View Full Version : Let's get serious

11-19-2013, 09:25 PM
My goal is simple, write.

I want to be accomplished and more competent 5 years from now, even more another 5 years on. Perhaps I'll even be writing full time 15 years from now?

At this point in my life I've realized tenacity counts for so very much. I need to write every day and build up hours of experience and knowledge.

Anyone have any stories of how they managed to motivate themselves to write every day? Helpful ideas? I have to break myself of my current habits and build new ones.

11-19-2013, 10:42 PM
If you've wandered AW much, you may have run across the BIC method. That's your butt in the chair for X number of minutes every day, no matter what. Illness, family gatherings, vacation, doesn't matter. You commit and you do it unless you are physically unable. (I'll need a note from your neurologist confirming that coma!)

During BIC time, you can do one of two things, and nothing else. You either write, or you sit there. You may not reread what you've already written, edit, research, or otherwise work on the manuscript during BIC time--it's strictly for writing new words. If you must have music to write, you can, but you cannot have other distractions like the TV on, or an internet window open in case you get an email, or your phone at hand. No food unless your BIC time is also the only opportunity for a meal.

There are days you will just sit there, feeling frustrated and angry with yourself for committing to this. But most days, you will write. Maybe it's pretty decent, maybe it's garbage, but it's new text, and that's the whole point.

Maryn, sure other suggestions will follow

11-20-2013, 12:29 AM
Thanks Maryn,

I did read through many BIC topics and even got started around month ago. I lasted about a week until I got a bad cold. So easy to fall back into old not writing habits.

Starting back tonight, no excuses, though I may not push myself quite so hard as before. I'd prefer a sustainable x minutes/words first to build the habit, then I can add after I brainwash myself.

I don't really have any outside drivers. Nice, well-paying job. Good marriage. Good life. So easy to be complacent. I don't wish for conflict, but it sure does spur growth. I'll have to see if the wife will be willing to push me when I don't live up to my own desires.

11-20-2013, 02:02 AM
I'm not great with writing every day, but I do find I'm much more productive when I'm on a schedule.

Some people really like to stop writing in the middle of a scene, or even the middle of a sentence, so that the next day, they jump right in. I'm not that good, but I do try to give myself five minute before I start writing to think about where I was, where I'm going, and what I want to accomplish to kind of psyche myself up.

11-20-2013, 04:18 AM
I've always been the same, TechD ... and honestly, it was hard for me to find an excuse to sit down every day and write.

There were two things I did that made it easier for me. The first, was that I set a pretty low goal: 250 words a day. A manuscript page (at least by some accounts), but still, a good chunk of words. NaNoWriMo is great, but for people who are just trying to develop a habit, 1700+ words a day is a real witch.

And I made a spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApfwUIo825qIdHR5Z0ZCTWgzUFF6UVNXZ2t5TXlzc Hc#gid=0), which a) forced me to be accountable to myself and b) made it easy to see how the words have added up, which is actually rather cool. I enter my word count at the end of the day, and that's that.

It's quite sobering to have to go back and manually add in a 0 for each day that you miss, so if you're easily guilted, it works like a charm! (I have a blank spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApfwUIo825qIdC1sVkJQdG9QRXpXS1g4bkNQandEY Wc&usp=drive_web#gid=0) if you're interested, since I've already had a few people ask about it.)

I really couldn't recommend this more. It's done a lot for my writing -- actually getting out words is one of the most important things.

Happy working!

Siri Kirpal
11-20-2013, 04:37 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"-- a Sikh greeting)

Just here rooting for you to do it.


Siri Kirpal

11-20-2013, 04:44 AM
I recommend the spreadsheet approach, too.

For any day that I'm below my goal, I have to write a reason for it. This has two functions - it helps 'shame' me into doing my writing, but it also helps me identify the things that get in the way too often so I can try to do something about them.

But I think the most important thing is to make sure that you enjoy writing. I've tried a similar spreadsheet approach in order to get me working out more often, and it doesn't really work, because I hate working out (I'd much rather be writing). So the spreadsheet helps, but only if you have a good project that you really enjoy working on, once you get started with it.

11-20-2013, 05:21 AM
I go out and write - to a coffee shop or somewhere else that is friendly to computer work. It helps me to be out of the house. I don't have exactly set times, but I do have days where I try to write. Also, I write at home when I get the chance. I do try to write at least two days a week if not more. The slightly looser schedule seems to work for me!

11-20-2013, 07:26 PM
I write a minimum of an hour a day. I don't care if it is garbage during that hour, I am greasing the mental wheels attempting to get something good on paper.
Now, I also count rewriting time in to that hour a day, but ONLY after I reach approximately 50% of the total word count in my novella/novel.
So far, it's working pretty well. I expect to be done within the next three months with my first novel, between 80k and 90k words.

11-20-2013, 07:26 PM
There is a moment when the Muse hits you upside the head, snarling, "You know what, smartass? Talent don't mean SHIT if you don't DO this damn thing. Every damn DAY. So siddown and get to freaking WORK."

My Muse is obviously from South Boston. Your Muse may vary.

You pick a goal, whether it's a number of words or a number of hours a day, preferably five-seven days a week. But you have to adjust the schedule so you can actually keep it. If you can't do 1000 words a day, but 500 or even 250 are doable, that's where you start. If you can't do five days, only three for now, then go for the three rather than frustration.

Then, if you want the writing life, you stick to your schedule.

Like all the big things, simple in theory, tough in practice.

So you get tough.

11-20-2013, 09:59 PM
Thanks all for sharing.

The engineer in me loves the spreadsheet. ;)

I'll give some sort of record keeping a try, so that I can step back and look at built words, and where I fall short.

Definitely need to be tougher on myself to grow in this easy period of my life. Of course I can also think of the magic of when stories write themselves. Now that is fun writing.