The hardest part of being a writer is the whole “writing” thing. It sounds a little bit stupid when you lay it out like that, but it’s true. When you’ve got the idea formed in your mind – or written out as a cool little outline, whatever floats your word-boat – getting that down on paper can be quite daunting. Thousands of words need corralling and controlling very carefully. When you sit down to do that, and you see nothing but a white page and realise all the work that you need to do, of course you’re going to want to put it off for as long as possible.
I got around this by enforcing upon myself a routine. This is the sort of thing I should have done at university, but that didn’t work out well. Now that writing is my job, however, it feels like I should treat it with a modicum of adult professionalism – at least then, when I’m angrily swearing at myself for forgetting a ridiculously pretentious synonym for something, I can feel proud that I am working.
So here is my method:
- Wake up – This is difficult, because I don’t seem to conform to any human hours.
- Stare angrily at the unopened document for an hour.
- Have breakfast while still staring angrily.
- Finally open the document.
- Punch two thousand words onto the page while worrying that it’s all a huge mistake.
- Sneak in an extra couple of hundred so I have a head start on tomorrow’s two thousand.
- Save, close document and stop worrying. Clearly it was great because I am talented and amazing and lovely.
Do any of you have special routines to get you through your working day? I’m nosey.