I Have Written!

It is official! I no longer look like this:

But now feel like this:

I have finally written and it feels fantastic! I know that I was off to a rocky start, but I think I got some good points out there and I’m really starting to develop the world, which is great because I wasn’t really sure how it would all work out.

Does anyone else out there write dystopian novels? If so tell me about them! I’m really curious and love reading about other people’s writing!

So, today I wrote for approximately 40 minutes and this is what I got:

Capture

 

I usually write around 1,800 in an hour, but I know that tomorrow will be tough to start into because I’m still not entirely sure, so I thought for today I’m going to leave the blood pumping and juices flowing and pick straight back up where I left off!

Ah, it’s good to be back!

 

5 Ways To Create A Writing Routine (Guest Post)

charlows blog

 

 

While Lottie, C., or whatever she’s calling herself is away for the week, she asked me to come in and write a guest post for her. I am her lovable  dashing, charismatic and undeniably godlike boyfriend, to be extremely modest. Much like her, I write novels. I have recently finished a first draft of a thriller and am now working my way through a young-adult fantasy.

Like most people, I struggled for a long time to develop a writing routine. I’ve created stories since I could learn to write, and before that I just manufactured them out of Lego blocks. Now that I’m of an age where I need to get a real job, and I’m failing to do so, I’ve decided to have a proper go at my writing. So, with a hardened fist, I forced myself into a routine.

It’s certainly not easy and it’s often anything but fun, but the results really show and lift your spirit. Here’s 5 ways to develop your routine:

 

1) Set Aside Time Just For Writing

Seems simple, right? It’s not.

I have no kids. I’m currently unemployed. In truth, I’m at the prime time in my life for having writing time.  Yet I still find myself struggling to “find” time to write. It’s there, I just ignore it.

The way around this is to set a time to write and stick to it. Pick an hour in the day and say that’s when you’re going to write. Let everyone know it. Let everyone know you’re not to be disturbed. Don’t make it an option, make it a fact of life.

The more and more you stick to this hour, and you must stick to it ruthlessly, the easier your words will come to you and the quicker you build up a routine. For each successive day you write, the job gets easier and easier. It suddenly becomes a must. You’ll get to the point where, come your writing hour, you HAVE to do it. If you don’t, you feel wrong.

 

2) No Distractions

During your writing time, remove all distractions.

If you must, turn off the internet. If you can’t unplug the entire thing, turn it off on your laptop, computer or blue-tooth enabled typewriter.

Turn the phone off. Even better, put it in another room and turn it off.

Face a wall. Don’t let a window distract you. Don’t let the TV distract you. Don’t even let adorable cat posters distract you. Find a spot where you won’t be distracted and stick to it. Much like the previous point, you’ll soon find yourself ignoring distractions. At the end of the day, you need to write.

 

3) One Project Only

If you’re going to commit to your novel, play, poetry or whatever, you have to really commit. Make that project become your world. If another idea distracts you, write it down. Then shove it in a drawer and don’t look back until this project is done.

Here’s the brutal truth: You will hate what you’re writing. You will always hit points where you want to throw it down the stairs, points where you’re convinced it’s the single worst thing you’ve ever written. Here’s the nice truth: it’s not. This is just the way a writer’s mind works. We assume we’re crap.

Speaking of which…

 

4) Allow Yourself To Be Crap

First drafts suck. Yet another brutal fact of life.

Got that? They suck. Your first draft is pathetic. Nobody will enjoy reading it. Sure, there will be flashes of talent, but it’s mostly useless. Okay, now suck it up. Accept that it’s crap. And now go roll around in that crap.

A lot of writer’s get bogged down with their writing and edit as they go along. This works for some, but fails for most. If you can turn off your inner-editor and just write, you’ll fly through your first draft. At the end of the day, it’s editing where the true craft comes into play. Your first draft is just getting the bones and plot down.

So allow yourself to suck. And suck you shall!

 

5) Break Every Single One Of These Rules

Sometimes you need to break routine. Maybe you want to write at a different hour. Maybe you want a day off completely. Or a weekend. Or a week! I certainly took routine breaks writing my novel, and it helps for the better.

Want to be distracted by the TV one night a week? Go ahead!

Want to slowly add to your poem collection while writing the epic fantasy series? Rhyme those words!

Want to edit every last word you wrote last night, because you know it’s complete and utter crap? Be my guest!

The most important thing to having a routine is breaking it now and then. You will need to refresh your batteries. You will need to keep things flexible and interesting, otherwise you’re just becoming an emotionless robot of productivity. Enjoy your writing and remember that you’re writing for that joy, not for productivity.

 

So there you have it, five simple and efficient ways to increase your productivity and develop a writing routine. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it! Feel free to comment below and both I and Lottie will respond to them as best we can!

If you liked this post, my style, or want to read more writing and blogging tips, along with updates on my own writing, feel free to follow my blog here.

Honey, I’m Home!

Home being my target, and boy did I hit it! I think this could be the turn I needed to really pull me into this novel, and now there is no way out unless I go forward. I have gotten much further into the story than I expected today, which means that I am officially past the part that was holding me in one place and I have room to go wherever I want, and my girl- she wants action and she wants it soon!

I can feel a really interesting turn coming and it’s already starting to plant itself into my writing. This one is going to need so much editing considering how long it took me to get into it, but I am sure that today was the push I needed to get me back into the story and in love with my character again.

I wrote over 2,500 words today and also figured a few more of the major links out. I am so excited about this now that I know I will not stop writing due to laziness again! According to the folder I keep the snap shots of the amount of words I am currently at, this is my 11th day of writing on this novel. That means I have gotten over 20,000 words in 11 days.

I know it took a lot longer than that for me to write it, but if you add all the days I actually wrote together that’s all it took. That’s after giving me a lot of confidence that reaching the date that my first draft of this novel is due in may actually be possible!

My plan (which I mentioned earlier) to start writing more during the week is to bring my laptop into college. I have a lot of early starts this semester and because of that I end up being on my own for an hour or two almost everyday. I have been using those hours to read and stuff like that, but now I will be focussing fully on writing and getting this novel done!

I can absolutely do this and now that I have found where I am going it is going to make the journey with this novel so much swifter and enjoyable- well that’s the hope! I know that once I reach around the 40,000 word mark I will more than likely hate the novel again and feel like hitting my laptop and pressing delete on the file, but hopefully when/if that happens I will be able to look back on this post and see how much I actually love this book, keep going and push through to the end!

Waster

I am officially a writing-waster. I have set a goal for the week and although I got my first day of writing done, I have skipped the last two days! Which means that I am 4,000 words behind!

I won’t be able to write tomorrow night (as I mention when setting my goal) so I can’t even make up for lost time. Instead I am going to focus my energy this weekend on getting 2,500 AT LEAST on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I’m starting my essays for college this weekend so writing will be a nice break from the wonderful J-Stor our college uses for often extremely long-winded sources! I will definitely do my best to actually get ALL of that writing done this weekend- I know, I wouldn’t expect me to do it either if I was a reader of this Blog, but I WILL DO IT!

If I do write 2,500 words every day this weekend I will be allowed to watch an episode of Pretty Little Liars on Sunday night as a reward, that should get me motivated! (You really have no idea how much I love that show…)

Sooooo I will now leave you so that I can get back to the book which kept me from writing today (Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver) and hopefully finish it between now and tomorrow so that my only distraction this weekend are college essays- that alone should ensure my jump in the amount of words currently on my novel.

Good night to all!!

Over 15,000 baby!

I know it’s not that much when compared to an entire novel finished, but it is something, and it’s on it’s way! When you look at 15,000, it’s half way to 30,000, which is half way to 60,000 which is three quarters of the way to 90,000!

If only I could be finished this novel in those three simple steps! This novel is proving difficult, but I am determined to finish it, plus it actually has somewhere to go now that two of the characters are after revealing different secrets it means that the action is really going to start now!

Hopefully…

I think my head knows where this story is going, I’m just being slow on the uptake. It’s starting to become a bit clearer now, which is great; I really like knowing where I’m going with things while I write them! I’m sure this one will need A LOT of editing to even be given to someone to read as a first draft! But we’ll see, I’m far from that at the moment!

I have set my goal nice and easy for this week: I want to have 25,000 by Monday. If I get that much in the next 5 days there is absolutely no turning back! I’ll HAVE to keep going once I hit that number!

Right, I need to look up a few Sparknotes before my class tomorrow! Night!

Image

Day Worth Writing About

Don’t get your hopes up, nothing really happened today- yes I am this insanely boring that I do nothing at all with my time off, BUT I did make a small decision which involves writing!

I have been thinking all day about what I could write my post on tonight and while I was going through random, pointless themes in my head an idea dawned on me for my new character. I was ironing at the time (very badly as I still can’t exactly move properly) and was thinking about how my last character thought he was independent and how in reality he was anything but.

In this book my main character will be a girl, and she is going to be amazing. I am getting so excited about how different her attitude to life is compared to any other character I’ve ever thought of! She is gonna be a smart, sassy, show-stoppin’-bitch and she won’t care what people thinks about her or what’s going on in other people’s lives, she will just be lining and trying to get by.

I hope I will be able to paint her properly and portray her personality in the way I want to, but we’ll see. I also figured out how I’m going to actually start the novel, which is great because I was kinda freaking at the thought of a blank screen staring at me, mocking me.

I WILL be writing by Monday! Monday is the beginning of my next novel and a new character’s life. I’ll decide then what my deadline for the book is, but at 2000 words a night and a novel of more or less the same length as the last one it shouldn’t take too long to finish!

-C

Week-Off

So after having 4 days of isolation and boredom in my house I have decided that WordPress is the most interesting thing left to entertain myself with. I have been given the week off to recover after my surgery. At first I didn’t see how it could take so long for a few wounds to heal, but unfortunately now I can see how long it will take to be back to normal!

In the last few days I have learned the daytime TV schedule off by heart and have watched movies I haven’t seen for years but at this stage I just can’t find anything to do! Cleaning isn’t an option, and I can’t read much at all because of dizziness.

The only plus side to all this time off is that I have had a chance to think about my next novel and see where it’s going. I haven’t made any specific decisions yet- hell I don’t even know where it’s going to begin! But I know that all this while the story will be developing in my subconscious and when I go to write it things may be a lot easier than anticipated.

I was at a talk last week by Dermot Bolger. He’s a big Irish crime/ thriller writer. He also writes poetry, plays and is a journalist. He gave a talk in our college and said that he never knows where his new ideas are going. That has given me loads of confidence to begin this novel. If the best don’t know where they are going with their stuff, how would I?!

So I will be starting my next novel in the next few days, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’ll set my goal for the final date soon and figure out how I’m going to coincide my writing with my college work.

That excited feeling of starting to write and being creative is sneaking back up my spine and planting itself in my brain- I have a feeling that this is going to be a fun story to write!

-C