Look, I know it’s hard. You sit down in front of your keyboard with all the motivation in the world to bust out your next great novel. You get about a page in or so and you start to think about picking it back up the next day, or later on that night or whatever. This phenomenon known as procrastination has affected every writer. The newbies, the best-selling authors, and everyone in between. But here’s why writing on a schedule is actually important- whether you’re trying to make a living off writing or not.
For starters- you’re never going to get that book done a thousand words at a time, it’s just not gonna happen. Writing a thousand words a day sounds like a great goal. It’s not. Don’t you remember when you were in high school or college? You had essays all the time that were a thousand+ words and you could knock them out easily. Of course there’s more to it than that- your writing now may require research or a variety of other things. But come on! This is what you want to do, whether you want to make money off it or not- I know you want to see that book completed. Sitting there in all its glory on your desk, something that you devoted your time and creativity to in order to create a completely original piece of work. That’s a lot of motivation in itself.
Here’s what I do:
I brew a cup of coffee. (Note you can choose whatever caffeinated beverage you prefer)
I set said cup of coffee on a coaster by my laptop, and proceed to open up the document I’m working on.
Gulp at least three big swigs of that hot beverage (you can take the burn, you’re a writer) and then get to work on the first paragraph or wherever you’re starting from.
Make that paragraph really, really interesting. Just don’t pause too long while you’re writing it and let your mind take it wherever it damn well pleases. If you spell some stuff wrong along the way, come back to it after the parapgraph is finished. The point is to get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper, well computer screen that is.
Alright now it’s easy- you keep that same mindset that you’re just going to completely blast through pages and pages of your book. And when you do this, you start to get a really good feeling. It comes each time you complete a page and start the next one, and so on. Pretty soon you’re writing almost completely off creativity and the rush you get from finishing a page. Look at you go, you little addict!
Another thing that always keeps me productively writing is the thought that each page I write will turn out to be longer than a single page in my book. Hey look, I’m not a math guy, so I could be completely wrong on whether this is actually true- but just the thought of it in my head keeps me a more efficient writer, and more importantly it keeps me feeling good about my work.
And that’s likely the most significant point I’ll make in this article- feeling good while you’re writing is of the utmost importance. Because when you start to feel like it’s a chore to get through that chapter you’re on, you’ve already kind of lost. Remember that this is something you like to do, and you should feel proud that you’re doing something you’re passionate about that can be shared with others and even make some money from. It doesn’t have to be a chore, it really can be fun.
And hey, you can always save up all that frustration you want to let out for when editing time comes around 🙂