Finding a disciplined writing routine was my New Year’s resolution.

On the first of January this year, I think I had written about 50K words in just over 3 months. Then I took a month off to write my novella (20K words). In February I wrote about 30K words. By my reckoning, there are still 30K more words to go in my first draft.

I write a minimum of 750 words a day, but aim for 1500. There have even been some 3000 word days, but I feel spent at the end.

After trialling several approaches such as writing at different times of the day, dedicating a timeslot to writing, and just simply sitting at my desk all day waiting for the muse to arrive (should have turned off Facebook and Authonomy), I realised that I needed deadlines. I’m terribly good at procrastinating and left alone with my own will power as task master am likely to produce very little. I’ve always been the sort of person to pull an essay out of the bag the night before it’s due, or submit a proposal at work pulling an all-nighter.

So I have created my own mini deadlines. I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes and write in bursts. I usually get 300 words done writing against the clock. Then I have my ‘reward’ – a cup of tea, a quick scan of Authonomy, etc. Then back to it.

This really doesn’t make me sound ‘creative’ at all!! And the forced nature of it probably shows in my writing – the first 11 chapters of my draft were all hand written, and much more emotional and descriptive than the next 22, which appear to me all He said / She said, plot-oriented, and with minimal scene setting.

Do you have a disciplined writing practice? Are you organic or do you need to be regimental?


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