Having now had my first pay on one day a week less, I thought I would try to capture my thoughts on the first month and a bit with dedicated writing time. It would be fair to say that I’ve been reflecting throughout on what works, what doesn’t, and what I will try out next. So, here’s something for each of them. It’s a bit selfish I’m afraid:
What doesn’t work
- Answering the phone. Mainly because nobody I want to speak with tends to call during the day. I could, however, have benefited from all sorts of government grants and legal assistance with pursuing a variety of apparently nefarious organisations. So send me an e-mail. Surprisingly I’m good at just deleting the junk ones and getting back to work.
- All other distractions. There are a lot of them. My most productive day was probably the day our internet wasn’t working, that taught me something.
- The one day a week thing. I did know this in advance, or at least was very strongly forewarned. I’ve mentioned Stephen King’s book On Writing before. His basic rule is 2,000 words a day, every day. You shut yourself away and don’t emerge until you’ve done them. I’m now up to about three (productive) days a week, although the word count isn’t there every day. But I can’t disagree with him on the principle. So this also goes on the ‘what to focus on next’ list.
What does work
- A routine. Well, I think it would work, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Do I cook dinner in the morning so it’s done or in the afternoon as a break? And when to read during the day?
- Not going back over what I’ve written. Just keeping going. It can be edited (it will need to be edited!!!)
- Reading lots. My solution to this is audiobooks in the car, that way I have an hour of reading time every day which is otherwise lost time. I love my local library, they have hundreds of audiobooks on CD and Audible has some good deals on other books, so I’m building up a queue to add to the pile of physical and e-books. I really must go and read something after writing this…
What I will try out next
- The one single thing I’m going to focus on right now is the 2,000 words a day no matter what. But I’m also realistic to know that it’s too much of a change to get to that overnight. It feels more like a training plan for a race where you build up and don’t notice the difference. The days when I have no (good enough) excuse for writing come to 5 out of 7, so, with the aim of succeeding rather than aiming too high, this week will be 4 out of 7 days and I will take it from there.