Hello, Writers!

 

I have a confession to make. When it comes to writing fiction, I’m a lazy writer. At the moment, I’m currently doing a ’28-Days of Blogging Challenge’ to launch my new blog. I’m currently writing over two thousand words a day. However, when it comes to finishing the first draft of my thriller novel, Immunity, I go months between writing sessions. At the moment, I’ve written 63,716 words. How long has it taken me to get this far, you ask? In November 2016, it will be 2 years since I first put pen to paper. I love writing this book. When I make the time to write I lose myself, in the writing process. It’s not a case of my book isn’t outlined, or I don’t love writing. I’m lazy, that’s my only excuse. Something needs to change. So, I’m committing to a social experiment, to change my bad writing habits and replace them with great writing habits.

 

If you’re anything like me, then you dream of being organised but consistently fail. You’ve read a lot of information on creating great writing habits. But, these blog posts seem to be written by people who don’t get you. This blog post is different. It’s written by someone who is just like you. So, I’d love to invite you on my journey to overcoming writer’s procrastination and create great writing habits.

 

So, let’s get started.

 

The words of Jim Rohn echoed in my mind as I stared at my Facebook feed one Sunday night. I’m friends with one of those people who love to share inspiring posts. I usually scroll past, but this time was different. It’s like I was getting a virtual slap in the face. Jim Rohn was right. For me to become a successful author, I needed to finish my book, that’s the first step towards achieving this goal. It’s not exactly rocket science, but this requires me to change.

 

This leads me to the first and fundamental habit I need to establish. A daily or at least a weekly writing habit.

 

‘If you want life to change, you have to change.’

– Jim Rohn

 

Set a weekly word count goal

In the past, I had experimented with daily writing goals. These daily writing goals did serve me well for a period of time. However, I started to lose momentum with writing, Immunity. I started to put off writing altogether because I was so far behind my goal. The trouble with daily writing habits is, it can promote failure, just like I illustrated above.

 

In business when you set big goals around income, you’re more likely to achieve the goal if you set quarterly goals, and then break them down into smaller bite-sized goals. This is exactly what I am to do with creating great writing habits. I’m going to set a weekly writing goal. I will set myself a weekly word count of 9,000 words which will lead me to finish my first draft in 4 weeks time. To hold myself accountable, I will share my progress on my Instagram account every week, for the whole world to see. There’s nothing more motivating than the humiliation that comes with social accountability.

 

Plan what you’re going to write before you start

In previous blog posts, I have discussed the benefits of outlining and how to outline. This is what I did with Immunity and my other nonfiction books. I’ve planned out every single scene and section of the book. I’m a huge lover of planning. Knowing what you’re going to write before you start is the secret to beating procrastination.

 

How do I know this? I write almost 17,000 words in business every week, and this quota is rising because of my ’28-Days of Blogging’ experiment. Planning and outlining all the Facebook posts I create for my Facebook group and my blog posts is what’s getting me through this ’28 Days of Blogging’ experiment. But, I need to take this planning one step further.

 

This morning I started listening to episode 023 of the Self-Publishing Formula Podcast by James Blatch and Mark Dawson. In this podcast, they interview Rachel Aaron. Rachel is a hybrid author of multiple fiction and nonfiction books. James and Rachel discussed the contents of her book ‘From to 2K to 10K’ which is about how to increase your word count. My biggest takeaway from this podcast was how Rachel chose to prepare for her writing sessions. Rachel mentions that she outlines every scene. When it comes to writing, Rachel spends a few moments getting clear on exactly what she will be writing that day. This is what I aim to do before every writing session. Before every session, I will dig deeper into my scene description so I know exactly what I am going to write.

 

Record your progress

At 11:00 PM last Sunday, I watched a live Facebook Q + A session by Joanna Penn on her Facebook page for The Creative Penn. In this session, she answered a variety of different questions in relation to writing, editing, and self-publishing. Joanna mentioned that during her first draft stage of writing a book, she records her progress in a journal. If she doesn’t write any words that day, no entry is made in the journal. This is how she keeps track of how often she is writing and if she is skipping days or in my case, months. I do have a word count tracker spreadsheet but, this isn’t motivating me enough to write more often. So, I’ve decided to start journaling in my little moleskin journal. I’m going to write the date, word count for the day, as well as a list of scenes written for that day.

 

There’s more to writing than just writing

I do believe it’s worth mentioning there is more to the writing process than just writing. I know this sounds strange but hear me out. Brainstorming ideas, research, character development, writing the first draft, self-editing and platform building, are all stages of the book writing process. These other aspects of the writing process are just as important because they add value and improve a book. It’s important to make daily process on your book, so sometimes this may mean doing something else other than writing. I’m going to include this broader definition of writing in my journalling habit as well.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Today, I’m making a commitment to change my terrible fiction writing habits and replace them with great writing habits. How about you? Do you have bad writing habits, as I do? Will you join me in making a similar commitment? I want to hear from you. Let me know by sharing your story in the comments section below.

 

Thank you for listening, reading, commenting and sharing with such enthusiasm.

 

Your coach,

 

Amelia xx

 

Amelia Hay
Amelia Hay

I’m Amelia. I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Missing, the first book in the James Lalonde series. On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process. Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.

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