Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Side Projects

...are a major distraction.

How do you fit it all in?  Writing a novel, blogging about it, tidying up short stories for potential digital release, keeping up with your reading - books and magazines, day job, oh, and having a life in between.

Answer:  Clone yourself.  No, but seriously, why is life so full of distractions?  Don't know.  But there's always something that needs doing; something that diverts your time away from the thing you should be doing, the thing you want to be doing, the thing that feels like it will never be finished.

I wish I knew the secret, I really do.  All you can do is keep pushing on.  Work out how much spare time you have and divvy it up between the things you have to do and the things you want to do.  Even if it's just an hour a day on your novel at least you'll be moving forward at a consistent pace.  Then slot the other projects in around that.  For example an evening might look something like:

  • 6pm - 6.30pm:  Eat
  • 6.30pm - 7pm:  Read Writing Magazine (for example)
  • 7pm - 8pm:       Write novel
  • 8pm-8.30pm:    Make corrections to novel, or work on side project
  • 8.30pm - 9pm:  Write blog
  • 9pm - Bedtime: Have a life!
Sometimes I try and squeeze 30 minutes in before work - just making corrections to the previous day's word count.  Those are the days when I don't iron my shirt!

Once you settle down to write, try and get into the zone and stay there.  Make sure you have everything you need with you, so that you don't have to keep getting up from your computer or writing desk.  (I have a little fridge in my study now for water and chocolate).  Try and keep that connection between artist and art.  Live the words you write.  Feel them, taste them, smell them.  Get inside your character's head and run with them.  They're the only people who should be distracting you when you write!

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    I agree, with two children, a husband and a job, I can find distrations a plenty. It helps me to set targets for myself each month. They have to be realistic ones or I'd get depressed. As I complete them I tick them off the list. Then I feel that I've achieved something each month and can see those achievements on paper.

    Actually, that might not work for everyone, I could just be down to the OCD!

    I like the idea of a mini fridge with chocolate though - that could be a major incentive. You're only allowed a piece of chocolate when you have achieved a certain word count. I think I can hear one of Pavlov's dogs barking.