I've been 34 for ten days. I've done my two hours of writing every morning. And it's HARD, you guys.
It's also cool, because I'm figuring stuff out. I'm paying attention not only to what I write, but how I write. When it's working, why is that? When I'm stuck, what's going on there?
So far, this is what I've learned about how to make the most of my 2-hour block of writing time.
1. Avoid the unholy time suck that is the internet…even for research purposes
I'm quite serious about this. Writing time is writing time. Research time is a whole other animal that needs its own cage and special food.
When writing, if there's something I need to look up, I'll leave myself a note in the text like this [Look up D. Hasselhoff's astrological sign]. Then, when writing time is done, research time can begin. I can look up the Hoff's sign and feed the rest of my day to Twitter/Facebook/The Onion/Cracked/my Nabokovian butterfly obsession (shameless plug here, check out my website www.nabokolia.com) .
2. Decide ahead of time what you will work on
I have multiple projects on the go, and it's not like kids. Some I love more, some less, and I'm fickle in my affections. So I plan. My two hours today are going to be spent wringing out the rough draft of this story, or outlining that story, or editing this chapter of my novel. That way I don't waste the first half of my writing time rummaging through files trying to decide what I feel like working on.
3. It's not about the word count -- but it kinda is
National Novel Writing Month starts November 1st. You challenge yourself to pound out a 50K novel in thirty days. Your novel might not be very good, in fact it's probably full of terrible problems, like any first draft of a novel. The point is you made yourself write. You didn't obsess over every word. You powered through and got it down.
I'm not sure about this either way. Will having a daily word count goal help me, or will it result in a bunch of awful words I need to kill with fire?
Obviously this is ongoing. I'll post updates from time to time. If you want to share your struggle, or give me advice, or talk me out of barbecuing my manuscript, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org