, acting as a mouthpiece for every bit of behaviour that breaks your hard rules. Again, this helps you take an objective look at your decisions and process. The gremlin and guardian work well together, as externalizing the argument over your behaviour will help you make rational decisions that give proper weight to long-term gains. In other words, you need to train your brain. The only way to do that is to write.
The good news is that it will get easier as you go along. Like any skill, getting into the writing headspace needs to be learned. The hundredth time, it knows the drill and how to snap from everyday operation to writing mode. This concept is the key to setting your hard rules.
For many authors, the writing process is idealized as waking from a vivid dream and penning sixty-thousand words as the sun rises and sets on a masterpiece. Stephen King says:. Of course, this is easy to say for professional writers. I said in the opening paragraph that writing is hard, but so is life. Write a hundred words on the bus, a hundred at lunch, a hundred before bed. Good riddance. Every three days is really the maximum time that you can get away with and still be training your brain for success.
Ernest Hemingway was brimming with great writing advice, and step 5 is a paraphrase of one of his most effective recommendations. I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it. Here, Hemingway recommends that you make sure to stop writing when you still have that passionate knowledge of what comes next — while you still want to write. Hemingway suggests consciously leaving some of what you want to write unfinished.
All fired up, your subconscious and conscious minds will keep thinking about what happens next, and that enthusiasm you had for the next words will grow to fuel the next That still leaves a situation where your hard-rule word count means you have words left to write but only the enthusiasm for the next Is this a case where one rule bends for another? In this case, start writing another section, or even write something else entirely. Of the three, plotting is usually the most fun, and editing the most exhausting. When trying to make real progress, however, they can both do equal damage.
Writing is a job. Treat it like one. If you treat your writing like work, your family and friends should do the same, and be more respectful of that writing time. Be ruthless in managing your time. This is the biggest problem most writers have.
No e-mail! E-mail is truly our modern curse. It interrupts our attention span, fragments our concentration. Sign off. Do not let yourself check your e-mail or go online. In order to write you really need to get into the zone, and to get into the zone you need to be distraction-free. Set interim goals. A full-length novel can be anywhere from 75, to , words, or even longer. But if you write 1, words a day, you can finish the first draft of a novel in less than three months, even if you take some weekend days off.
Work toward a deadline. Everyone needs deadlines. The rest of us need deadlines. Reward yourself. Override this by promising yourself rewards for getting work done. Go to it, and good luck. More Information.