A day in the life of a writer, a.k.a., me!
Let me present my completely fool-proof plan to accomplish all of your writing goals. It has worked wonders for me. Yes, a big steaming pile of oddly shaped wonders.
Work can’t get done if you aren’t in your work area. To start my day, I sit at my computer. I am pumped, focused, and eager to write.
2. Mentally Prepare
Before I start anything, I browse all my writing forums and other daily websites to “get them out of the way.” You know, so I don’t get distracted later when I’m writing.
3. Logistically Prepare
Now I open up my Scrivener document and re-read what I did yesterday. Sometimes, I also pull up my outline and character notes just to make sure everything I did yesterday is consistent, and so all my marvelous ideas are fresh in my head for today’s upcoming feat of written words.
4. Set Goals
Nothing is accomplished without goals. I look at where I am in the chapter or scene, and consider my goals for today. What do I want to accomplish? What problem do I need to solve?
5. Intellectually Prepare
It’s great to know what your goals are, but knowing how to accomplish them is even better. At this point, I visit various writing websites, watch various youtube videos, and review various podcasts, seeking tips and advice on how to accomplish my specific goals for today.
6. Physically Prepare
Break for lunch. Nothing gets done on an empty stomach.
7. Back to Work
It’s been a few hours, I’ve covered a lot of ground, and I just took a break. This is when distractions will try to strike. The key to success is to be able to mentally re-focus after changing gears. I find it helpful, at this stage, to redo step 2, so I don’t get distracted anymore. Sometimes, instead, I’ll go write a blog post to really harden my grasp of the new lessons picked up in step #5.
8. Writing is a Business
Here’s the thing: writing is a business. It needs to be treated like one, which includes making good decisions about allocating time and resources, learning the needed skill set, and keeping an eye on the big picture. Often, by now, I realize I’m kind of tired. With all the tricks and tips I learned in step #5, I have a lot of new information to reflect upon. Being hasty is bad for business, and truth be told, a nap now will probably do more good for my story in the long run than a few hundred words I’ll need to redo tomorrow. This is a business decision.
9. Smell the Roses
All this work can be intoxicating, but it is important to remember to stop and smell the roses. Life keeps moving, so take a little time to enjoy it, between all the other stuff. To accomplish this, I tend to stay up very (unreasonably) late handling “life.”
10. Stay Positive
When I get into bed, exhausted though I am, I always take a moment to think of the potential ahead of me. I quickly get pumped about how much I’ll accomplish tomorrow and how many words I’ll crank out. Sometimes I do a little math. I’ll easily get 5K words down tomorrow, and if I do that every day, my novel will be done in no time! What’s more, I can just feel how EASY it’s going to be to write tomorrow, now that I’m ready and soon-to-be rested.
11. Keep the Momentum
The next day, I wake up, shower, and begin again from step 1. It is all about sticking to the routine.
Good luck, and happy writing!