I have been writing every day for over sixty days now. Currently, I’m averaging just over 1400 words a day. I’m also editing for an hour every day. This is on top of anything that I have to do in my life. Kids, wife, daily tasks, etc.
As I have said before, writing a novel is not a sprint. It is an endurance race. Writing a book is like trying to get into shape. You can’t go to the gym for one day and expect to be in shape the next day. Same thing with writing a novel. It is not something that is done in a day.
Getting into a healthy shape is not a simple task but a lifestyle to be adopted. If you see someone that is actively working on staying healthy, it is not a task that they do for a few hours. They change their sleep habits, their eating habits, they start to walk places instead of driving.
What is similar in both a novelist and a workout guru is a routine. The guru will get up at 5am every day to go for a run. She will use some sort of calendar to check off to encourage the habit. In short, a routine is essential to getting the new habit going. Without a routine to rely upon at the start, the good habits don’t form, and the bad ones stay. A routine will keep you going when you want to quit. Clicking on a video game or Netflix after all is easy.
As I have stated before, my routine is that I write up little cards of the things that I need to do the next day the night before. The next day, I cross things off as I complete them. Due to my 500,000 word goal, I also have a spreadsheet that I keep track of. I also make sure that I finish my personal tasks first in the day before I work on other things.
For you, however, you may need to come up with different methods. The key is not to be afraid to think outside of the box and to try a new approach. Then dump whatever is not working for you. Use the method that works, discard anything that doesn’t.
Remember, a routine is your friend, but only when it works. When it fails to work, you need to drop it like fifth period french. I will go into more detail on that next week.
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