A little while ago I decided to set down just a few short paragraphs on my writing habits – just in case anyone is interested! So settle down, grab a nice beverage of your own choosing and here goes…. 😉
I find it important to set targets for my writing. Setting targets helps me to concentrate and focus better on the piece I’m working on at the time.
In terms of volumes of work, the overall target I aim to achieve is to write 500 words per day. Now this might not seem much I suppose, but I find that it’s a target figure which is relatively easy to hit, and therefore offers me the greatest chance of satisfaction.
On other occasions, the target will be a complete piece of work – a new chapter, new story idea, or even items like this blog article itself. In a case such as this, the work item will then become the target, and its completion the point which I’ll be aiming for.
WHERE DO I WRITE?
Everywhere…literally! I have to take every opportunity when it comes.
My current day job is working as an IT consultant, and consists of me having to travel around the country visiting customer sites, helping them to configure their software systems. I therefore have quite a heavy bag over my shoulder most days with a laptop in it. All of my writing projects are stored onto this main machine, backed up onto a portable hard-drive and copied to at least one static hard-drive back in my office studio. Whenever I have access to the laptop when I’m not ‘work-working’, I take the opportunity to write.
When I’m away on business my writing tends to take place in a restaurant, pub or hotel – but I can also work in the car, parked up at a motorway services during a break in driving. Other places too can be used, anywhere there is a quiet corner I can settle down in – whether that be indoors or out. For example, last Thursday I took Mum to the hospital for an eye appointment, and while she was being examined by the doctors my laptop came out of the bag and another 300 words of a story were written.
However, there are inevitably times when I need to surgically remove the laptop from my body and detach myself from it. This doesn’t happen very often I admit, but very occasionally I will find either that its impractical to physically work on the thing, or realise that I’ve been glued to the screen all day and need to give my eyesight a break.
On these occasions I carry an A5 notebook around with me, using it to jot down short ideas / musings which happen to pop into my head. I’ll sit quietly in the restaurant and make notes – this could literally be about anything; plot lines, chapter ideas, character plotting; ….anything at all. These ideas will then be padded out with more detail as I transfer them into the computer afterwards, and I’ll cross the pages through in the notebook to record that I’ve dealt with them.
It’s not rocket science – simple really, but the method works for me.
WHEN CAN I WRITE?
The answer to this one is two-fold. Anytime I have, a) the opportunity, and b) the inclination. This is not as easy as you might think; for it is a fact of life that just sometimes these two will refuse to come together.
I’ve learned to just try and grab any opportunity I can to write. I have no choice but to do this, for with my busy day job which involves a lot of travelling it is a fact that there are just times when I don’t feel like doing much of anything. Perhaps I’ll flop down onto the couch next to my wife when I’m home and watch TV, or maybe when I’m away I’ll sit down to relax after a long drive and just fall asleep on the spot!
Of course there are also times when I have the opportunity to write, but find I just want or need to do something else – play guitar, process a few photos, read a book. There’s nothing wrong with this, I’ve just learned to go with the flow and see where it takes me.
But what I really do enjoy is waking up early and getting some creative writing down into the computer before my ‘work work’ day begins. This could be (like today) when I’m at home, or even when I’m working away and waking up in my hotel room. My head is always invariably full of all kinds of stuff, and I find that there’s nothing better than to get it down as the sun comes up.
I always did enjoy the early mornings – waking early at the end of the 1960’s to listen to ‘Theme One’, the musical introduction to BBC Radio One by George Martin, in the kitchen of Mum and Dad’s flat in Liverpool – watching the sun rise slowly over the trees in the park opposite through the mist…. Lovely!
WHAT DO I WRITE?
Anything and everything is the answer to this one. With holding down the day job to pay the mortgage, I only have a limited amount of time available to write in my spare time (whatever that concept is!). I therefore often find it limiting if I work on one piece at a time.
If I were to do this, it would be easy for me to get distracted if the ideas for a story start to dry up. I find that its important for me to continue to write anything at all – story, article, journal entry – anything which brings the words out of my head and down onto the screen. But a downside for this is that the pieces take longer to finish.
A recent planned eBook release of mine has been on its way now since the middle of 2013. The delay is primarily down to editing and final rewrites taking place, but is also partly down to me choosing to work on other things in the meantime. If I had a publisher pushing me for a completion date then this would be a problem, but there isn’t one and so its not. The book will appear when I’m ready for it to appear and not before.
NO WORDS TODAY!
I don’t very often let this bother me, for I know that the writing bug will return eventually, even if it takes a couple of days to do so.
The truth is, real life has to go on in the meantime. Shopping has to be bought, family matters have to be dealt with, other – more mundane tasks – have to take precedence over the written word. Even the dreaded ‘writers block’ is just another one of those issues which are bound to occur from time to time, and I’m learning to deal with it.
The inspiration and opportunity to write will once again come back to me, so no need to dwell or worry about it.
When the inspiration finally does come back, I just get on with it and do it!
For further information about my Photography, feel free to check out my Flickr page at the link <here>
For further information on creative, and all kinds of other writing tips, check out the excellent website Writing.Com.
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