At the moment I set at least one day aside every weekend, and go to the local library, which has two benefits: 1) it is beyond the range of my flat's wifi, and 2) if I ever run out of ideas for characters, I just have to look around the computer room of Dulwich Library.
Trouble is, stretches of a week between writing doesn't work. I get antsy after a day of not writing, and lose confidence in my story. My attempts at working in the evenings after work weren't going well either.
A few people suggested I try working in the mornings. So for the past week my alarm has gone off at 6am (note, this is not the same thing as me getting up), and I've worked at least an hour every morning before work. It has some extra benefits too: I drink my morning coffee at home now, instead of buying one in town, and I leave the flat earlier and on a bit of a high that I've already done something significant with my time. The rest is just a bonus. I dare say anyone who sees me walking through the park at that time sees someone insufferably smug.
Writing every day makes a big difference. I still think about it every day, but I get back to it before all those ideas drop out of my head, and I feel like I'm constantly in the middle of telling a story. That's something that Stephen King convinced me was imperative (especially on the first draft). "Get it down," he says.
I've written way more than my usual amount this week, and feel the story has a flex to it, isn't so bitty. I have to drag myself out of bed every day, but my writing warms up quicker, and I don't have to remind myself where I was in the story.
One day I wondered if I could bang out the story and how it unfolds in a page or two, it's changed so much since I last wrote a synopsis; so I did, I could, and I returned the next day to telling it.
I felt so much more confident that on Sunday I decided to write up a short story I've had knocking about my head too.
Some boring admin: I turned my several individual chapters (chapter_one.doc, chapter_two.doc, etc) into one big document called ALL. Dull, I know, but it's stuff like that I always want to know when writers talk about how they write: what's on their computer? What are they looking at? A Word doc, what? How do they start?
It's a small change, but I think it'll help me to feel like I'm writing one long, continuous story. Which I am. Previously I started every new chapter thinking I had to squeeze x scenes into it, and hit about 3,000 words, and found myself filling up space for the sake of it. Now I've got one long document, and I type a few dashes like this ------- when I think there might be a break or a new chapter.
This post is probably the most boring yet: my alarm clock, my new coffee routine, the naming convention I use for documents. Sorry.
I'm going to Munich next weekend so will do my best to do something exciting. I hear it's Asparagus Season over there.
Word count this week: 4,514 Running total: 30,430 First draft: 15,062