I have been trying to get into a proper rhythm regarding writing. For the most part, I have succeeded. Morning is for admin work. I usually do my social media and marketing, video filming and editing, and whatever else needs doing (this week, I have been dealing with bureaucracy). All of that happens in the mornings and I am usually efficient enough to get a goodly number of things done. Then, in the afternoons, I write.
However, recently, my afternoons have grown increasingly distracted. I get numerous emails from people. I have social media chats going on. I have plans for the future (podcast, anyone?) that I am trying to sort out. And that, annoyingly, cuts into the writing time. As soon as I get distracted, it takes about five minutes to get back into the swing of writing. As a result, I have only gotten about 1.4K words written on average each day.
Okay, okay, I know. 1.4K is a respectable number and with that number, it will only take me about three months to write a novel. That is perfectly on schedule for me, and has been for the last few years. I am generally pleased with my novel-in-three-months model. It works out very well for me and I get a lot done. On the other hand, I used to be able to write a 70K novel in a month.
I had one year, between high-school and university, where I was writing consistently, about 3-4K words a day. That was including doing other things, such as ceramics, blacksmithing, and who knows what else (I do. Lots of laziness, which was lovely.) So why is it that now, when writing is my full time job, I have not been able to achieve that level of productivity again?
The answer, I think, is to do with my distractions. Before, I would dedicate however long to writing and the only thing that would get in my way was the music I listened to. Everything else would wait until later, because I wasn’t involved in internet forums, social media, or anything. I just had time to write.
Therefore, I am going to implement a new strategy. I am going to keep my routine, but in the afternoons, to prevent distractions, I am going to turn off the internet. That way, there will be nothing standing between me and my writing but my own mind. Just the way I like it.
This may not work forever. I may need to change schedules around when I have something going on or I need to be in communication with someone. However, I think it is going to be good for me. Yesterday’s test run went extremely well. In a little over 2.5 hours, I managed to get 3.6K words written. I surpassed 30K on my current project and I still had time afterwards to deal with updating my website.
All told, I am a writer. And I need to write.