I thought that this would be a good post to start with because first, my word count has increased dramatically in 2015. I write this post having written every day this year and having a word count of 212210 words. And second, this is a writing blog, so getting words on the page is what this really all about.
We’ve all heard the phrase before, ‘You just need to sit your bum in a chair and write.’ And I guess like me you’ve all rolled your eyes at the phrase, come up with reasons and very valid excuses to why you can’t do that. I have myself. I was the master of saying:
‘I don’t have the time.’
‘I’ve only got ten minutes is it really worth opening my laptop/ipad.’
‘I’m tired after work; I just want to watch TV.’
‘I’m researching’ (before ending up on YouTube watching cat video or looking through Facebook and completing a quiz.)
In fact I got to a state where I was making these excuses more and more over the last year. Since completing on my first house in August until that was the 1st January, I didn’t write a single word. I didn’t have time to write. I was tired. I needed to do something around the house. I was playing with the kittens. For one reason or another, I just didn’t have the motivation. And that was okay because I was busy. I work full time. I had other things to do with my evening and weekends.
Yes, I would talk about how I was a writer. I would still go to my writing group. I would still go to my writing group, and read out pieces that I had written earlier in the year. But I wasn’t writing. Not that that was unusual. I would go through writing binges and dry spells on a regular basis over the last nine years. A four month break was longer than average but not unheard of.
‘I am going to write x number of words this year.’
‘I am going to finish writing this book this year.’
‘I am going to read x number of books this year.’
‘I am going to get fit.’
And these resolutions probably would have ended up going the same way that they always do except for one reason. I broke them down, setting small targets that I knew I could meet. On a working week, I would write 4500 words (the size give or take a few words of a first draft of a chapter.) that would work out at 500 words after work and 1000 on Saturday and Sunday. This was manageable as I knew that depending on the flow of the words, I could complete 500 words in around 30 to 90 minutes – the length of TV show. And that was the key. This was a target that I could keep to.