Last week I did a lot better at my daily writing. It’s true that I go off the boil sometimes (well, regularly), which is why I’ve been looking into how to solidify my daily writing as a habit. Here’s something that I did last week that helped.
It’s quite simple really, but I did two things. First, I no longer wait until I have a seat. I write on the train on the way home, and previously I would read or listen to podcasts while I waited for a seat. You can imagine that some days this comes earlier than others, so I did not really have control over when I made a start.
That attitude also gives me a new raft of excuses not to write, by the way. I can wait for a seat I like, rather than just any seat. If I’m over halfway through my journey, I can decide there’s really no point trying to write, as I won’t get enough done (always false of course – any progress is worth it). I can mix it up, too – “Oh, I’ve finally got the seat I wanted, but I’ll just get to the end of this chapter I’m reading. Well, look at that, now I’m too far into my journey! Drat!” That’s a 3 x procrastination multiplier right there!
No more! Now I only wait until there’s space on the filthy floor by the doors. I’m not proud – I can sit on the floor and write in the dirt!
And the other thing? That bloody game (and this is the last time I mention it, I promise) The Binding of Isaac (again, be aware, some people may be offended by this game)that caused me so much distraction before is now being put to good use. I admit, I’m probably better off deleting it off my hard drive altogether, but last week at least it worked as a little reward.
You want something that feels like a tiny perk – a little hit to finish off your day. That’s what that game can deliver, even if it’s only for five minutes, because every level genuinely feels like a fresh challenge. So I made the decision that I would be able to play it, but only if I’d reached a certain word count (a word count that brings me past my average over the course of a week by the way).
That motivates me to start sooner and get on the floor, and also puts a satisfying full-stop on my train journey. You might use something else. If you don’t mind reading in short bursts, you can do that for example. Chocolate might help some people.
It Still Takes Discipline
What the title says. It’s a cliché, but there aren’t any silver bullets for your writing werewolf. Just keep pumping ordinary bullets into it daily and eventually it’ll go down (or something. Some phrases aren’t meant to be taken to their natural conclusion, clearly). So far, so good.
But enough about me and my overpriced train journeys, what about your writing? Do you have any treats you give yourself at the end of a session? Or maybe you have a special way of making sure you just get on with it? You know where the comments section is!